CRASSH is the humanities version of the collider found in particle physics, or even, to borrow a word coined by James Joyce, a ‘colliderscope’, generating new knowledge and insights from the concussion of different ways of thinking. (Steven Connor, CRASSH Director 2018-2022)
Transformative ideas, innovative thinking, and the freedom of enquiry that gives rise to them lie at the heart of Cambridge’s excellence. But in order to take place and take root – to synthesise with existing scholarship and ensure that the ways in which knowledge is produced remain alive to the present – academic innovation needs nurturing. Indeed, at a time of stunningly rapid change on a global scale, there is a pressing need for fresh approaches that advance and transcend the boundaries of discipline.
It is clear that none of the really difficult questions that face us can be dealt with satisfactorily using the resources of just one discipline. Not only this, there are very few of the questions with which individual disciplines have concerned themselves that cannot be enlivened by other perspectives. CRASSH exists to initiate and foster such transactions between different forms of expertise and ways of thinking, deepening connections both within Cambridge and between Cambridge and the world more generally.