What is TORCH?

Research Community | Connections | Collaborations 

TORCH is a nucleus of intellectual energy for the humanities and a place to develop new ideas and collaborations both within and beyond academia.

Since its creation, TORCH has raised over £3 million in grants and philanthropy to support researchers to develop research projects. Launched in May 2013, TORCH provides an important opportunity for Oxford’s humanities scholars to collaborate with researchers across other disciplines, and institutions; work with academics across all stages of their academic careers; develop partnerships with public and private institutions; engage with wider audiences; and bring together academic research, diverse industries, and the performing arts.

TORCH is led by an academic director: Professor Wes Williams (Professor of French Literature), 2020-2023.
The previous TORCH Director's were Professor Philip Bullock (Professor of Russian Literature and Music) 2017-2020; Professor Elleke Boehmer (Professor of World Literature in English) 2015-2017; and Professor Stephen Tuck (Professor of Modern History) 2013-2015. 

During 2017-18, TORCH hosted almost 400 events, with audiences of over 18,000 people; supported 400 researchers, 48 Knowledge Exchange Fellows; provided funding for Early Career Fellows, 45 seed-funded research networks and 10 programmes.

The Director Professor Wes Williams (wes.williams@seh.ox.ac.uk) welcomes questions about the centre and suggestions for research and wider engagement activities. 

Where to find us



TORCH  | The Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities

Woodstock Rd





01865 280 101



TORCH DirectorProfessor Wes Williams (Professor of French Literature, MML)


TORCH Management Committee

  • Prof Karen O'Brien (Head of Humanities Division)
  • Prof Daniel Grimley (Music) - Associate Head of Research
  • Prof María del Pilar Blanco (MML)
  • Prof Elleke Boehmer (English)
  • Prof David de Roure (Oxford E-Research Centre)
  • Dr Yvonne Liao (Music)
  • Prof Joshua Hordern (Theology and Religion)
  • Prof Peter Frankopan (History)
  • Dr Felix Budelmann (Classics)
  • Prof James McDougall (History)
  • Prof Liz Frood (Oriental Studies)

Dr Victoria McGuinness (Head of Cultural Programming and Partnerships)

Dr Andrew Fairweather-Tall (Head of Research Support, Humanities Division)

The TORCH Management Committee reports into the Humanities Research Committee. 


TORCH sends out a fortnightly newsletter during term time with details of funding opportunities, research activities, events and multimedia. Click the links below to explore our past newsletters.

Please click here to subscribe to the TORCH newsletter, you can unsubscribe at any time.


Based at the Radcliffe Humanities building in Oxford, TORCH is home to a small team, dedicated to supporting the research community.
TORCH hosts a number of early career fellows, visiting international fellows and project staff, and supports the work of the Knowledge Exchange programme, and is at the hub of a wide network of scholars who lead the centre's research activities. 

For general enquiries, please contact the TORCH Team on torch@humanities.ox.ac.uk