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Simon Goldhill (Professor in Greek Literature and Culture and Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge) has been appointed as CRASSH Director from October 2011.

CRASSH offers a unique opportunity for the highest  to fostering interdisciplinary work. The faculties and departments in Cambridge produce world­class research, but much of the most interesting developments these days take place between established disciplines. It is extremely hard to do interdisciplinary work well. It needs experts in disciplines who are prepared to ask new questions, learn from new areas, and explore new techniques and approaches. Good interdisciplinary work needs the right conditions – time, space, intellectual frameworks – to succeed. CRASSH has the experience to create the forums  developed, tested and explored. From reading groups to seminars to new teaching programmes to work­in­progress sessions to full­scale research projects and conferences, CRASSH sponsors and supports around 300 events a year. CRASSH is instrumental in helping develop some of the most exciting research projects in Cambridge.

Second, CRASSH is committed to research that respects the explorative and provisional nature of new questions, techniques and areas. We like the work completed in  But unlike many funding bodies we recognise that the best work does not necessarily follow a tightly prescriptive agenda, nor will it necessarily have an immediate impact or easily measurable output. We are delighted to be able to support early career fellows and visiting fellows who need a space to develop their ideas freely, as we support projects which are opening new areas rather than following well­ worn paths to expected results. There is a risk – a risk worth carefully recognising and supporting – in the best research.

Finally, in the coming years as director I hope also to increase the number and scope of the long­term projects in CRASSH. The majority of our projects run for one or two  for longer than this, because it seems to me that the best interdisciplinary work needs a good team collaborating over an extended period. A longer period of working together not only produces the trust necessary for collaboration with risk, but also allows for a far fuller investigation of the key issues of any project.

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Ian Donaldson (2001­3)

John Morrill (Deputy Director 2001­4)

Ludmilla Jordanova (2003­5)

Mary Jacobus (2005­11)

Andrew Webber (Acting Director 2009­10)

Simon Goldhill (2011­)


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