Interdisciplinary research projects

Practices and Processes of Religious Diversity in UK/BRIC Contexts

Intimately associated with the socio-cultural diversification wrought by modern forces and dynamics, religious diversity is an increasingly common feature of contemporary social landscapes in many parts of the world. The practices and processes associated with religious diversity cut across a wide range of themes, topics and issues; not least: human rights, the politics of recognition, governance and resource allocation, tolerance, plurality and assimilation, negotiation, partnerships and competition, and collective identity formation.

Bringing together academics and stakeholders from various parts of the world, this project investigates how the practices and processes of religious diversity are playing out in the modern and modernising contexts of the BRIC nations (i.e. Brazil, Russia, India, and China) as compared and contrasted with the UK.

The project is funded by the International Research Network scheme of the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

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Bringing Geographical Information Systems to the Digital Humanities: Defining Spatial Humanities

Our aim is to create a step-change in how place, space and geography are explored in the Humanities. Building on Lancaster University’s technical expertise in Digital Humanities, Corpus Linguistics and Geospatial Analysis, as well as its applied expertise in the history of the English Lake District, we are developing and applying methodologies for analysing unstructured texts—including large corpora of historical books, periodicals and official reports—within a Geographic Information Systems (or GIS) environment. This five-year project runs from 2012-16 and is funded by the European Research Council under a Starting Researcher Grant.

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Children, young people and disasters, recovery and resilience

The acute storms and floods of early 2014 revealed a problem which is now understood to be chronic, with 5.2 million properties now at risk of flooding in England alone, and according to the most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change we can expect more severe flooding over the coming years. Children and young people can be particularly vulnerable in emergencies as they have distinct physical, developmental and emotional needs. However they can also display resilience and contribute to informing and preparing themselves, their families and their communities giving us clear insight into their specific needs.

This project is funded through the ESRC Urgency Scheme and draws on the expertise of Lancaster researchers in Sociology and Health research. Led by Professor Maggie Mort with co-investigators Amanda Bingley and Marion Walker and Virginia Howells of Save the Children UK, it is a unique collaboration between Lancaster researchers and this major charity.

Project Aims:

  1. To understand children's experiences‌ of the flooding; the impact on their lives, their resilience and the longer-term recovery process.
  2. To discover how children can best be supported in a flood and how to enhance their resilience to future emergencies.
  3. To influence emergency policy and practice to better meet the needs and build the resilience of children and young people

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The Author and the World

What does it mean to be an author in the contemporary Western world?

‘The Author and the World’ is an AHRC-funded collaboration between researchers in the departments of Languages and Cultures, English and Creative Writing, Linguistics, and History at Lancaster University. In line with the expanding remit of literary studies, this project assesses how authors function as cultural artefacts in a variety of different geographical locations and cultural contexts. Its key tenet is that authorship – ‘being an author’ – must be understood not just as a literary practice, but as an ever-evolving process of construction undertaken by multiple players, in multiple contexts and to multiple ends.

Work is carried out in academic symposia, practice-focused workshops, and ongoing online debate and artistic experimentation. By pooling different disciplinary approaches to related phenomena such as celebrity, gender, multilingualism, political protest, intellectual communities, and cultural mediation, the project shows how the study of authors can act as a conduit for exploring the very nature of culture and its associated industries around the world.

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