In all spheres of their activity, the Institute of Classical Studies (ICS), Institute of English Studies (IES), and Institute of Modern Languages Research (IMLR) are enhancing the extent to which they work together. The intention is to ensure that this collaboration benefits the subject areas that they serve and strengthens the ability of the institutes to pursue agendas that lie at the heart of the mission of the School of Advanced Study (SAS).
One such agenda is the support of participatory and inclusive research across the humanities. While the question of inclusivity is basic to every kind of research, some researchers are addressing societal challenges, including addressing structural inequalities, through work in partnership and collaboration with communities beyond the university. This research is vitally important, but the expertise and connections to address it do not necessarily lie within the walls of the traditional academy.
We are therefore delighted that Research England has provided funding that will allow us to trial a programme of four short-term inclusion, participation and engagement fellowships that will contribute to a conversation in the SAS around how to embed inclusion into research in languages, literatures and cultures and equip researchers to pursue participatory research.
Four fellows have been appointed for the first phase of the programme. Each brings specific expertise and practice in inclusive and participatory research to their projects:
Dr Kadija George, Black British Magazines 1990–1999: Collecting Qualitative Data Using Oral History Methods.
Dr Devika Mehra, Diversity and Children’s Museums/Libraries: A Transnational Study
Dr Yewande Okuleye, Multilingual Black Voices: Community Poetry and a Self-Care Tool for Liberatory Practice.
Dr Annie Webster, Stories of the Syrian New Scots: Dispersed Geographies and Digital Storytelling in COVID-19 Refugee Arts
The four fellows will begin working at the ICS, the IES, and the IMLR at the end of May 2022. Each will pursue their own individual projects with SAS support, and they will also engage in emerging disciplinary and cross-disciplinary research conversations within and beyond the School in the field of inclusion, participatory research, and the co-production of knowledge.
Working with them, the three institutes aim to develop a clear infrastructure for equipping researchers with the knowledge and skills to work effectively with an expanding range of partners and to translate their research to wider audiences.