Collaborations and Partnerships in the Research Centre for Inclusive Humanities

Our Local Communities

Since 2001, Jeff Hilson’s innovative poetry reading series, Xing the Line, currently held at Iklectik Arts Lab, Waterloo, London, has been responsible for the dissemination and impact of a range of UK-based and international linguistically innovative poetries to a wide and evolving demographic of diverse practitioners and listeners (members of the public, poets, publishers and academics).

As well as hosting monthly individual readings by poets, Xing the Line has partnered with Birkbeck, University of London, The AHRC-funded “Poetry in Expanded Translation” Network, and The University of Sheffield Centre for Poetry and Poetics to run poetry-related events (most notably the international Poetry & Revolution Conference at Birkbeck in 2012).

It has also affiliated with publishers to host the launches of poetry anthologies with a diversity agenda such as Out of Everywhere 2: Linguistically Innovative Poetry by Women in North America and the UK (Reality Street: 2015), Wretched Strangers: Borders: Movement: Homes (Boiler House Press, 2018) and The Edge of Necessary: An Anthology of Welsh Innovative Poetry 1966-2018 (Aquifer Books, 2018). Recent readers have included: Vahni Capildeo (Trinidad & UK), Isabel Waidner (UK), Alan Moore (UK).

Broader Communities

A Bit Lit

As much of the world went into lockdown in spring 2020, Andy Kesson’s A Bit Lit provided a platform for research and creativity, championing the brilliant arts and knowledge-making going on in the world right now across different sectors, time periods and disciplines in an informal, fun fashion.

This website hosts conversations, talks, Q&As, readings and creative work from interesting people. Explore the A Bit Lit library of conversation between researchers, performers, creatives, and makers of all sorts, where we discuss what it means to think about history, culture, and creativity.  A Bit Lit also makes videos driven by the passion of research and creative practice that are directed at all learners interested in exploring these questions at home.

Working with heritage and collections

Dustin Frazier Wood works closely with cultural heritage organisations and the communities in which they operate to promote public and academic engagement with archive, library and museum collections, and to make collections more accessible both physically and digitally. Dustin works closely with Spalding Gentlemen’s Society (SGS), Britain’s oldest provincial learned society and second-oldest museum. Alongside research projects, exhibitions, public engagement activities, conservation, digitisation and volunteer coordination at SGS, Dustin collaborates with the Fenland Heritage Network, and Museum Development East Midlands, to provide training and consultancy for heritage collections throughout the Midlands and beyond.

Dustin also spearheads Roehampton’s collaboration with the University of the 3rd Age (u3a) and leads projects that bring u3a members together with heritage collections for research-based projects. Recent examples of u3a collaboration include 

  • The Stukeley Memoirs Project, in which u3a and SGS members are transcribing and researching a five-volume manuscript account of the history of the Royal Society in the 18th century in order to produce an open access digital edition: the first edition in the public domain and a key resource for the history of science and the international Republic of Letters.
  • Travelling Plants, funded by The National Archives, in partnership with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Library and Archives, in which u3a members are transcribing, researching and encoding the first of Kew’s Record Books, a vital but little-known resource for the global history of plants. 

Major and fringe theatre groups and companies

Professor Clare McManus (through the Engendering the Stage project) and Dr Andy Kesson (through the Before Shakespeare project) have uncovered new findings in the histories of cis female, transgender, queer, disabled performers and performers of colour in early modern English drama. Between them, they have explored these findings in diverse ways with a range of major and fringe theatre groups, providing exciting means for research to be applied in the context of performance of the work of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Collaborations include:

  • Work with theatremaker Emma Frankland to stage a performance of John Lyly’s Galatea with a cast of trans, BAME and deaf actors;
  • Creative opportunities with theatre company The Dolphin’s Back, leading to the commissioning of the company’s production of Lyly’s The Woman in the Moon by Shakespeare’s Globe;
  • Work to inform the casting practices, co-create innovative new ways of performing theatre and transform educational and interpretive materials at the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Archives, Shakespeare’s Globe, Museum of London Archaeology and the Stratford Festival.

Libraries and library organisations

Professor Shelley Trower’s major projects Memories of Fiction and Living Libraries engaged with libraries across England to record oral histories which exposed the importance of reading and libraries for health and wellbeing; libraries as safe and social spaces; libraries as sources of information; the contribution of libraries to a sustainable future. In particular, the Living Libraries project was developed in close consultation with major library organisations and stakeholders, including Libraries Connected, the Chartered Institute for Librarians and Information Professionals (CILIP), the Libraries Taskforce and National Life Stories at the British Library. The research and interviews have the potential to influence the future direction of libraries, with the interviews being used in the advocacy of these organisations and the research contributing to a policy briefing that adds academic rigour to the case for public libraries in the United Kingdom.

Keats House

Keats House Museum (formerly Wentworth Place) in Hampstead, London, is one of the most famous writers' houses in the world. Visitors from all around the world come to see where the Romantic poet John Keats lived, worked and fell in love. We have good links with Keats House through the Techne Collaborative Doctoral Award scheme, and through Professor Ian Haywood's tenure as President of the British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS) 2015-19.