Our research networks will bring you exciting and thought-provoking events and activities for the coming academic year. While we hope that in-person events will be possible again, for the moment events will take place online in various formats, from seminars, talks to podcasts and online reading groups. Find out more about CRASSH research networks.
Indigenous Studies Discussion Group (ISDG)
The Indigenous Studies Discussion Group at the University of Cambridge is a graduate-led network that aims to (1) promote scholarship by and about Indigenous Peoples across disciplines and spaces to be a regular feature of the intellectual life of Cambridge and (2) promote the sharing and discussion of insights and ideas pertaining to Indigenous studies across peoples, disciplines, times and geographies.
Read the ISDG introductory blog.
Global Conversations Towards Queer Social Justice
In the research network ‘Global Conversations Towards Queer Social Justice’ we aim to locate queer subjects and subjectivities at the very heart of ‘social justice’ to re-think justice, and its transnational aspects through creative methods and methodologies. We take a broad approach to the notion of ‘social justice’, which we understand as including racial justice, climate justice, and human engagements with the more-than-human world. By bringing together artists, activists, and scholars to emphasise the importance of cross-disciplinary exchanges, and by attending to the discomfort these exchanges may bring about, we aim to expand our discussions around the ways in which conventional research methods render invisible certain subjects or beings, and dislocate them from the discussions around social justice. Our experience in thinking about queer approaches to social justice through an interdisciplinary and transnational perspective has made it clear to us that these conversations do not only broaden our horizons around theories of justice but also have significant impact on the lived experience of social (in)justice.
Read the Global Conversations Towards Queer Social Justice introductory blog.
Grammars of Marriage and Desire (GoMAD)
In an uncertain world, collaborations and companionships offer much comfort and nourishment. The institution of marriage has been a central way communities produce continuity. Castes, clans, and dynasties, all need marriages to ease the transference of power and property across generations. Most religious community show a preference for intermarriage to ensure faiths are maintained. All this work to ensure kinship remains in tension with desires, which always have the potential to be unruly. The existing structures -or grammars as we are terming them- of kinship or desire, often appear exclusionary, and oppressive, if not downright violent. Are these grammars capable of ensuring our well-being, or that of the world, during this time of global pandemic? We are trying to think of practises of managing desires and kin as they relate to the climate crisis, increasing mental health issues, and an overarching crisis of care. The pandemic has left humanity weakened by furthering the atomisation of the individual. In this context, we are faced with a dilemma. On the one hand, the institution of marriage has historically provided the grammars of kinship and community. On the other hand, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to expose its potential for violence, more than ever before. There has never been a greater need to form solidarities and networks. Thus, taking one of the oldest institutions under renewed reflection seems appropriate.
Read the GoMAD introductory blog.
Hidden Epidemics and Epidemiological Obfuscation
Epidemiological processes ostensibly exist to reveal and ascribe features to burdens of disease at a population level. However, as the designated arbiters of visibility in public health, epidemiological processes are well placed to also obscure and hide burdens of disease.
Epidemiological obfuscation can occur in many forms. At times it is overt, for example when the authoritative trappings of epidemiology (e.g., graphs, charts and spreadsheets) are wielded to deny the existence of an apparent burden of disease, be it a cholera outbreak in a politically sensitive part of Ethiopia, a cluster of cases of a rare cancer near a chemical waste plant in the United States, or a TB epidemic in residential schools in Canada. More often though, it appears that epidemiological obfuscation is subtle and unconscious. It comes about from choices baked into the daily practices of epidemiologists, modellers, and public health policy makers and occurs as part of larger material and political landscapes and in conjunction with other clinical, laboratory and, data collection processes. Understanding the various forms and circumstances of epidemiological obfuscation has important implications for biosecurity and social justice.
‘Hidden Epidemics’ is an interdisciplinary research network interested in characterising processes of epidemiological obfuscation and the situations in which they occur.
Read the Hidden Epidemics introductory blog.
Archives of the Disappeared: Discipline and Method Amidst Ruin
‘Archives of the Disappeared’ is an interdisciplinary research initiative for the study and documentation of communities, social movements, spaces, lifeworlds, literatures and cultures that have been destroyed through acts of political repression and mass violence. Through a reading group, seminars and masterclasses, as well as lectures by scholars, artists, archivists, and community activists, the initiative will explore the question of ‘archive’ in the context of annihilation.
In War’s Wake: Mobility, Belonging, and Becoming in the Aftermath of Urban Conflict
The ‘In War’s Wake’ Research Network investigates the aftermath of war in cities. This is conceived heuristically as a constellation of the official and unofficial workings of urban conflict and political violence. Thinking generatively from and across South America, the Middle East, Eastern Africa, and the ‘Black Mediterranean’, we aim to examine how political violence reshapes contemporary urban lives, imaginations of urban futures, and experiences of movement, citizenship, and hope. How are legacies of violence inscribed into the urban space and how are they elided? How does urban violence exceed conceptions of the ‘post-conflict’ and disrupt naïve temporalities of a ‘before’ and an ‘after’ war? We will approach these questions through the prism of mobility, belonging, and becoming. The Research Network seeks to generate important provocations, trans-national and multi-lingual dialogues, and cross-disciplinary intersections that contribute to discussions about political violence, urban studies, and post-conflict reconstruction among academics, activists, and artists.
Slavery and Freedom: Material and Visual Histories
‘Slavery & Freedom: Material and Visual Histories’ is an interdisciplinary research network that focuses on connecting researchers working on transnational histories of enslavement, resistance, abolition, and the afterlives of transatlantic slavery. It brings together researchers from many fields, including archaeology, history, geology, art history, archival studies, natural history, and material science who will meet for workshops to share methodologies and resources, and develop multidisciplinary frameworks of interpreting and understanding objects.