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Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities

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Established  2001 (2001)
Director  Simon Goldhill
Founded  2001
Phone  +44 1223 766886
Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities
Location  Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Campus  Sidgwick Site, Cambridge
Affiliations  University of Cambridge
Address  7 West Rd, Cambridge CB3 9DP, UK

The Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) is an interdisciplinary research centre within the University of Cambridge for collaboration between researchers from the arts, social sciences and humanities. The Centre is independent of any university department but works with both the School of Arts and Humanities, and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.


Founded in 2001, CRASSH celebrated its 10th anniversary by welcoming professor Simon Goldhill as its new director and moving from Mill Lane, to the Alison Richard Building at 7 West Road, as well as inaugurating a new series of public lectures, which in 2011 were on The Idea of the University and in 2012 Understanding Society.

New Building: 7 West Road

At beginning of 2012, CRASSH moved into the new Alison Richard building at the West Road gateway to the University’s Sidgwick Site, the main base for humanities and social science teaching and research at Cambridge. The building was designed by Nicholas Hare Architects and received a commendation at the 2013 Civic Trust Awards. The move into 7 West Road provides in-house space for larger conferences, but also creates greater interaction with old and new constituencies. The Centre’s relocation puts CRASSH alongside the major regional studies centres and POLIS, the Department of Politics and International Studies. The building is also home to Edmund de Waal's first piece of public sculpture, A Local History, a commission of three vitrines filled with porcelain and sunk into the pavement outside the building.


  • Ian Donaldson 2001-3
  • Deputy Director John Morrill 2001-4
  • Ludmilla Jordanova 2003-5
  • Mary Jacobus 2005-11
  • Andrew Webber Sabbatical Director 2009-10
  • Simon Goldhill 2011-
  • Management committee

  • Ash Amin FBA (1931 Chair in Geography, Department of Geography)
  • Graeme Barker (Disney Professor of Archaeology; Head, Department of Archaeology; Director, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research)
  • William Arthur Brown (Montague Burton Professor of Industrial Relations, Faculty of Economics; Chair, School of Humanities and Social Sciences; Master, Darwin College)
  • Tim Crane (Knightbridge Professor of Philosophy, Faculty of Philosophy)
  • Simon Franklin (Professor, Department of Slavonic Studies; Chair, School of Arts and Humanities)
  • Simon Goldhill (Professor in Greek Literature and Culture, Faculty of Classics; Director, CRASSH 2011-)
  • Caroline Humphrey (Sigrid Rausing Professor of Collaborative Anthropology, Department of Social Anthropology; Fellow of the British Academy)
  • Hans van de Ven (Professor of Modern Chinese History, Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies)
  • Megan Vaughan (Smuts Professor of Commonwealth History, Faculty of History; Director, Centre of African Studies; Fellow of the British Academy)
  • Andrew Webber (Professor of Modern German and Comparative Culture, Department of German)
  • Advisory board

  • Danielle Allen (UPS Foundation Professor, Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton)
  • Homi Bhabha (Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of English and American Literature and Language; Director, The Humanities Center, Harvard University)
  • Geoffrey Crossick (Former Vice-Chancellor, University of London)
  • Lorraine Daston (Director, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin)
  • David Edgerton (Professor of the History of Science and Technology, Imperial College, London)
  • Conor Gearty (Professor of Law, London School of Economics)
  • Maarten Hajer (Professor of Public Policy, University of Amsterdam)
  • Baroness Onora O’Neill of Bengrave (House of Lords)
  • Deborah Posel (Director, Wits Institute for Economic & Social Research)
  • Richard Sennett (Professor of Sociology, London School of Economics and NYU)
  • Sally Shuttleworth (Professorial Fellow in English, Head of Humanities, Oxford)
  • Quentin Skinner (Barber Beaumont Professor of the Humanities, Queen Mary, University of London)
  • Dame Marilyn Strathern (Professor of Anthropology)
  • Deborah Swallow (Marit Rausing Director, Courtauld Institute, London)
  • Lord Wilson of Dinton (Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge)
  • Major research projects

    CRASSH is home to numerous major, long-term research projects. The cluster of Early Modern related projects has ensured that CRASSH is one of the largest centres for Early Modern Studies in Europe.

  • Bible and Antiquity in 19th-Century Culture, 2012–17
  • Cambridge Centre for Digital Knowledge, 2014–17
  • Technology and Democracy, 2014–17
  • The Concept Lab, 2014–17
  • Cambridge Digital Humanities Strategic Network, 2011–14
  • Conspiracy & Democracy, 2013–17
  • Conversions
  • Crossroads of Knowledge in Early Modern England: the Place of Literature, 2014–19
  • Genius Before Romanticism: Ingenuity in Early Modern Art and Science, 2014–19
  • Limits of the Numerical, 2015–18
  • Making Visible: The visual and graphic practices of the early Royal Society, 2015-2019
  • Mellon Centre for Disciplinary Innovation, 2011–15
  • Seeing Things: Early Modern Visual and Material Culture
  • Centre for the Study of Existential Risk
  • The History of Cross-Cultural Comparatism
  • Visual Representations of the Third Plague Pandemic
  • Graduate/faculty research groups

    The graduate/ faculty programme supports students and faculty working together around shared interdisciplinary research interests. The groups act as a barometer for disciplinary development and curriculum change. This programme is funded by the Isaac Newton Trust and the Andrew W Mellon.


    The conference support programme functions as a showcase for arts, social sciences and humanities research in action. It provides the opportunity for Cambridge scholars to broker local and international collaborations. Recent and upcoming conferences include The Future University, Migration in Legal and Political Theory, Art, Memory and Dictatorship in Latin America, Languages of Citizenship in Translation, Still Architecture and Medieval Church Screens.

    Fellowships and postdoctoral researchers

    The Centre offers a number of programmes to bring scholars from all over the world to CRASSH: the fellowship schemes allow a community of scholars – from postdoctoral and early career researchers to more established visiting fellows – to interact in an interdisciplinary research environment.

    Media and outreach

    The Centre reaches out globally through its Facebook site and through making available recordings of an increasing number of events online, in our Media Gallery and via the Cambridge YouTube and iTunesU channels:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Media Gallery
  • University of Cambridge Streaming Media Service
  • YouTube
  • Press Clippings

  • Edmund de Waal's commission 'A Local History'
  • Times Higher Education: DH23 digital tools programme
  • Former director Mary Jacobus awarded CBE
  • Understanding Society
  • Financial Times: The Diary: Edmund de Waal
  • Leverhulme Trust: Conspiracy and Democracy
  • Guardian: What are universities for?
  • Humanitas Visiting Professor in Media: Manuel Castells
  • Research Horizons
  • How to say ‘I love you’ in Greenlandic
  • Humanitas Visiting Professorship in Chamber Music: Professor Alfred Brendel
  • The Arts and Humanities: Endangered Species?
  • Climate Histories
  • Digital Diasporas: how migrant communities are embracing new media
  • References

    Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities Wikipedia

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