Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH)

Link to project
Director: 
Mary Jacobus (Acting Director 2009-10: Andrew Webber)
Contact for Network activities: 
Host institution: 
University of Cambridge
About the centre:

CRASSH was founded in 2001, with the aim of creating a new focus for disciplinary innovation and, in particular, interdisciplinary dialogues across the full spectrum of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. In 2011, the Centre will move into a purpose-built new building on the University's main Humanities site. We support the work of scholars at all career levels, from graduate researchers onwards, and encourage interaction across those levels. CRASSH is now known nationally and internationally as a centre of excellence for such work.

The core of the Centre’s activities lies in three types of programme: conferences and workshops, graduate-faculty groups, and visiting and early career fellows. The range of work carried out through these is huge, in historical, geographical, and conceptual terms. Some alignment of activity is provided through the biennial themes (currently ‘The Future University’) and by funded projects (e.g. the recently completed AHRC China network, or the current Mellon Sawyer seminars on risk and uncertainty).

Strategic goals for the next five years include the further development of digital humanities, a stronger emphasis on questions of creativity and performance (with regular art and screen media events), and mutual engagement with the interests of the other tenants of our new building (five regional centres, the Department of Politics and International Studies, and Development Studies) through a focus on regional and trans-regional cultures and politics. In his talk for the CRASSH ‘Changing the Humanities’ conference in July 2009, Homi Bhabha said that institutions like CRASSH should not so much be centres as crossroads, places of encounter and transaction, and this matches our aspirations for future developments - not least in the digital domain.

Services provided: 
CRASSH supports a digital user network, coordinated by a steering group. It hosts regular conference and workshop events in the broad area of digital humanities. It liaises actively with digital service providers in Cambridge (principally CARET and the University Library) and is a member of a number of national and international consortia and networks in e-humanities.