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One Year On

FRINGE launched on 1 October 2015 to study social and cultural complexity. Our rationale was (and is) to promote an in depth exploration of topics that cannot be neatly parcelled out into dichotomies but instead, fit within the grey zones, subverting dichotomies or else involving a subtle interplay of both extremities. Our 2015/2016 projects focused on informal social practices, on narratives around illegal housing and squatting and on how power is manifested in city constructions. View all our projects here. 
One year on, FRINGE has expanded to include new members and to taken on new projects. FRINGE has successfully delivered 2 international workshops, 4 academic conferences using our unique 3-minute presentational format, raised over 20K and began a new publication series. Download our annual report for more information of our achievements in 2015/2016.

We have an ambitious program of events and publications planned for 2016/2017.  Stay tuned! 

New Projects 2016/2017

The Sexual and The Bodily: Shame in Socially Marginalised Groups 

The general connection between shame, the body and sex, has been frequently explored, however our symposium is unique in that it focuses on the particular ways in which these connections play out with socially marginalized groups. This symposium will focus on shame relating to the female body and female sexuality, shame surrounding gay/lesbian manifestations of sexual love and shame and embodiment as it relates to the disabled experienced. Part of a larger project on "Shameless Society". 

Learn more

Borders of Biopolitics: Gender, Population and Power in Russia

A pair of interdisciplinary workshops exploring the possibilities (and limits) of biopolitics as an framework for the study of gender and population in Russia. Drawing on (but not unquestioningly applying) conceptualizations of biopolitics propounded by Foucault, Agamben and Deleuze, the workshops will explore the borders of biopolitics as a heuristic device for understanding Russia’s past and present.

First Workshop 7-8 October 2016
Learn more & Register


  • Funding initiative: We are aiming to raise  20K in 2016/2017 through UCL internal and external funding. Let us know about funding opportunities from your organisation or your interest in collaboration by contacting us.
  • Promotional video: to celebrate our 1 year anniversary, we have commissioned a promotional video by filmmaker Giulio Gobbetti. Due for completion in early November. 
  • Workshop report: a report on our squatting project led by Dr. Grashoff is now available. View here. 
  • Open Letter: In an open letter introducing Dr. Murawski's FRINGE workshop, Director, Prof. Alena Ledeneva reveals sectarianism within the FRINGE group. Read more here.


Prof. Alena Ledeneva will edit the first publication in the FRINGE series The Global Encyclopaedia of Informality. The book provides a unique collection of ethnographies of informal ways of getting things done, this book demonstrates the centrality of ambivalence for the workings of human societies and puts complexity on the policy agenda in a novel way.

Call for Papers

The good, the Bad and the Ugly: Exploring Boundaries Between the Informal, the Criminal and the Immoral

The primary goal of this volume is to explore the complexity of informality and variety of forms informal transactions and practices may take, from the extra legal to illegal and immoral activities. The volume is organised around three main themes:
  • The social morality of crime
  • Opposition of “us” (the people, often informally organised) against “them” (the elites, formally representing the state)
  • Informality and resistance
Please send a 300 word abstract and a short biographical note to Alessandro Russo


Exhibition: Encountering Perforated Ground
1-30 October 2016
Brighton Photo FRINGE

Panel Discussion: Negotiating Brexit: Key Challenges Ahead
19 October 2016
University College London

Conference: Thinking Across the Iron Curtain: Sites of Cooperation and Competition in the Cold War

17-20 November 2016
Pittsburgh, USA 

Conference: Towards Transcultural Histories of Psychotherapies.
15 October 2016
University College London



A hearty thank you to Dr. Michal Murawski for coordinating our largest event in 2015/16 on power & architecture, for providing artistic assistance, and for work on the forward planning of the FRINGE project. Michal leaves UCL to join Queen Mary in Sept. 2016. We wish him well! 

Dr. Murawski is an expert on the complex social lives of monumental buildings and on the architecture and planning of Eastern European communism. Learn more
A round of applause for Dr. Zusi, for assisting in drafting many of our successful funding applications and helping to organise and film our upcoming video. Peter is on sabbatical from Sep. 2016, and will be working on two books on Kafka and Chekhov. 

Dr. Zusi is an expert in Czech with Slovak Literature at UCL. Learn more
FRINGE Website
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