Disciplinary Innovation and the Humanities Centre

2 April 2009 - 4 April 2009


The annual meeting of NetIAS, the Consortium of Directors of European Humanities Centres and Institutes, and Directors of Centres for  Disciplinary Innovation (Mellon funded Consortium for Disciplinary Innovation Project).

The event will include a free lecture by Professor Richard Sennett on Thursday 2 April, open to all.

The main conference is open to members of NetIAS and CIAS.  To register please contact mm405@cam.ac.uk. Conference registration for Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th April will open generally on 16th March; to add your name to the list, please contact mm405@cam.ac.uk.

Disciplinary Innovation and the Humanities Centre

Provisional Programme

Location : CRASSH Date : 2-4 April 2009

Thursday 2 April



Buffet Lunch for NetIAS Directors


NetIAS Business Meeting


Tea/coffee Break 


Mill Lane Lecture Theatre 2
Welcome by Dr Kate Pretty, Pro-Vice Chancellor for International Strategy, and Principal of Homerton College, University of Cambridge



Keynote Lecture at Mill Lane Lecture Theatre 2
Richard Sennett (University Professor of the Humanities at NYU and Professor of Sociology, LSE; former Director, New York Institute for the Humanities)
Sociology as Literature


Reception and Dinner at Clare Hall


Friday 3 April





Panel 1: Area Studies, Anthropology and Affirmation

Nicholas Dirks (Franz Boas Professor of History and Anthropology, and Vice-President for  the Arts and Sciences, Columbia University)
Areas and Disciplines: The Knowledge of Place Over Time

Henrietta Moore (William Wyse Professor of Anthropology, University of Cambridge)
Horizons of Hope

Respondent: Shruti Kapila (Lecturer in South Asian History, University of Cambridge)

Chair: Harri Englund (Reader in Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge)


Tea/coffee Break


Panel 2: Aesthetic Critique and Embodied Affect

Anthony Cascardi (Ancker Professor for  Comparative Literature, Rhetoric and Spanish, and Director, Townsend Center for the Humanities, University of California and Berkeley)
Goya, Modernity, Aesthetic Critique

Peter de Bolla (Reader in Cultural History and Aesthetics, University of Cambridge)
The Blush of the World: Bonnard's Embodied Look

Respondent: Mary Jacobus (Grace 2 Professor of English, and Director, CRASSH, University of Cambridge) 

Chair: Lucia Ruprecht (Lecturer, Department of German, University of Cambridge)




Panel 3: Democracy, Rationality, and Religion

Akeel Bilgrami (Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy and Director, Heyman Center for the Humanities,  Columbia University)
Gandhian Ideals of a Democratic Culture

Susan Bayly (Reader in Historical Anthropology, University of Cambridge)
Anthropological Approaches to the Modern, the Religious and the Secular: Perspectives from Vietnam

Respondent:    Srinivas Aravamudan (Professor of English, and Director, Franklin Humanities Institute, Duke University)

Chair: Sujit Sivasundaram (Lecturer, Department of International History, LSE)


Tea/coffee Break


Panel 4: New Media, Criticism, and Technology

James Chandler (Barbara E and Richard J Franke Distinguished Service Professor and Director, Franke Institute for the Humanities, University of Chicago)
Functions of Criticism: Cinema Studies, Media Studies, and the Discipline of English

David Trotter (Edward VII Professor of English, University of Cambridge)
Modernism, Technology, and the Technical Object

Respondent: Georgina Born (Professor of Sociology, Anthropology, and Music, University of Cambridge) 

Chair:  Stefan Collini (Professor of  English, University of Cambridge) 


Visit to the Wren Library, Trinity College
Talk and tour by Professor David McKitterick, Librarian, Wren Library 


Reception and Dinner at Trinity Hall 



Saturday 4 April



Panel 1: Humanities Institutes and their Institutions

John Bell (Professor of Law and Head, School of Arts and Humanities, University of Cambridge)

Regenia Gagnier (Professor of English,  and  Director, Exeter Interdisciplinary Institute, University of Exeter)

Nicholas Dirks (Vice-President for the Arts and Sciences, Columbia University)

Chair: Srinivas Aravamudan (Professor of English, and Director, Franklin Humanities Institute, Duke University)


Tea/Coffee Break


Panel 2: Humanities Institutes and their Publics

James Chandler (Director, Franke Institute for the Humanities, University of Chicago)

Kryzysztof Michalski (Professor of Philosophy, and Rector,  Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna)

Wim Blockmans (Rector, Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study, Wassenaar)

Chair: Mary Jacobus (Director, CRASSH)


Discussion and Future Plans




Tour and Talk at the Fitzwilliam Museum with David Scrase (Assistant Director, Fitzwilliam Museum)