Welcome from the Director

Jan 9, 2024 | IAS Director, IAS News, Transformations (Issue 11)

Professor Alex Easton, Director, IAS

Welcome from the Director

Welcome to another edition of Transformations. We had another wonderful term here in the IAS with Fellows from all over the world, and high-profile exciting research projects. It’s been a pleasure to see an increasing range of activity types within the IAS too.

Last term we saw one of our Fellows lead a staged reading of her work in progress ‘Dido/Elissa’ with an all-female ensemble telling the story of the legendary Carthaginian Queen Dido. We were also delighted to host our first IAS art exhibition. Having converted a wall of our seminar room to an exhibition space, we saw artist Stephen Livingstone launch his exhibition ‘Seabird Necropsy’ linking to previous IAS project ‘Opportunities in Pollution’. This new space will host a regularly rotating series of art linked to IAS activities, with a new fund in place to support these activities. We also launched our first call for film screenings in the IAS related to topics of broad, and interdisciplinary, interest across Durham’s research community.

As well as these new activities within Cosin’s Hall, we are also seeing an increase in ‘walkshop’ activities. Our ‘Opportunities in Pollution’ project made use of these interdisciplinary walking workshops very successfully, and we have recently funded a PhD led project to lead an interdisciplinary walk along Hadrian’s Wall to use the environment as a stimulus for interdisciplinary discussions leading to a fuller understanding of relevant topics and challenges. We also introduced a walkshop for our Fellows at the start of last term, exploring the University’s ambitious and exciting biodiversity project as a way of both exploring the campus and making links between Fellows’ interests as we walk and talk within the environment that provides a new home for the Fellows. We hope these walkshop activities become a regular methodological approach within the IAS, and become another way to engage different parts of Durham’s community (University and city) in our work.

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