2 Mar 2015 5:00pm - 7:00pm Room SG1, Alison Richard Building


Professor Patrick Baert (Sociology, Cambridge)     
Dr Marcus Morgan (
Sociology, Cambridge)  
Jonas Tinius (Socail Anthropology, Cambridge)                           
Chair: Floris Schuiling (Music, Cambridge)


What is the relation between intellectual life and performance? What does it mean to speak about the performance or the performativity of intellectuals and experts? How does a concern for these ‘dramas of ideas’ intersect with the positioning of intellectuals in the public sphere? If we understand performance as a form of ‘enacting knowledge’, how does this shed new light on what we understand as knowledge-production and therefore intellectual life?


Patrick Baert is Professor of Social Theory at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Selywn College.  His more recent work lies at the intersection of social theory, the sociology of intellectuals and intellectual history. He has developed a new theoretical perspective for studying intellectuals, based on insights from positioning theory and cultural sociology.  One of his case-studies centres round Sartre’s sudden celebrity status in the 1940s in France. The other case-study, developed with Marcus Morgan, deals with the introduction of structuralism (or what was labelled as structuralism) in the study of English at Cambridge. This year, two books will come out: The Existentialist Moment; Sartre’s Rise as a Public Intellectual (Polity 2015) and (co-authored with Marcus Morgan) Conflict in the Academy; A Study in the Sociology of Intellectuals  (Palgrave 2015).

Marcus Morgan is a Research Associate in the Sociology Department at Cambridge, working on the circulation of ideas within the postwar social sciences and humanities as part of a collaborative EC-funded project. He has recently co-authored Conflict in the Academy with Prof Patrick Baert, and is currently working on a book in defence of the role humanism within the social sciences. He is a Fellow of Murray Edwards College, Cambridge.

Jonas Tinius is a PhD Candidate in the Division of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge and a fellow at the theatre collection, Institute for Media Culture and Theatre, University of Cologne. His fieldwork in Berlin and Germany’s postindustrial Ruhr valley addresses questions of creative labour, aesthetic traditions, and patronage in performing arts institutions. He is co-convenor of the Cambridge Interdisciplinary Performance Network at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities (CRASSH) in Cambridge (with Dr Clare Foster) and of the Anthropologies of Art (A/A) Network (with Dr Alex Flynn). Forthcoming with Palgrave Macmillan (May 2015): Anthropology, Theatre, and Development: The Transformative Potential of Performance (with Alex Flynn).

Floris Schuiling was trained as a musicologist and philosopher at Utrecht University and is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Cambridge. His PhD investigates the repertoire of Amsterdam-based improvising collective ICP Orchestra as a source of creativity in improvised performance. Schuiling’s further research interests explore the use of diverse musical notations in different genres more widely, and what this means for common conceptions of language, orality and literacy in music as well as anthropological theory.



Open to all.  No registration required

Part of the Cambridge Interdisciplinary Performance Network (CIPN), series

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