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Institute of Advanced Study

Transforming The Way We Think

The Institute of Advanced Study is a prestigious, ideas-based Institute bringing together some of the world’s finest researchers from all disciplines to examine themes of major intellectual, scientific, political and practical significance. At least twenty visiting fellows per annum are based in Cosin's Hall, a beautiful 18th Century, Grade 1 listed mansion house, situated on Palace Green (a World Heritage site). They work with Durham scholars to spark new investigations, set tomorrow's agenda and participate in a varied programme of activities.

The Institute also serves as a top-level forum, enabling key-decision makers and experts to discuss pressing policy problems in an intellectually stimulating and unrestricted manner. We put on a wide range of public lectures and other events. There are also opportunities for postgraduates and other early career researchers to get involved.

The IAS aims to build research capacity, realise potential, and meet the challenges of a changing world. There are many ways to participate in the life and work of the institute. We warmly welcome your involvement.


Special Issue of Romanticism on the theme of Light

A special issue of the distinguished journal Romanticism has just been published on the theme of ‘Light’. Guest edited by Durham's Dr Sarah Wootton, contributions within this edition were developed out of an IAS sponsored symposium, Light and the Poetics of Ambivalence, organised by Dr Wootton, Professor Michael O’Neill, and Dr Mark Sandy. Inspired by the IAS's theme of Light the symposium focussed on imaginative representations of light in English literature, c. 1790-1950.

(22 Sep 2016)

IAS's Professor Nick Saul wins English Goethe Society award

Professor Nick Saul, IAS Director for Arts and Humanities, has been awarded the English Goethe Society’s 2016 PEGS Prize for an outstanding article published in the journal in the previous year: 'Vorgänger Darwins' or 'Nachfolger Goethes'? Wilhelm Bölsche on Evolutionism in Goethe and Novalis or, Literature and the Two Cultures, Then and Now. Publications of the English Goethe Society, 84/1: 76-91.

Many congratulations to Nick.


(19 Sep 2016)

Visiting IAS Fellow Professor Ann McGrath wins prestigious book award

Forthcoming IAS Fellow and historian, Professor Ann McGrath from the Australian National University has won a prestigious NSW Premiers General History Award for her book, Illicit Love: Sex and Marriage in the United States and Australia (University of Nebraska Press)

Published at the end of 2015 her book is a history of love, sex, and marriage between Indigenous peoples and settler citizens at the heart of two settler colonial nations, the United States and Australia. She illuminates interracial relationships from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth century through stories of romance, courtship, and marriage between Indigenous peoples and colonizers in times of nation formation.

Professor McGrath is a visiting Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study from October - December 2016. During her time at the IAS she will deliver a public lecture which is open to members of the public as well as the Durham academic and student communities: The Temporality of the Deep Human Past , 17th November, 5.30pm (Sir James Knott Hall, Trevelyan College).

(8 Sep 2016)

Transforming The Way We Think:House of Lords reception and book launch celebrating the decennial of Durham University’s Institute of Advanced Study (IAS)

The decennial of Durham's Institute of Advanced Study (IAS) brought together Durham alumni, former IAS Fellows, donors, academics, policy makers, members of both Houses of Parliament, and other supporters on an historic evening (23rd June) at the House of Lords, for both the country and the IAS, to celebrate ten years of transformational thinking and to launch the book written by the IAS Directors and guest contributors, Transforming The Way We Think.

Photographs from the event are now available on the University's Flickr site.

(2 Sep 2016) » More about Transforming The Way We Think:House of Lords reception and book launch celebrating the decennial of Durham University’s Institute of Advanced Study (IAS)

IAS Conference Review

The IAS’s Decennial conference (July 12th-14th) brought former Fellows and other international visitors to Durham to build on ideas emerging during a year on the theme of Evidence. The first keynote, by Monica Grady, looked outwards into the cosmos for extra-terrestrial life, and concluded that there was no definitive evidence demonstrating its existence. However, she left the door open to finding such evidence, so it may still be that the proof is out there. Penny Harvey’s keynote was more down to earth, and focused on concrete evidence of material vitality through and exploration of… concrete. Panels and roundtables ranged across topics as diverse as evidence for the efficacy of psychotherapeutic analysis; the evidence of sentience in non-human beings and its implications for their use in scientific experiments; the intangible evidence of intangible heritage; and the ways in .which IASs can foster the bringing of evidence together in interdisciplinary collaborations. Details of the panels are available here.

Delegates greatly appreciated the warm welcome from the Vice Chancellor at the conference dinner, which was followed by a definitively uproarious game of Durham Bluff, in which, for the first time in a while, the Home Team managed to beat the Visitors with some exemplary mendacity.

A grande finale to the conference was provided by a public debate, in which lively argumentation swayed a preliminary ‘for’ vote towards a narrow defeat of a provocative motion proposing that this House Believes it is Possible to Apply Universal Standards of Evidence.

Filmmaker Oliver Stone with Dr Ivana Petrovic and Professor Veronica Strang at the Institute of Advanced Study

Interview with Oliver Stone

Interview with Oliver Stone

Views: 427

Short interview clip of Oliver Stone with Professor Veronica Strang.

Academic research goes to Hollywood

On March 10th, leading filmmaker Oliver Stone visited Durham University’s Institute of Advanced Study to meet with classicist Dr Ivana Petrovic, whose research, engaging with his depiction of Alexander the Great, was included in his DVD Alexander The Ultimate Cut, released in 2014. He described how he first discovered her work in the debates that followed the release of the first version of Alexander:

For full details of Oliver Stone's visit to Durham including full video coverage of the discussion then please click here.

“Lies, Damned Lies and …”: Is There Such a Thing as Reliable Evidence? Annual IAS London Event 2016
“Lies, Damned Lies and …”: Is There Such a Thing as Reliable Evidence? Annual IAS London Event 2016
Views: 119

King Hussein Memorial Lecture 2016
King Hussein Memorial Lecture 2016
Views: 54

‘Finding Common Ground: Negotiating Across Cultures on Peace and Security Issues’ - the annual King Hussein Memorial Lecture in Cultural Dialogue 2016 given by Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC FASSA FAIIA.

Monday 10 October 2016

Tuesday 11 October 2016

Wednesday 12 October 2016

Monday 17 October 2016

Thursday 20 October 2016

Contact Details

Institute of Advanced Study
Durham University
Cosin's Hall
Palace Green
Telephone: +44 (0)191 334 2589

Transforming The Way We Think

Transforming the Way We Think is the Institute of Advanced Study's celebrationary book and its decade of interdisciplinarity. Download here.

To request a hard copy of the book please complete this online order form.

2016-17 Annual Programme: Scale

In addition to this programme of events please review the comprehensive Events Calendar for all current details. Additional events may be added during the course of the year.

Contact: if you have any questions. 


VENUE Change: Temporal and Spatial Scales: Scale in Ecological Systems, Past and Present seminar on 22nd February 2017 (Professor Chris Thomas - University of York), 12:00 to 14:00 will now be held in the Turner Room Van Mildert College and not St Mary's College as previously indicated (Professor Chris Thomas - University of York)

Navigating Interdisciplinarity Publication - Revised 2015

'Navigating Interdisciplinarity' is an IAS workshop designed to facilitate research collaboration across disciplines. To assist others embarking upon interdisciplinary research we are making this publication freely available. We ask only that you cite the IAS/Durham as the source. Please download here.