9 Oct 2018 12:00pm - 2:00pm Room SG2, Alison Richard Building, Sidgwick Site


This a closed workshop open only to applicants who have successfully applied to participate.


Course Directors
Philippe Descola (Professor of Anthropology, Collège de France)
Renaud Gagné (Reader in Classics, Cambridge)

CRASSH/MELLON Early Career Workshop Series: Comparatism 

Every society uses comparison. When comparison becomes a self-conscious and theoretically self-reflective practice, we have comparatism. Many academics are concerned with the practice and methods of comparison; and the need for a cognitively robust relativism is an integral part of a mature historical self-placement.

Comparatism 2: Territory and Cosmology

This course will look at how representations and experiences of local bounded space interact with conceptions of the world as a whole in different cultures at different times. Texts, images, rituals, architecture and/or topographical configurations from specific case studies will be used to open various perspectives on this question. The course will set such individual analyses in a broader comparative frame to explore the social, cultural and political contexts and consequences of constructing territory with cosmology. Early career scholars are invited to apply to participate in what will be eight weekly seminars of two hours each. Participants will be expected to present material for discussion. Early career academics are defined as graduates who are in their third year and beyond, post-docs, junior research fellows, or any academic within seven years of their PhD. Applicants are welcome from any department or faculty in the university, especially from those with an interest in the problems of comparative methodology.

Tuesdays 12.00-2.00pm starting on Tuesday 9 October until Tuesday 27 November in room SG2 in the Alison Richard Building, where CRASSH is located.

To see the course schedule please click on the tab on this page. There are still places available so If you are interested in participating please contact Renaud Gagné and Phiippe Descola.


This is the second series of early career workshops on Comparatism. The first series, Practices and Theories of Writing, was held in Lent Term 2018.

For administrative queries please contact Michelle Maciejewska.

Course Schedule

October 9

October 16
Philippe Descola
“Humans and nonhumans sharing worlds: an Amazonian case”

October 23

Nicholas Lackenby
“Who we are and whose we are: rootedness and rightness amongst Serbian Orthodox Christians”

Carlotta Santini
“Form and Cosmology: Frobenius and Warburg on the Ife Table Model”

October 30
Aaron Kachuk
“Cosmos and Cubiculum: Virgil, Augustus, and the Cult of Vesta”

Elizabeth Turk
“From homeland to state spirit: modernist cosmopolitics and territorialized state reverence in post-Soviet Mongolia”

November 6
Riamsara Kuyakanon Knapp
“Connectivities to transcend territories and cosmologies? Trans-territorial pilgrimage in in far western Nepal”

Chloe Nahum-Claudel
“The Diplomatic Affordances of Circular Space”

November 13
Caroline Humphrey
“Are women’s landscapes different from men’s?”

Lea Niccolai
“The space of reason: Neoplatonic mappings of the world”

November 20
Maya Feile Tomes
“The circle and the sphere: representing world space from antiquity to America”

Selena Wisnom
“The world according to Enūma eliš: an unusual Babylonian account of creation”

November 27
Renaud Gagné
“Territory, Trees and Cosmos: Archaic Delphi”


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