18 Mar 2004 All day CRASSH


8 March, 20 May, 8 July and 23 September 2004

Colloquia venue CRASSH Seminar Room

Interdisciplinary Design Workshops venue The Old Kitchens, Girton College

This seminar aims to stimulate debate about interdisciplinarity. It is inspired by recent moves both outside and within Cambridge to value collaboration as a special source of creativity, to forge alliances between cognate disciplines, to experiment across the boundaries of academic disciplines and the performing arts and to address diverse publics and non-academic interests. Desire for dialogue is not new: what is interesting about this moment in time is the institutional drive to embed such aspirations in new social forms.

Three such enterprises in Cambridge provide the immediate impetus. CRASSH (Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities) will sponsor the Colloquia; CGKP (Cambridge Genetics Knowledge Park) provides many of the substantive issues for debate; the NTAF (New Technology Arts Fellowships) offer a design model for getting from debate to deliverables.

Ownership ranges from belonging, possession and exclusion, to rights of disposal exercised in transactions, primordial claims on the products of creativity and property as the basis for profit. Four half-day Colloquia will address different practices of ownership across disciplines and across social contexts. Interdisciplinary Design Workshops attached to the Colloquia will treat each debate as raw material for modelling process and output.

Professor Marilyn Strathern, Department of Social Anthropology, Cambridge
General Notes on Colloquia
IDW: Please contact James Leach at: jgl20@cam.ac.uk


Paper-givers drawn mainly from practising interdisciplinarists; panellists drawn from those with an interest in CGKP/ the colloquia themes.


Three forms of 'talk': formal, semi-formal and informal, in two sessions. Each session: 2 x 20 min. papers followed by roundtable led by panel of 3-4; panellists have 10 min. to comment / give own views, then introduce questions for speakers and open the discussion.

Background Information

Commons and Borderlands: Working Papers on Interdisciplinarity. Accountability and the Flow of Knowledge (pub. by Sean Kingston Publishing) will be available from late February 2004. A collection of working papers by Marilyn Strathern, these offer some background to the sessions.

They are available at cost price (£5.00; retail £12.99) to those who come to the Colloquia. For fair trading purposes, the cost is included within the £10.00 registration fee; the collection will be sent automatically in advance to speakers and to all who register – you do not have to do anything. It would be possible to opt out of this scheme on notification to CRASSH. See: http://www.seankingston.co.uk/publishing.html

If you wish to If you wish to purchase the volume alone, the cost is £12.99 from CRASSH (limited stock) or the publishers.
Publication and future events

The sessions will be taped (with speakers' agreement), and the tapes deposited with CRASSH for consultation. No publication is planned from the series as such. However James Leach is organising a major interdisciplinary conference on Descriptions of Creativity at King's College, Cambridge, in July 2005 (publication to follow), for which some of the Colloquia and IDW sessions may be regarded as preliminary assays.


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