All 18 entries tagged Humanities

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May 22, 2011

After the History Subject Centre

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The History Subject Centre will officially close on 31st October, although effectively most activities will cease by the end of July. Sarah Richardson has written a briefing report, After the History Subject Centre, which outlines the support that will be available for HE History once the subject centre has closed. There are also details of activities and services the History community have found most valuable and recommendations on how these may be continued in the future.

Please join in the conversation!

March 16, 2011

Digging into Data Challenge

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Digging into data challenge

Today eight international research funders are jointly announcing their participation in round two of the Digging into Data Challenge, a grant competition designed to spur cutting edge research in the humanities and social sciences.

The challenge asks researchers these provocative questions: How can we use advanced computation to change the nature of our research methods? Now that the objects of study for researchers in the humanities and social sciences - including books, survey data, economic data, newspapers, music - and other scholarly and scientific resources are being digitized on a huge scale, how does this change the very nature of our research? How might advanced computation and data analysis techniques help researchers use these materials to ask new questions about and gain new insights into our world?

Alastair Dunning, programme manager at JISC, said: “We are delighted to continue our involvement in the Digging into Data challenge. Digging into Data offers the arts and humanities and the social sciences the opportunity to explore new frontiers in research, forging not only international partnerships but new relationships between traditional scholarship and cutting edge computer science.”

The first round of the Digging into Data Challenge sparked enormous interest from the international research community and led to eight cutting-edge projects being funded. There has also been increased media attention to the question of so-called 'big data' techniques being used for humanities and social sciences research, including a recent cover article in the journal Science.

Due to the overwhelming popularity of round one, the Digging into Data Challenge is pleased to announce that four additional funders have joined for round two, enabling this competition to have a world-wide reach into many different scholarly and scientific domains.

The eight sponsoring funding bodies include JISC, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council in the UK; the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Science Foundation in the US; the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research; and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council in Canada.

Final applications will be due 16 June 2011.

Further information about the competition and the application process can be found at <>

March 07, 2011

High Achieving Graduates of History

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The work of the government and our subject community is increasingly concentrating on enabling students to fulfil their potential during and after their studies.  The aim of the projects within 'History Graduates with Impact'is to highlight and evidence the 'value' of studying history and some of the developments in the UK.

As part of the research into 'Graduates with Impact', the Subject Centre (along with the English and Philosophical and Religious Studies Subject Centres) conducted a search of history (and wider humanities) alumni.  The result is a database of alumni who have progressed into positions of note and interest.  Findings from the database will be used in David Nicholl's forthcoming update to his 2005 work on 'The Employment of History Graduates', but we have also made the fill datasets available to the wider community on our website ... to encourage discussion with prospective students.

A publication of case studies, surveys and reports on 'History Graduates with Impact' will be available in July, in the meantime, please visit the project website for more details:

December 02, 2010

1000th Review in History published by the Institute for Historical Research

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Reviews in History publishes its 1,000th review

Reviews in History, the online journal of the Institute of Historical Research (IHR), publishes its 1,000th review today.

Launched in 1996, Reviews covers books and digital resources across every area of historical interest, with all reviews being undertaken by leading experts in the field. It has always been noted for its broad scope, chronologically, geographically and thematically. It now publishes a new issue every week on its recently redesigned website (, each featuring four original reviews.

From the start, the journal has published reviews of greater length than those usually found in scholarly periodicals (between 2,000 and 3,000 words), and as a consequence of its digital-only format has also been able to make them available much earlier.

Reviews also allows authors and editors a right of reply, stimulating discussion and providing readers with an insight into the major debates occurring at the cutting edge of historical research.

The reviews are freely available and enjoy a large and growing readership, from academics to the wider public interested in history. They provide an invaluable resource for researching, teaching and studying history at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

In recent months particular effort has been made to focus on the expanding number of digital resources in history, with reviews being commissioned to examine not just the content but the functionality and operability of these tools now transforming the historian’s craft.

Initially funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) in 1996, Reviews is now supported by IHR core funding, reflecting its centrality to the Institute’s research facilitation remit. It is a striking example of external seed-corn funding leading to long-term sustainability in the digital sphere.

This week’s special ‘1,000’ issue features Gary Magee and Andrew Thompson’s Empire and Globalisation: Networks of People, Goods and Capital in the British World, c.1850–1914, reviewed by Stuart Ward, and Elizabeth Tilley’s take on The Punch Brotherhood: Table Talk and Print Culture in Mid-Victorian London by Patrick Leary. Two major new digital resources, The Illustrated London News Historical Archive, 1842–2003 and London Lives 1690–1800, are also reviewed, by Peter Sinnema and Ben Heller respectively.

Dr Jane Winters, Head of Publications at the IHR, said: 'Reviews in History was a truly innovative digital publishing initiative when it was launched in 1996 and there is still nothing quite like it in the field. It enshrined the authorial right to reply more than a decade before humanities researchers began seriously to challenge traditional forms of peer review in the digital environment, and made full use of the flexibility of the digital medium. The journal is a central element of the IHR's publishing programme, and we very much look forward to the publication of the next 1,000 reviews. If Reviews continues as it has developed thus far, the 2,000th article may well look very different.'

For more information about Reviews contact Danny Millum, Deputy Editor at

October 12, 2010

The implications of the Browne review

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News coverage of the Browne report published today focuses on the implications for students and fee levels. But the report also contains important suggestions on aspects of teaching quality:

Browne's proposals include:

  • Four existing higher education bodies (Higher Education Funding Council for England, Quality Assurance Agency, Office for Fair Access, and the Office of the Independent Adjudicator) would be abolished and replaced by a single Higher Education Council. Itis not clear if the current auditing system undertaken by the QAA will continue in the same format. The new Council will enforce baseline standards of quality and more information will be given to students.
  • The new body would be responsible for investing in priority courses, setting and enforcing quality levels, improving access and attainment for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, ensuring students benefit from increased competition in the sector, and resolving disputes between students and institutions
  • All new academics with teaching responsibilities should undertake a teaching qualification accredited by the Higher Education Academy. All those (including postgraduates) with responsibility for teaching should be given the option to attain a teaching qualification.
  • An Access and Success fund should be set up to help universities recruit and retain students from disadvantaged backgrounds and universities charging more than £7,000 a year would be subject to increased scrutiny over student access
  • Public funding should be focused on priority areas. In the Arts and Humanities this would mean 'strategically important language courses'. Thus it is possible that History would not be publicly funded.

July 27, 2010

Museums Libraries and Archives Council to be wound up

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The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council is one of the first casualties of the government's spending review. The Chief Executive, Roy Clare, pledges a 'smooth transition'. However, there will undoubtedly be an impact on local museums, record offices and libraries  - a sector already under severe pressure.

June 28, 2010

Bringing the Outside In

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Call for Case Studies and Student Competition

As part of our Education for Sustainable Development programme the History Subject Centre, together with the English Subject Centre and PALATINE, is launching two initiatives to encourage students and lecturers to engage with the environment beyond the classroom.  In order to enrich both academic learning and environmental awareness, we want to motivate staff and students who teach and learn primarily indoors to go out and experience the places which form the context for the subject of study.

So if you are a humanities lecturer who takes students out of the classroom, or a humanities student whose studies have been inspired by a visit somewhere off-campus, please follow the links below.

Call for Case Studies by Teaching Staff

Competition for Students

June 07, 2010

Humanities diploma cancelled – IGCSEs offered to state schools – Rose review cancelled

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The new government has announced a number of changes to History in schools:

  • the proposed Humanities Diploma has been cancelled
  • IGCSEs will now be offered in a number of state schools
  • the Rose review of the primary curriculum which suggested new lines of learning has been cancelled

In addition it is expected that the way that History is taught in schools will be reviewed.

April 30, 2010

Academic History at the Crossroads

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Professor Richard Overy has written a provocative article in the Times Higher Education arguing that academic history is under threat from 'democratisation' via the heritage industry and a government desire to make it 'socially useful'. His arguments have some validity although they are perhaps a little extreme.

In 2010-11 the History Subject Centre will be focusing on the value of a History degree as part of its 'Graduates with Impact' project. One aim will be to tease out some of the implications raised by Overy's article so that the importance of an academic study of History may be more easily understood and appreciated.

February 28, 2010

History in UK Higher Education is in danger

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There is increasing anxiety that History and other Arts and Humanities subjects are in danger following the government's decision to privilege the Sciences.

History at King's College London and at the University of Sussex is already under threat. Other institutions are also considering cuts to History programmes.

A letter to the Observer outlining the concerns of leading scholars and academics highlighted the challenges currently facing History. It was signed by

Prof Geoffrey Crossick, warden of Goldsmiths, University of London; Nicholas Penny, director of the National Gallery; Prof Rick Trainor, principal, King's College London; Sir Nicholas Kenyon, managing director, the Barbican; Prof Nigel Carrington, rector of University of the Arts, London; Sandy Nairne, director of the National Portrait Gallery; Prof Edward Acton, vice-chancellor, University of East Anglia; Andrew Burnett, deputy director, British Museum; Prof Malcolm Gillies, vice-chancellor, London Metropolitan University; Prof Colin Riordan, vice-chancellor, University of Essex; Prof Paul Curran, vice-chancellor, Bournemouth University; Colin Jones, president, the Royal Historical Society; Richard Mantle, general director, Opera North; Clare Matterson, Director of Medical Humanities , Wellcome Trust




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