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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 world-leading researchers from all disciplines to examine themes of major intellectual, scientific, political and practical significance. At least twenty visiting IAS Fellows join us in Durham each year to 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.

IAS Fellow's Seminar - The structures of story: history, storytelling, utility and form

9th October 2017, 13:00 to 14:00, IAS Seminar Room, Palace Green, Dr Tom Murray (Macquarie University, Australia)


One of the most famous Australian Indigenous biographies is that of Bennelong (c1764 – 1813). A man of the Wangal clan of the Eora Nations of Sydney who visited England with Governor Philip from 1792-5 and was said to have met King George III. After Bennelong’s return from England his story is marked by personal dissolution and alcoholism; a narrative used to illustrate the tragic incompatibility of colonial and Indigenous society. It is a story that has been played out numerous times with respect to other famous Indigenous men.

The major problem being: it is not true. It wasn’t for Bennelong, and it wasn’t for countless other Indigenous men that it has been applied to. This seminar reflects on the structures of story, in this case tragedy, and ponders how genre conventions and the political utility of certain forms of story continue to shape popular histories.

Places are limited at these lunchtime seminars and so any academic colleagues interested in attending, should contact the Institute in advance to reserve a place.

Contact for more information about this event.

Contact Details

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

2017/18 Annual Programme: Structure

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

2014/15 Annual Report - Emergence


- International Energy Systems Integration - 2 day workshop on 22 and 23 March (Hogan Lovells theatre, Durham Law School).