The Institute of Advanced Study is one of Durham University’s flagship interdisciplinary research institutes. The Institute aims to build research capacity, realise potential, and meet the challenges of a changing world by bringing together world leading scholars and practitioners from all disciplines to work with Durham colleagues on collaborative projects of major intellectual, scientific, political and practical significance.
Up to 20, three-month fellowships are available (October-December and January-March) each year. Applicants may be from any academic discipline or professional background involving research, and they may come from anywhere in the world (though preference is given to International applicants). IAS Fellowships include an honorarium, funds for travel, accommodation, and costs associated with replacement teaching or loss of salary (where appropriate).
Durham offers Fellows time and freedom to think, away from the demands of their everyday professional lives. By recruiting Fellows from all around the world, the IAS also fosters an exciting intellectual environment in which thinkers from diverse cultural and disciplinary backgrounds can exchange ideas. Fellows will engage and forge strong links with at least one department at Durham, and are given the opportunity to deliver papers in many different settings.
The Institute of Advanced Study (IAS) was launched in October 2006 to mark the 175th anniversary of the foundation of Durham University. The IAS is a prestigious, ideas-based Institute with global reach. The IAS brings together world-leading researchers from all disciplines to work with Durham colleagues on collaborative projects of major intellectual, scientific, political and practical significance. At least twenty visiting IAS Fellows will come to Durham each year to work with its scholars to spark new investigations, set tomorrow's agenda and participate in a varied programme of activities. The IAS aims to build research capacity, realise potential, and meet the challenges of a changing world.
Each year, the Institute supports four ambitious interdisciplinary projects tackling major research questions. It is advantageous if the interests and proposed activities of applicants complement the 2020/21 research projects sponsored by the IAS (see: www.dur.ac.uk/ias/themes/202021projects). Applicants can therefore apply to join a project team during the Fellowship period (see pro forma at the end). However, fellowship applicants can also apply to join Durham colleagues in other collaborative projects, to develop ground-breaking ideas, explore interdisciplinary synergies and develop new programmes of research.
It is a condition of the Fellowship that a research collaboration is undertaken.
Cognitive research on dreams has experienced a new wave of interest in recent years. The increasing amount of phenomenological and neuroscientific data about dreaming, however, is provoking a number of questions about the experiential qualities of dreams and the potential insights they might disclose for larger issues such as consciousness, the self, social cognition, and our relationship with reality. How does our enactive and cognitive experience of reality permeate into dreams and vice-versa? What makes dreams immersive and world-like experiences? How can dreams inform, and be informed by, models of imaginary or hallucinatory liminal states? What is the specific narrative texture (or lack of narrativity) in dreams?…..
The project aims to explore how memory is represented in a variety of situations. Since the cognitive revolution of the 1960s memory has been considered as the encoding, storage and retrieval of information. Traditional ideas have considered memory in individuals to be stored as a representation of a set of features within the brain. However, recent ideas have moved our understanding to include elements of extended cognition. For example, embodied cognition suggests that the representation of a memory includes actions and bodily movements (such as leaning backwards when remembering something from the past). The project aims to explore how these ideas of extended cognition can seek to explain memory at an individual level. This will include understanding the representation of information at a cellular level through to collaborative memory when memory can be shared between individuals. As well as considering how we might best explain memory representations within an individual we will then consider whether these same mechanisms can be used to understand the storage of information within a society and the transfer of information between individuals and across generations. Finally, the insights gleaned from this interdisciplinary project will be used to better understand memory within English Studies…..
This interdisciplinary project examines the negotiation of rights around common resources by involving archaeologists, lawyers, historians, geographers in a series of case studies taken from around the world. By drawing on a variety of stakeholders including local communities and administrative authorities such as National Parks and County Councils (or their equivalents), it compares present and past and between regions under four key headings:
- landscapes of memory: stratified memories of place-names, places and actions through which local people built their communities and appropriated their space, as documented in historical testimonies related to conflicts over access rights;
- landscapes of practice: built up through long-term agro-forestry-pastoral practices whose reconstruction is possible using the methodologies of archaeology and environmental archaeology;urban commons through the heterogenous practices of appropriation and revitalisation of marginal spaces;
- landscapes of rights: stratified acts of possession through which social relationshipsare materialised as the result of negotiation between individuals, local communities, seigneurial, colonial, imperial or state powers;
- landscapes as heritage: common land is often rightly recognised as having natural and cultural value, sometimes without much consideration of its historical dimension. The project investigators want to explore this dimension in particular and involve local communities in this research…..