Our research cluster themes are student-led to enable cross-disciplinary dialogue and knowledge exchange beyond immediate research fields.

Understanding Change

How is change conceived, imagined, experienced and evaluated?

‘Understanding Change’ examines a question at the heart of much Arts and Humanities research: how, why and with what effect does change occur?

Discussion explores political, social, economic and cultural transformation in the past, present and future and critiques theoretical and empirical approaches made across disciplines.

Cluster leads

  • Mark Higgins (University of Bristol)
  • Elisa Ramirez Perez (Cardiff University)
  • Maria Rupprecht (University of Bristol)

Follow on Twitter: @changecluster

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Memory Studies

Created by our students, this interdisciplinary cluster brings together scholars across the arts and humanities to analyse how events are remembered and memorialised.

Addressing topics  including the following examples, the research cluster seeks to understand the impact of memory on culture, society and politics:

  • history versus memory
  • collective memory
  • memoryscapes
  • trauma
  • national identity
  • counter-memory
  • commemoration
  • museum studies

Cluster leads

  • Sebastian Bustamante-Brauning (University of Bristol)
  • Erica Capecchi (University of Bristol)
  • Sandy Gale (University of Bristol)
  • Iona Ramsay (University of Exeter)

Read more about Visit Memory Studies

Follow on Twitter: @MemoryStudiesSW

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Gender and Sexuality

Created by our students, the cluster explores gender and sexuality related themes across a range of disciplines.

Cluster leads

  • Abby Ashley (University of Bristol)
  • D’Qrill (University of Bristol)

Read the Gender and Sexuality blog

Follow on Twitter: @swwgender

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Figures in the Landscape

This research cluster draws together a number of interconnected ideas and concepts, including:

  • ecocriticism
  • animal studies
  • landscape history
  • theories of place
  • topography and cartography
  • nature at war
  • field work
  • conservation and heritage
  • farming and agriculture
  • soundscapes and acoustic environments
  • theories of dwelling
  • landmarks and mark making
  • edgelands
  • marginal territories
  • raw materials
  • paths and tracks
  • landscape and labour
  • rural and folk culture
  • localism
  • environmentalism
  • material culture

The aim of the cluster is to explore the relationship between human beings and the natural world over time, across disciplines, and beyond the confines of academia. It assesses the impact of humans and animals upon the environment, and examines cultural representations of what has come to be known as ‘landscape’.

One aim of the cluster is to build on the reputation of the South West as a locus of environmental activism and green ideas, as exemplified by initiatives such a

  • The Eden Project
  • The Coleridge lectures
  • The Bristol Green Capital partnership

Read more about Figures in the Landscape

Follow on Twitter: @inthelandscape

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Creativity in Research

This cluster explore all forms of creativity in academic research, working across multiple disciplines. It is particularly interested in examining the following questions:

  • How can creativity be used to develop original ideas or to enhance critical thinking?
  • How can creativity be analysed and studied?
  • How can creativity be encouraged and integrated into research and society?

The cluster believes that practice-based and creative research methodologies, as fairly new branches in academia, still need to unleash their potential and shape the research landscape. For this reason, the Creativity in Research cluster encourages the dialogue between practice-based projects and more traditional research: the objective is to provide people with tools to look at problems and questions from more nuanced angles and perspectives.

The cluster looks for, discusses, and promotes approaches and methodologies that can be borrowed from creative practices and the arts, and be applied to other fields and forms of research.

Cluster lead

  • Rachel Carney (Cardiff University)

Read more about Creativity in Research

Follow on Twitter:  @creativity_dtp

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Rethinking Community

Rethinking Community is a network of researchers whose research interests, projects, methods, and/or backgrounds broadly interact with the idea of community. The cluster welcomes researchers of all disciplines and time periods. It encourages us to think critically and reflexively about:

  1. Conceptual and methodological concerns, acknowledging our identities, biases, assumptions, and power when working with/researching communities
  2. ‘Community’ as a broad and messy term/activity
  3. Ideas of togetherness, inter-relationality and sociality

The cluster asks:

  1. How do politics, culture and society affect and shape our ideas of community?
  2. How can we enact systemic change to move academia to a more equal, diverse, and inclusive community?
  3. Who is left in and who is left out? And who is using/projecting these terms?
  4. What methods can we use to explore community? How can we sensitively explore this concept?
  5. What benefits can it bring to impact-focused academia?

The cluster runs a range of activities, including monthly discussion groups and work-in-progress sessions. For the academic year 2021-2022, they are planning a seminar series of guest speakers and are looking to establish our own blog. We also host regular coffee mornings to check in and chat with colleagues!

All welcome! Please get in touch at via rethinkingcommunitynetwork@gmail.com

Cluster lead

  • Nyle Bevan-Clark (University of Southampton)

Follow on Twitter: @swwdtp_rcn

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Space, Community and Culture

Cluster lead

  • Katy Humberstone (University of Exeter)

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Languages: Past, Present and Future

This cluster brings together SWWDTP researchers engaged in work on:

  • language
  • languages
  • speaker communities
  • applied/theoretical linguistics

Its members have wide-ranging research interests spanning work on contemporary languages and their communities as well as past and future speakers and languages. In addition to language as an object of study, the cluster considers the role of language a tool for research itself.

Find out more about the cluster, its members and upcoming events at languages-swwdtpluster.

Follow on Twitter: @LanguageCluster

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