Skip to main content

Identity and beliefs image

College professors appointed research strategy leaders

Two academics from the College of Humanities have been appointed to lead themes from the University’s brand new research strategy for Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS).

Professor Mark Jackson, Director of the Centre for Medical History and Professor for the History of Medicine, and Professor David Horrell from the Department of Theology and Religion will help lead Exeter to become a top UK research university known throughout the world for its research excellence and impact.

Exeter’s HASS strategy combines six interdisciplinary themes for academic research in order to encourage challenging and innovative projects by academics across the University, and to enable a wider and growing group of academics to engage in Exeter’s work. The aim, as described by Professor Horrell, “is to increase Exeter’s contribution to the research landscape, both in terms of the academic community but also the impact of that research in wider society.”

Professor David Horrell, whose background is in New Testament studies, will be leading the theme ‘Identities and Beliefs’. He explains: “Identity is a bit of a buzzword, but it gets to the heart of who we think we are - as individuals, as groups, as communities - and some of the ways in which we perceive and understand ourselves”. Professor Horrell recently ran a series of workshops open to all staff with relevant research interests. Over 50 members of staff attended, and he is “quietly excited” about the emerging research groups.

The theme of ‘Medical Humanities’ will be led by Professor Mark Jackson from the Centre for Medical History. Professor Jackson is confident that each of the disciplines in the strategy will contribute individually to debates about health and illness, but added; “the advantage of interdisciplinary work is that it provides opportunities to raise new questions and use new methodologies”. The research strategy will help to forge an identity for Exeter in the relatively new field of Medical Humanities on a national and international scale.

The Strategy will be launched on the 28 November in the Forum Auditorium and Seminar Rooms. Workshops are available for all interested staff members over the preceding weeks. Both academics are excited about the opportunities presented to research staff across disciplines as well as the implications for their own work. Professor Horrell comments: “Ideas that make me think creatively in my own area come from other disciplines”. Professor Jackson agrees, “Exeter has a fantastically strong set of scholars here not only capable of, but committed to, collaborating.”

Academic staff with a research interest in either of the areas are advised to contact the leader for that theme.

Humanities and Social Sciences Strategy Launch event details

A half day of activity featuring the six HASS themes on 28 November 2012 from 14:00 to 17:30 in The Forum Auditorium and Seminar Rooms. The event will take place throughout the Forum in the Alumni Auditorium, Seminar Rooms and Street. A video link will be made available for the introduction and plenary in Peter Lanyon Lecture Theatre 2, Cornwall Campus.

To register and obtain details about the workshop please visit the HASS Launch event webpages. Full details of the HASS themes are available on the HASS Strategy webpages and for information about all research and knowledge transfer activities at the University of Exeter visit Research and Knowledge Transfer (RKT) webpages

Date: 9 November 2012

Read more University News