‘Re-’ Interdisciplinary Network

Alternate Wednesdays 14:30-16:30 in Term time

Seminar Room SG2, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road



The 'Re-' Interdisciplinary Network asks how and why we repeat, revive, re-enact, restage, reframe, remember, represent, and refer – to whom, when, where and why -- and why this a topical question in a digital era. It gathers researchers, teachers, writers and artists whose interest in topics related to cultural reproduction, repetition and reference extends beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries and the university/public divide.

It has long been understood that repetition in a public context is socially identifying: to repeat can never be neutral. The very concepts of culture and society -- as learned, shared, traditional -- depend on repetition. But understanding these mechanisms is a pressing issue in a technological present where repetition and recognisability are intimately related to power. From translation, adaptation, preservation, memorial and ritual to brand and social media ‘sharing’, our primary research aim is to explore whether different socially-driven practices of repetition might have meaningfully related structures, implications, and dynamics. We hope by bringing different knowledge systems and approaches together, new questions and principles might emerge: the agency of apparent consensus, for example; or the work done by label, category, and association, or how familiarity itself establishes, legitimises and persuades. What starts and changes a prevailing narrative, and for whom? How should we approach a thing that exists in reciprocity with its own notoriety?

Repetition is everywhere: embedded in human practices inevitably, as well as deliberately. “Re-“ takes a critical lens to this by asking, of any instance of repetition:

  1. what constituencies/audiences are implied by a particular act of (re)address;
  2. what else is being performed other than the repeated thing itself: values such as status, legitimacy, commemoration, continuity, authority, participation, legitimacy, identity, nation;
  3. whether an act of repetition works to reinforce a status quo or change it - or both.

The network aims to shift public attention from what artworks and other kinds of public statements are, to what they do. Its long term goal is to help equip the public with a more fluent grasp of how cultural repetition offers an identity, frames a particular worldview, implies a consensus, and performs a persuasive past.

The 2018-19 series of 'Re-' seminars at CRASSH will explore three 'Re-' topics:

  • Beyond Originals and Copies: (hierarchical relations of 'sources' and their versions as a western and nineteenth-century view of culture, with Margherita Laera)
  • Technologies of Reproduction vs Embodied Practices of Reproduction (with Sophie Seita, and Anne Alexander)
  • Iteration as Persuasion (how repetition works in the present attention economy, with Satinder Gill and Ella McPherson, co-curated by sociology graduate students Ruichen Zhang and Francesa Root) - to be published as a special issue of AI and Society Journal.

Keynote lectures

Professor Freddie Rokem (Theatre Studies, Chicago/Tel Aviv) Nov 30th
Professor Richard Coyne  (Architecture, Edinburgh)  Feb 6th
Professor. Salvatore Settis  (Classics, Columbia/Pisa) Feb 12th
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Michaelmas Term 2018: Beyond Originals and Copies
This series of seminars asks how ideas of original/copy differ from culture to culture. By taking both an interdisciplinary and an intercultural perspective, we hope to explore the extent to which a vision of unique authored ‘originals’ and their versions is characteristic of the West and the nineteenth century: and to ask why looking again at the values bound up in different ideas of ‘copying’ is timely in a digital era.

Lent Term 2019: Technologies of Reproduction versus Embodied Practices of Reproduction
This term we ask how different technologies of reproduction and different performance and embodied practices that engage with repetition afford different types of social and political relations and new types of knowledge. 

To sign up to receive information about this network, please visit:
If if you want to share information about an event related to a ‘Re-‘ topic , please email the list at:

Administrative assistance: Networks@crassh.cam.ac.uk



Dr Clare L. E. Foster  (Founding Coordinator, CRASSH)
Dr Anne Alexander (Cambridge Digital Humanities, CRASSH)
Dr Cristina Baldacci (Contemporary Art, ICI Berlin)
Michael Byrne (Dance and Technology, Cornell, NY)
Dr Lucy Delap (Modern British History, Cambridge)
Dr Satinder Gill  (Music and Science,Cambridge)
Dr Margherita Laera  (Drama and Theatre, University of Kent)
Professor Freddie Rokem (Theatre Studies, Chicago/Tel Aviv)
Francesca Root  (MA Sociology, Cambridge)
Dr Jason Scott-Warren (Centre for Material Texts, Cambridge)
Dr Sophie Seita  (English, Cambridge)
Dr Mischa Twitchin  (Theatre and Performcance, Goldsmiths)
Ruichen Zhang  (PhD Sociology, Beijing, Cambridge)

Faculty Advisors

Lucy Delap  (Lecturer in History and CI for The Business of Women’s Words: Purpose and Profit in Feminist Publishing)
Ella McPherson (Lecturer in the Sociology of New Media and Digital Technology, co-Director of the Centre of Governance and Human Rights)
Renaud Gagné (Reader in Classics, The History of Cross Cultural Comparatism)
Anne Alexander (Coordinator, Digital Humanities)
Peter de Bolla (Professor of Cultural History and Aesthetics, co-director., Concept Lab at CRASSH, and steering committee member, Re:Elightenment Project)
Jason Scott-Warren  (Co-director of the Centre for Material Texts, Faculty of English)
John Rink (Professor of Musical Peerformance Studies, Faculty of Music)

Programme 2018-19


Re Interdisciplinary Network
Authenticities: Shakespeare’s Globe, Anatomical Drawings and Bach
10 October 2018, Seminar Room, SG2, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road

Penelope Woods (QMUL), Dr Dániel Margócsy (Cambridge), Rachel Stroud (Academy of Ancient Music) - Re-Interdisciplinary Network

The Concept of the 'Original': Japan, African and Indonesia
07 November 2018, Seminar Room SG2, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road

Doris Jedamski (Leiden), Ashley Thorpe (RHUL), Osita Okagbue (Goldsmiths) - Re-Interdisciplinary Network

Replicas: Perspectives from the History of Art and Science
21 November 2018, Seminar Room SG2, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road

Adam Lowe, (Factum Arte, Madrid), Simon Schaffer (Cambridge) - Re-Interdisciplinary Network

The Repeating Work: Adaptation and Appropriation
30 November 2018, Seminar Room S1, 1st Floor Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road.

Freddie Rokem (Chicago, Tel Aviv), Mischa Twitchin (Goldsmiths), Ross Cole (Cambridge), Martin Zeilinger (ARU) - Re-Interdisciplinary Network

'Re- As an Embodied Practice (Workshop)
23 January 2019, Judith E. Wilson Studio, Faculty of English, 9 West Road *NB Different venue and time today*

Sophie Seita (Cambridge/New York), Peter McMurray (Cambridge), Emma Attwood (Playwright, Director), Chana Morgenstern (Cambridge), Claudia Tobin (Cambridge & Royal Drawing School) - Re-Interdisciplinary Network

Repetition as Claiming Space
06 February 2019, Seminar Room SG2, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road NB longer session

Richard Coyne (Edinburgh), Cristina Baldacci (Venice), Francesco Giusti (Berlin) - Re-Interdisciplinary Network

Reimagining ‘The Classics'
12 February 2019, Seminar Room SG2, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road *NB Different time and room

Salvatore Settis (Columbia/Pisa) - Re-Interdisciplinary Network

Translation as Performance
23 February 2019, Room G21, Faculty of Classics, Sidgwick Avenue. NB Different venue and day.

Caroline Vout, Caroline van Eck, Peter McMurray, Rebecca Lämmle, Renaud Gagné, Robin Osborne, Simon Goldhill, Sam Barrett, Sean Curran (Cambridge), Erika Fischer-Lichte (Berlin), Martin Revermann (Toronto), Ross Parry (Leicester) - Joint event Re-Interdisciplinary and Performance Networks

The Performer as Interpreter: an Embodied Double (Artist's talk)
27 February 2019, Judith E. Wilson Studio, Faculty of English, 9 West Road *NB Different venue and time today*

Raphael Sbrzesny (Bremen) - Re-Interdisciplinary Network

Technologies of Reproduction and the Craft of Activism
06 March 2019, Seminar Room SG2, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road

Annabelle Sreberny (SOAS),  Anne Alexander (CDH, CRASSH) - Performance Network (CIPN)

Call for papers: Redirecting the Potentials of the Digital Age
12 June 2019, Seminar Room SG2, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road

Deadline for submission Tuesday 30 April 2019 - Re-Interdisciplinary Network

Call for Papers. Tacit Engagement in the Digital Age.
26 June 2019, Seminar Room SG1, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road and Faculty of Music on 28 June

Deadline for submission: 22 March 2019