Welcome from the Director, Professor Anna Reading:
As Director of the Arts and Humanities Research Institute (AHRI) since 2018, I have led the Institute’s exciting transformation towards a commitment to creative and socially engaged research. Such research is ever more important given the challenges of Covid-19 and lockdown for it brings together interdisciplinary groups of researchers alongside non-academic communities. Through innovative co-research partnerships that are deep and trusting, the AHRI offers new insights and knowledge for local, national and global challenges that underpin research-led teaching in the arts and humanities. Simply put, co-research partnerships are transformative and make the world a better place.
Established in 2011, the AHRI now supports 13 interdisciplinary and socially engaged research centres that foster research and education links across different subjects in the College’s Faculty of Arts & Humanities. Our professional services team works alongside a cohort of research centre directors and administrators to deliver activities under four strands:
1. DEVELOPING: Activities that enable staff and students across research centres and the Faculty to enhance their understanding and practice of interdisciplinary and socially engaged research and education
2. PUBLICISING: Activities that raise the profile of high quality interdisciplinary and socially engaged research and education taking place across research centres and the wider Faculty
3. MOBILISING: Activities that mobilise a range of creative, diverse and impactful interdisciplinary and socially engaged research and education projects across the Faculty
4. REFLECTING: Activities that embed reflective practice in interdisciplinary and socially engaged research and education projects conducted by research centres and by the Institute more widely
Alongside the work of our research centres, the AHRI actively supports new, interdisciplinary and socially engaged research themes and projects, chiefly through our REACH Space that serves as a place of connection, collaboration and engagement across disciplinary, departmental and institutional boundaries. Whilst this space will remain closed for the 2020/21 academic year due to Covid-19, we have developed two alternatives – REACH-XR (extended reality) for virtual activities and REACH-Out for hyperlocal engagement activities.
I would encourage you to view our range of past and current projects. In 2020/21, we are supporting the Faculty’s Rapid Response to Black Lives Matter and research on diversity and inclusion, and developing new research partnerships with Migrateful and The Young Foundation.
Through such work and through our research centres, the AHRI frees imaginations and unleashes potential to create rich research and lifelong learning opportunities for staff, students and communities. By embracing diverse voices, we question fixed ways of thinking and doing. Together, we are finding new ways to mutually understand difficult challenges, both big and small.
One minute with interview...with Professor Anna Reading