What I’ve learned from “academic outreach”

As I go through my DPhil, I receive regular emails from my university/funding body encouraging me to embark upon “academic outreach”. Whether it’s pitching for a TV show or setting up a blog, there seems to be no end of encouragement for broadcasting research outside of the university’s ivory tower. And the arguments presented are... Continue Reading →


Interdisciplinarity and co-authorship: why we need co-authorship in the humanities

Interdisciplinarity is something of a buzz-word in academia at the minute. In universities across the UK disciplinary boundaries are becoming increasingly porous, with multiple institutions setting up hubs and programmes designed to encourage cross-faculty interaction. To use just two examples from my own field (besides TORCH at Oxford), Nottingham University has set up a Centre... Continue Reading →

Bacc for the Future: An Interview with Henry Vann

I interviewed Bacc for the Future campaign coordinator Henry Vann on the importance of the humanities in education, and why the EBacc is problematic for the future of arts teaching.

The Oxford Culture Review

Bacc for the Future is a multi-organisation campaign to prevent the EBacc (English Baccalaureate) from becoming a compulsory performance measure in state schools, proposed by schools minister Nick Gibb in June of this year. I spoke to one of the campaign co-ordinators, Henry Vann, about what the EBacc means for schools, why he believes it is detrimental to secondary education, and what impact its introduction has had on the study of creative subjects.

What is the Bacc for the Future campaign?

It is a cross-arts coalition campaign involving the creative industries, businesses, education organisations and the subject representatives from music, drama, art, design and technology, dance etc. They have all come together to challenge the government’s plan to make the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) compulsory for all secondary school pupils. The key thing from our perspective is that we have been through this before, in a previous version — back in…

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Arts Emergency: An Interview with Neil Griffiths

Interview with Arts Emergency founder Neil Griffiths.

The Oxford Culture Review

Arts Emergency is a charity founded in 2011 by comedian Josie Long and campaigner Neil Griffiths. They are working to keep subjects in the Arts and Humanities accessible to everyone who wants to study them, regardless of barriers and perceived barriers. I spoke to Neil Griffiths about the aims and motivations of the organisation.

What is Arts Emergency? What’s your goal and how did you start out?

Josie came into my office with an idea for helping at least one student from Hackney Borough (where she lived) to go to university, study the arts, and come out without debt. She thought that was an important thing she wanted to do. We felt that rather than start up a kind of bursary for a limited number of people, we should be looking at the bigger picture and to aim to help as many people as possible in the most useful…

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Challenge Vaizey: An Interview with Fin Kennedy

Interview with playwright Fin Kennedy.

The Oxford Culture Review

Following a meeting with Culture Minister Ed Vaizey, award-winning UK playwright Fin Kennedy is running a campaign to raise governmental awareness of the effects of arts funding cuts upon theatres. I spoke to him about the project and the importance of the arts in Britain.

To anyone who doesn’t know about your campaign – what are you trying to achieve, and who can get involved?

Last month I met Culture Minister Ed Vaizey at a Writers’ Guild event at Parliament. He claimed that the recent round of swingeing cuts to public investment in the arts were having no impact at all on the development of new plays in the UK. I knew from my own experience of seeing the theatre industry I work in contracting all around me that this wasn’t true, but there are surprisingly few facts and figures available. Vaizey said he would look over any evidence I could…

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