When the CRASSH conference competition panel decided on the winners for the 2020 – 2021 programme no one could have predicted that a pandemic was around the corner. One unintended upside of lockdown is that CRASSH has been able to grow its audience and reach by moving many of its events online.

Moving forward into next academic year, an online element will feature in most of the conferences we will hold. Furthermore, our conferences programme will be condensed across the Lent and Easter terms in 2021 to, hopefully, allow for some in-person interaction alongside online audiences.

On 14 and 15 January, Houses of Cards? The Rules and Institutions of Housing Illegality in Western Countries will kick off the 2021 programme, followed by Queering Authoritarianisms: Conflict, Resistance and Coloniality on 22 and 23 March. This event will bring together scholars and activists working on and campaigning against authoritarianisms and right-wing attacks on democracy with a queer perspective. Conference convenors Hakan Sandal-Wilson and Marcin Smietana told us:

We are looking forward to hearing from academics, activists, and academic activists who have been contemplating LGBTIQ+ mobilisation in authoritarian, undemocratic, and conflictual settings.

With Professor Jasbir Puar giving the keynote, and with diverse voices from different parts of the globe participating, our conference will bring about fruitful debates, productive tensions, and an environment in which we can learn from one another. In the workshops, for example, we will discuss the politics of writing amidst conflict. In panels, such as ‘decolonising sexualities’, we will explore the intertwined nature of politics, coloniality, and sexualities. All in all, we are thoroughly excited to be organising this conference!

Following on from that we will host Ships in the Proletarian Night: Contemporary Marxist Thought in France and Britain from 25 to 27 March, Politics and Ethics of Platform Labour: Learning from Lived Experiences on 13 and 14 April, and the Magic and Ecology: Symposium and Art Exhibition on 16 and 17 April, which will bring together historians, philosophers, and anthropologists of magic with environmental scientists, ecological thinkers, and practitioners of contemporary magical techniques in a cauldron of true interdisciplinarity!

To finish off Lent term, the Social Power and Mental Health: Evolving Research Through Lived Experience conference on 21 and 22 April, will bring to a close a series of thought-provoking online conversations, panel discussions, and an online exhibition.

Easter term starts with Kierkegaard in France on 5 and 6 of May, looking at key figures in the history of Danish philosopher Kierkegaard’s reception in France from the 1930s to the present day. Following on swiftly is Dressing a Picture: Reimagining the Court Portrait 1500 – 1800 on 7 May, which aims to contribute to the wider scholarly debate on the significance of early modern portraiture as pivotal sources for numerous branches of historical research beyond art history. Convenors Ana Howie and Alessandro Nicola Malusà explain:

Eleanor Lambert once stated that ‘Fashion; it’s history in fabric’. Our conference will situate dress and fashion within an early modern context and will explore the ways in which society and cultural practices shaped what people wore and how it was represented in portraiture.

Other events in Lent term will focus on The Social Life of Care on 14 and 15 May, and The Post-Windrush Generation: Black British Voices of Resistance on 21 and 22 May; a timely and pathbreaking event that will explore what it really means to be black in Britain, providing a space for leading black commentators to address a range of core themes including identity, belonging, recognition and resistance. Convenor Isabelle Higgins told us:

I am really excited to hear from such an important group of Black scholars and performers who are active in the UK today. By focusing on their work and insights, as well as the wider experiences of the Post-Windrush generation, I hope we’ll create a significant opportunity for students in Cambridge to learn about the history of race relations in the UK and also consider important questions about Black British identity, belonging and resistance. We also hope that the conference will set into motion a series of initiatives that engage with these timely and pressing themes in the longer term.

On 11 and 12 June Late Antiquity’s Library: Re-assessing the Classical Canon in the Age of Synesius will conclude our Lent term conferences, with Anti-Colonial Political Thought and Tactics and Praxis: Creativity, Pleasure and Ethics in Academic Work taking place in the summer, on 1 and 2 July.

For full details about any of these events and to find out about applying for funding for a conference, visit our conferences page. For updates or changes to our conference programme, please subscribe to our weekly Newsletter.



Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk