UBIAS conference on scientific and academic knowledge held in Vancouver
The first academic conference of the global network of University-Based Institutes for Advanced Studies (UBIAS), which was founded on FRIAS’s initiative in Freiburg in 2010, took place at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, from 17th–19th September 2013. Entitled "Scientific and Academic Knowledge", the event saw speakers from five continents make a diverse range of contributions to the theme of cultures of knowledge in the humanities, social and natural sciences and engineering. >> Conference program
The "Conceptions of Knowledge in the Humanities" panel discussion was particularly well received. Led by FRIAS Speaker Werner Frick, it began with three former fellows of the School of Language & Literature discussing aspects of interdisciplinary work in the humanities and cultural studies: The philosopher Richard Eldridge (Swarthmore) spoke about "Cultural Studies and Literary Imagination" from the point of view of contemporary aesthetics, the literary scholar Olav Krämer (Freiburg) presented the topic of "Interdisciplinarity and the Search for Epistemic Foundations in Literary Studies", while in a presentation with the poignant title "Interdilettantism", the knowledge historian Andrea Albrecht (Stuttgart) made succinct observations on disciplinary, and often merely metaphorical, ideas exchanged in the humanities and natural sciences. The conference was efficiently organised by its Canadian hosts and was an impressive testament to the strengths of the UBIAS network, which is planning to run this new academic event around once every two years. The next conference is expected to take place at the newly formed IAS at the University of Birmingham, Great Britain, in 2015.
During the conference, FRIAS Speaker Werner Frick and Head Administrator Carsten Dose took part in discussions to plan the further expansion of the UBIAS network. These focused in particular on the inclusion of new member institutes from Europe and Latin America as well as preparations for the network’s first Intercontinental Summer Academy, which is set to be organised by the institutes in São Paulo, Brazil, and Nagoya, Japan, in 2014 and 2015.