Recent research projects: demonstrating impact
Find out more about the latest projects in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences:
Research in focus: Economy and Austerity
Research undertaken by colleagues across the Faculty addresses some of the most pressing issues to face humanity, and amongst these issues, the theme of Economy and Austerity is particularly timely. During 2015 we featured cutting-edge research by colleagues from a wide range of disciplines, from social sciences like Politics and Management to Classics and Ancient History in arts and humanities. This document provides just some of the highlights that we featured.
The Digital Panopticon: The Global Impact of London Punishments (1780-1925)
This is a collaborative project between the Universities of Liverpool, Sheffield, Tasmania, Oxford and Sussex, which uses cutting edge digital technologies to make it possible for people to trace the records of Londoners sentenced to either imprisonment or transportation from 1787 right up to the 1920s, when the last transported convict died. This £1.7million research grant is funded by the AHRC's Digital Transformations programme and led by Professor Barry Godfrey from the Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology.
Being Human Festival
What does it mean to be human? Why does our perception of what human ‘is’ actually matter? As part of Being Human, the national festival of the Humanities, we will be hosting an exhibition showing representations of humanity from diverse angles, from slavery to the supernatural, from the philosophical to the digital, from the child’s view to questions of human and machine intelligence.
N8 New Thinking from the North
New Thinking from the North is an innovative project led and supported by the universities of the N8 Research Partnership. It is designed to explore ways in which arts and humanities researchers, practitioners and creative and cultural professionals based in the city regions of the North have a vital and unique contribution to make to the economic development of the region as a whole.
Youth Political Engagement and Citizenship
Professor Jon Tonge, Chair of the Youth Citizenship Commission in 2008-9, has been researching what citizenship means to young people, how to increase youth participation in politics, and the impact and desirability of lowering the voting age in the UK. Former Secretary of State for Justice, Rt Hon Jack Straw, commented that this research had ‘a significant impact on the direction of government policy and also on the wider political debate concerning youth citizenship’.
Life and Limb: The Toll of the American War
This project was originally inspired by the research of Dr Stephen C. Kenny (History) on human experimentation under American slavery (‘Dark Medicine’) and health and medicine in 19th century America (‘Bodies and Power’). The scope of the project quickly expanded with contributions from the Department of English, the Centre for New and International Writing, the University Library and the Victoria Gallery and Museum. As part of the project the Faculty is presenting the U.S. National Library of Medicine travelling exhibition: Life and Limb: the Toll of the American Civil War from 16th April to 20th June 2015.
N8 Policing Research Partnership
Launched at the end of 2013, the N8 Policing Research Partnership (N8 PRP) has been established to enable and foster research collaborations that will help address the problems of policing in the 21st century. In February 2015 the partnership was awarded a £3m grant from the HEFCE Catalyst Fund which will lead to the development of a new collaborative programme of research and knowledge sharing between academics and the police which will play a key role in informing future policing policy. This project is led and supported by the universities of the N8 Research Partnership.
Religious Symbolism and Discrimination
When, if ever, is it acceptable to prohibit the use of religious symbols? The theoretical research of Dr Daniel Hill and Dr Daniel Whistler (Philosophy) focused on the study of philosophical literature and on the use of symbols to create meaning. This project looked specifically at the right to wear or display religious symbols in a public context as a part of an AHRC network for philosophers of religion. Participatory research brought together religious and secular communities to investigate anxieties, and to further look into how concepts are employed by religious and legal practitioners and policy makers.
Gang Violence in Late Victorian Manchester
Dr Andy Davies (History) has been researching the hidden history of Manchester's gangs for many years. With funding from the ESRC, his research has explored the nature and extent of gang formation and conflict in Manchester between 1870 and 1900. In addition to providing valuable insight into the parallels to gang culture of the modern day, the research has inspired new forms of artistic and literary expression, such as the play Angels with Manky Faces, poems by two Manchester poets, Mike Garry and Mike Duff, and a song by the pop group Bye Bye Johnny.
Out of this World: Science Fiction but not as you know it
The British Library, working with the Discovery Channel, delivered the hugely popular science fiction exhibition 'Out of This World: Science Fiction But Not As You Know It’ in 2011. The University’s Science Fiction Librarian, Andy Sawyer, was invited to be guest curator of the exhibit. As well as asking questions such as ‘What does it mean to be human? ’ and ‘Is there such a thing as a perfect world?’, the exhibition explored the huge contribution of women to the genre, featuring, amongst other exhibits, a video interview with Margaret Atwood, arguably the greatest living female sci-fi author.
Religion, Identity and Conflict in Ireland
Professor Marianne Elliott has demonstrated how conflicting identities have often been based on simplified origin-myths. This project has made a tangible contribution to the processes of peace-building and reconciliation in Ireland. The research has benefited not only academia and politicians, but also a much wider public through engagement with community organisations such as the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council. In 2011 the major five part BBC/RTE series The Story of Ireland drew extensively on Marianne’s research.
Discover more projects, past and on-going, by visiting the research pages of individual Departments:
School of Law and Social Justice - Law, Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology