FRINGE Centre Newsletter
UCL's Centre for the Study of Social and Cultural Complexity
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Salutations from the FRINGE Team

Last term we worked to build up networks of individuals and groups working on/interested in culturally significant but academically marginalised areas. We sought the intellectually curious, with an eccentric flair, to help to set and direct the FRINGE agenda. We have been very happy with the results of our collective efforts, some of which you can see below.

New Developments: Global Atlas of Social and Cultural Complexity 

Launch Event

We launched the Global Atlas of Social and Cultural Complexity, an online encyclopaedia for informal practices across the globe. The project is led by Prof. Alena Ledeneva. The launch began with presentations designed to illuminate an informal practice in 3 minutes. View entries from the encyclopaedia here.

Informality website, planned development with new team! 

Adriana Sanchez and Yang Liu from UCL’s Digital Humanities department will join the team from June-September 2016.  Adriana and Yang ill work on The Global Informality Website ( to help to better organise our database of entries on informal practices and to make the website more user friendly and more interactive.

Video: Prof. Ledeneva on informality 

FRINGE director, Alena Ledeneva, Professor of Politics and Society, introduces her work on informal practices across the globe.

Informality & Anti-corruption 
Friends of FRINGE, Dr. Claudia Baez Camargo and Dr. Scott Newton, along with FRINGE director, Prof. Alena Ledeneva, will be working together on a project funded by the British Academy, entitled Informal Governance and Corruption – Transcending the Principal Agent and Collective Action Paradigms. Learn more>

Provost Fund Award enables us to support more projects

We were awarded £15,000 by UCL’s Provost Fund to explore the possibilities for dissemination of FRINGE research, bringing the total sum of grants awarded to FRINGE to £35,000. The Provost Fund will be used to support existing FRINGE projects, and to help fund a new project on ‘Borders of Biopolitics: Gender, Population and Power in Russia and Post-Soviet Eastern Europe’

‘Borders of Bio-politics: Gender, Population and Power in Russia and Post-Soviet Eastern Europe.

The latest academic to join the FRINGE Centre is Philippa Hetherington. Philippa will lead a two-day interdisciplinary conference, organised in conjunction with the Jordan Centre for the Advanced Study of Russia at New York University, exploring  the possibilities (and limits) of bio-politics as a framework for the study of gender and population in the former Soviet Union. Part funded by Joint Faculties.
 Learn more>
Events in Images 
Pictures from our international workshop 'The Centre Cannot Hold' (10-11 July 2016).
Read about this event
Members of the FRINGE Team have been thinking about...


Tim Beasley-Murray discusses his initial reactions to Brexit for UCL's European Institute.

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To understand one rather local, UCL facet of the EU referendum, consider this image: if you had walked into the UCL quad a few weeks back, in the midst of referendum campaign poisoned by xenophobic and racist discourse about migrants, and if you had looked up to the flagpole on top of the main UCL building, you would have seen a curious silver banner. This banner was an art project by UCL Slade students, “The New European Flag”, made out of the foil blankets used to drape refugees from Syria who wade ashore on the Greek of island of Lesbos.  Read more>>

The Balkans
Eric Gordy is coordinating an international research project on informal institutions in the Balkans, funded by The European Commission.
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The project will contribute to EU policy agendas by explicating “the key formal and informal “rules of the game”, and to identify and decipher the "unwritten rules" which underpin tactical manoeuvring between formal and informal institutions, in various spheres and at various levels of social life” Read more>>

Ready, FRINGE Series, Go!
UCL Press has accepted our proposal for a FRINGE series! The books of the series will emerge out of FRINGE Project workshops and conferences. The first of these, The Centre Cannot Hold? New Monumentality, Neo-Modernism and Other Zombie Urban Utopias, will be an edited volume, exploring the aesthetics, politics, economics and affects of urban centrality and monumentality, from their 20th century golden age to their contemporary inheritances, afterlives, ruins and appropriations. Read more>> 
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