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The Centre for Cultural Analysis, Theory and History (CentreCATH): a Transdisciplinary Initiative at the University of Leeds was founded during the first round of Research Centres competitively funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (then Board).

Founded to draw into a new collaboration two existing Centres (Cultural Studies and Jewish Studies) and the traditions of critical, social and feminist histories and practices of art developed in Leeds, CentreCATH aims to produce theoretically informed but historically framed analyses of cultural practices that deterritorialize the current boundaries of interdisciplinary studies (cultural, Jewish, postcolonial, queer and gender studies) in the arts (acoustic, visual, cinematic and material culture) by both forging new dialogues (black/Jewish, sound/image, voice/gaze, gender/race) and shaping mutually challenging research projects that realign philosophy, the arts, history, cultural anthropology, psychoanalysis and aesthetics.


i) CentreCATH aims to incite a creative rethink of the conflict between disciplinary and interdisciplinary models for historical research in, and cultural analysis of the arts (visual, cinematic, acoustic) and of material culture.

ii) CentreCATH aims to displace the ghettoization of gender and cultural/ethnic difference within segregated area ‘studies’ in cultural analysis.

ii) CentreCATH aims to reframe the legacy of Aby Warburg in its address to the contest between the psychic and the social, the personal and the cultural, the rational and irrational, the structural and the contingent, the religious and the secular, the archaic and the contemporary, the arcane and the popular. It will create a framework for the study of presence/difference: the problematic of resident strangers and internal exclusions, such as women, Jews and the postcolonial diasporic minorities whose visibility and particularity throw up major issues for the dominant nation-based narratives of modernity, art and cultural history.

iii) CentreCATH aims to foster creative brainstorming by assembling major thinkers, artists, cultural and art historians. Through a strategically conceived and graduated series of activities: Salons, Seminars and Conferences, CentreCATH will foment debate and support substantive development of new research methods with specified outcomes.

iv) CentreCATH aims to produce major publications from conferences and seminars, frame and support collaborative research projects, sustain and train a large community of research students.

v) CentreCATH aims to make particular efforts to enhance intraEuropean dialogue in the fields of its remit, not only to link with exemplary precursors in the field of interdisciplinary work such as ASCA, but to draw into regular dialogue scholars working in Germany, France and Easter/Central Europe. We shall also seek to link not only with American project and scholars but to ensure that Asian and African countries are regularly represented at the discussions and conferences.
CentreCATH aims to face questions of dissemination and innovative practice in teaching, study and research exchange nationally and internationally and beyond the academic arena.

Who Are We?

  • Director 2001-2011  Professor Griselda Pollock
  • Co-Director  Dr Barbara Engh
  • Co-Director Dr Eva Frojmovic