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Humanities & Identities

‘Humanities & Identities’ Series

With funding from the Vice-Chancellor’s Diversity Fund and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, TORCH’s Annual Headline Series for 2016-17 is Humanities & Identities. The series will focus on multiple research areas relating to diversity including race, gender, sexuality, disability, poverty, class, religion and inequality.

Humanities & Identities will bring together researchers, practitioners, policy-makers, creative thinkers and wider communities interested in forms of self-identity past, present and future. We welcome innovative ideas for projects from researchers working across the humanities and beyond on areas that link to diversity and inclusivity. Please get in touch with TORCH with your ideas at

The Headline Series will include a launch event in early 2017, which will be followed by a series of high profile talks, workshops, performances, conversations, and a diversity-themed Book at Lunchtime series throughout the year. These events will showcase research and provide opportunities for involvement at all career stages, including graduate and early career. From an existing grant given to Oxford Humanities, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is funding a 2-year post-doctoral fellowship, beginning in October 2016.

We have funding opportunities for a post-doctoral researcher, ‘Global South’ Visiting Professorships and Fellowships, Knowledge Exchange Fellowships and public engagement opportunities.

A major part of the series will be public engagement with research, for which TORCH is currently encouraging contributions from researchers for the following initiatives: 

‘The Gaps Between’ Display
During the summer of 2017, in public areas across Oxford, this installation will display images that represent Oxford’s alternative, and often hidden, stories and will include photographs, images of artwork and paintings, pictures from archives, as well as creative and critical responses to these.

Mobile Apps
TORCH and the Pitt Rivers Museum have been awarded funding from the IT Innovation Fund to create two mobile apps to share Oxford’s diverse voices, stories, research and collections with members of the University and the public.

Exploring Diversity Across the City
The 'Oxford Alternative Stories' mobile app is part of TORCH’s ‘Humanities and Identities’ series for 2017, which brings discussion of issues such as race, gender, and sexuality to the fore. Taking to the city’s streets and buildings, TORCH are working with researchers from a wide-range of disciplines to create an interactive app to reveal diverse stories and their links to Oxford’s buildings, spaces, and places.

The aim is to highlight and braid together the alternative, fringe and lesser known stories relating to people and places in and around Oxford. We will be looking for contributions from researchers for content. Formats could include a blog, podcast, interview fragment or video, but we welcome any creative and innovative ideas. 

Bringing Student Voices into the Pitt Rivers Museum
The second app will enable the Pitt Rivers Museum to unleash student voices within the context of the galleries. Oxford undergraduates and graduates will be enabled to create alternative interpretations of the collections, and assert new connections between objects and their origins, biographies, use and contemporary significance. These new perspectives will then delivered through an app to enrich the visitor experience.

Technology and Training
The project will create a content management system to support the production and organisation of compelling mobile optimised content, which will be available on user-friendly apps.  The content will be produced by students and researchers, who will be trained in writing and producing content for mobile and a general public audience.

The apps will be different in their contexts – one will be delivered within the discrete, curated public space of a museum, the other ‘in the wild’ across the city of Oxford - but both apps will bring creative new perspectives to Oxford’s diverse objects and places.

Both apps will be launched in summer 2017

Contact: We welcome any questions or suggestions relating to the Humanities & Identities series. Please feel free to contact us. 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock, copyright Oksancia

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