The challenges thrown up by the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted the research environment worldwide, prompting the adoption of fresh methods to address the absence of traditional approaches. The 13 Research Centres of King’s Arts and Humanities Research Institute (AHRI) have been creatively and resourcefully carrying out activities to foster networks, organise and deliver online events, produce collaborative engagement activities, and support socially-engaged research in virtual environments.
Across Autumn 2020, Centres worked on developing networks to provide opportunities to under-represented groups. The London Shakespeare Centre worked with Shakespeare’s Globe to establish the Early Modern Scholars of Colour Network (EMSOC), a new, anti-racist network which seeks to create inclusivity and diversify the academic fields of Shakespeare and Early Modern studies. In addition, the Centre for Modern Literature and Culture worked with the winners and runners-up of the 2020 Ivan Juritz Prize to help produce write-ups of their work, to be published in the Textual Practice journal.
Supporting plans for research and education activities and establishing opportunities that enable inclusive working has also been a focus of the Centres. The Centre for Early Modern Studies established a new ‘Keywords’ blog series and have commissioned 33 blog posts using ‘keywords’ as a point of departure. The Centre for Life-Writing Research produced an online event, a ‘Conversation and Q&A with Maureen Duffy’, celebrating Maureen Duffy's work and the launch of Strandlines digital collection. The London Shakespeare Centre launched the Shakespeare: Context and Stagecraft remote course, aimed at GCSE students and teachers, with 3689 people currently enrolled on the course. Queer@King’s developed accessible online events with BSL interpreters and live captions for their ‘Queer@King’s Online with…’ series.
Finally, Research Centres have taken the opportunity to produce material reflecting on their processes and practices, with key learning informing support guides for staff, students and external partners, published on the AHRI’s Support page.