25 Feb 2011 9:30am - 2:00pm CRASSH


Placing value beyond the fiscal in the arts and humanities



Rowan Boyson (King's  College, University of Cambridge)
Jenny Chamarette  (Department of French, University of Cambridge)
Joanna Craigwood (Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge)
Leo Mellor (Faculty of English, University of Cambridge)
Zoe Svendsen (Faculty of English, University of Cambridge)


Speakers and respondents include:

Peter de Bolla (Professor of English Literature, University of Cambridge)
Georgina Born (Professor of Music and Anthropology, University of Oxford)
Fenella Cannell (Reader in  Social Anthropology, London School of Economics)
Stefan Collini (Professor of English Literature and Intellectual History, University of Cambridge)
Martin Crowley (Reader in Modern French Thought and Culture, University of Cambridge)
Richard Drayton (Professor of Imperial History, King’s College London)
Raymond Geuss (Professor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge)
Jen Harvie (Professor of Contemporary Theatre and Performance, Queen Mary University of London)
Alan Hughes (Professor of Enterprise Studies and Director of the Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge)
Mary Jacobus (Professor of English and Director of CRASSH, University of Cambridge)
Michael Kenny (Professor of Politics, University of Sheffield)
Julia Swindells (Professor of English, Anglia Ruskin University)
Simon Szreter  (Professor of History and Public Policy, University of Cambridge)

The [Browne] report proposes a huge, almost unimaginable, de facto cut in investment in higher education […] What is at stake is whether universities in the future are to be thought of as having a public cultural role partly sustained by public support, or whether we move further towards redefining them in terms of a purely economistic calculation of value and a wholly individualistic conception of ‘consumer satisfaction’. Stefan Collini, LRB

The current reforms to education suggest that it is no longer self-evident that universities should be funded on the basis of being significant cultural institutions, existing for the public good. This event seeks to articulate why and how the arts and humanities have been historically understood to matter, and how the symbiotic structure of teaching, research and practice enable universities to have an extraordinary cultural reach.

Over the course of one morning, ten eminent speakers from across the Arts and Humanities will each offer a seven-minute perspective on their relationship to the Arts and Humanities, both professionally and personally. The event will be introduced by Professor Michael Kenny, recent Visiting Fellow at CRASSH, whose research – What are Universities for? Interrogating the Assumptions of Current and Future Higher Education Policy in the UK – will inform our debate.

By encouraging broad-scale discussion from a wide range of speakers, this event aims to build a picture of a cultural system – university research and arts practice – from the inside. This event will raise awareness of the diversity and quality of human endeavour enabled by the Arts and Humanities, together with the exceptional innovations in this field and the consequences that reach far outside it. The cumulative picture built up by each of the seven-minute talks will explore the relationship between the activities of the Arts and Humanities and other areas of understanding, knowledge and interaction in human life. Ultimately the event aims to produce a map of values, equipping us to understand more clearly what will happen if these subjects become subject to the market.

The Programme is available by clicking on the link on the right.


Contact for administrative enquiries





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