Ideas

Explore firsthand accounts of research and questions posed by IAS scientists and scholars. From art history to string theory, from moral anthropology to the long-term fate of the universe, contributions span the last decade to the research of today.

Carissa Harris

In 2020–21, Carissa M. Harris, Member in the School of Historical Studies and Associate Professor at Temple University, is exploring how anger became feminized in the late medieval English popular...

Jewish-Muslim Intellectual History Entangled: Textual Materials from the Firkovitch Collection, Saint Petersburg, edited by Camilla Adang, Bruno Chiesa, Omar Hamdan,...

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The conversion of Hagia Sophia, then the greatest church of Christianity, into a mosque in 1453 by Mehmet the Conqueror was not a historical paradox. Over the centuries, places of worship often...

Myles Jackson

Myles W. Jackson, Professor in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study, is a historian of science who explores the intersection between science, technology, music, history, and society. His

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Cord Whitaker

Cord Whitaker, Friends of the Institute for Advanced Study Member in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study, is researching nineteenth- and twentieth-

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"Plague in an Ancient City" by Michael Sweerts

Angelos Chaniotis is Professor of Ancient History and Classics in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute of Advanced Study. His research encompasses the social, cultural, religious, and economic history of the

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raised fist

Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a professor of History and Italian Studies at NYU, while a Member in the School of Historical Studies this spring, has been working on a book entitled Strongmen:

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Nicola Di Cosmo

Nicola Di Cosmo is Luce Foundation Professor in East Asian Studies in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study. A scholar of China and inner Asia from

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In the summer of 430 B.C.E., a ship from Egypt arrived in Piraeus with an uninvited guest onboard: the "plague." The symptoms of this yet-to-be-identified disease—hypotheses range from typhoid fever to viral hemorrhagic fever—are described by the...

Suzanne Akbari

On December 4, 2019, Suzanne Conklin Akbari, Professor in the School of Historical Studies, gave the talk "What Is the Value of the Humanities? How We Read (and Write) Today," examining how we engage with literature...

Social Science

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By Alondra Nelson

Genetics is today engaged in practices of identity formation, in philanthropy and socioeconomic development projects, as corroborating evidence in civil litigation and historical debates, and elsewhere. 

Ideas

“We feel strongly that the spirit characteristic of America at its noblest, above all the pursuit of higher learning, cannot admit of any conditions as to personnel other than those designed to promote the objects for which this institution is established, and particularly with no regard whatever to accidents of race, creed, or sex.”

Social Science

By Ruha Benjamin

Like everyone who lives in a heavily policed neighborhood, I grew up with a keen sense of being watched. Family, friends, and neighbors—all of us caught up in a carceral web, in which other people’s safety and freedom are predicated on our containment.

Natural Sciences

By Edward Witten

Much of the theory of knots is best understood in the framework of 20th- and 21st-century developments in quantum physics. In other words, what really fascinates me are not the knots per se but the connections between the knots and quantum physics.

Historical Studies

On researching the dynamics of race-making and the value of the Middle Ages to the work of racial justice

Mathematics

By Matthew Kahle

In hindsight, it is strange that the Rubik’s Cube ever became so popular considering how hard it is. 

By Monica H. Green

The Institute is a remarkably modest place. Like all Members, I was provided a lovely apartment, a simple office (with computer), access to libraries, lunch in the dining hall, tea in the afternoon. So how does new knowledge come out of such a simple mix? 

Video

By Sara Seager

A 2013 talk by past Long-term Member Sara Seager on her continuing search for expolanetary lifeforms.

Historical Studies

By W. Anthony Sheppard

When I arrived at the Institute, I thought I knew exactly what I would accomplish as a Member in the School of Historical Studies… However, through a chance encounter with a nineteenth-century musical artifact, my carefully crafted research schedule was completely derailed.

Video

By George Dyson

In 1916, social theorist Thorstein Veblen called for the post-war institution of “academic houses of refuge . . . where teachers and students of all nationalities, including Americans with the rest, may pursue their chosen work.” 

Mathematics

By Vladimir Voevodsky

What would inconsistency of the first order arithmetic mean for mathematics? What we need are foundations which can be used to construct reliable proofs despite being inconsistent.

Social Science

By Mary L. Dudziak

Politicians and other leaders have regularly framed the current global health crisis as a period of “wartime.” In this 2012 article, Mary Dudziak, Member (2007–08) in the School of Social Science, examines the meaning of “wartime,” investigating the temporal element in warfare and the ways war structures our conception of time.

Historical Studies

By Sabine Schmidtke

View a video in which Sabine Schmidtke, Professor of Islamic Intellectual History in the School of Historical Studies, discusses the vast, global, and indispensable Islamic manuscript tradition that is currently under immediate threat.

Scholar reads on the IAS Campus

Meet the new and returning scientists and scholars who have come to IAS to interact, explore, share, and discover. 

Video

Newspaper snippet featuring Einstein at IAS

View a presentation on the history of the Institute by Director Robbert Dijkgraaf and remarks by Faculty from each of the four Schools: Suzanne Conklin Akbari, Camillo De Lellis, Nathan Seiberg, and Alondra Nelson.