Institute for Advanced Study (IAS)

Knowledge Cafés: Forms of Complexity

04May2018 15:00 - 18:00


In this series of knowledge cafés complexity is studied as a concept. It aims to explore mutually enhancing knowledge exchange between complexity science and the humanities.

How has the meaning of complexity historically evolved in the philosophy of science (from Taoism to modernity), and how is it dealt with in different cultural forms and practices? And why is increasing our understanding of complexity particularly important nowadays? These questions will be discussed in a series of knowledge cafés, in which we examine complexity from a humanities perspective.

Complex narratives / storytelling

One of the first specific topics that we will touch upon is complex narratives / complex storytelling in film and television. We will start with key texts describing culture as a reaction to the complexity of modernity, and then continue to approach complex narrative and aesthetics more broadly with examples ranging from news and data visualization to scientific images and artistic projects.



Screenshot of The Final Cut (Omar Naim, 2004)

Later in this series of knowledge cafés we plan to address forms of complexity in relation to e.g. globalisation, cybernetics, politics. The planning of topics will be determined during the seminar meetings.


Semester I: 6 October, 10 November, 1 December 2017
Semester II: 2 February, 2 March, 6 April, 4 May, 1 June 2018


If you want to join please contact the coordinator (Tessa de Vet, to be added to the mailing list for further information.

Scientific lead:  Prof. dr. Patricia Pisters.

Published by  UvA Institute for Advanced Study