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Call for HEI proposals to host national debates as part of the AHRC's 10th anniversary

The AHRC is marking its tenth anniversary in 2015 through a number of activities designed to showcase the achievements of the arts and humanities research community over the last decade, to look forward to the coming decade and to celebrate the role of the arts and humanities in all areas of our national life.

One of these activities is to be a series of five or six national debates to be held at universities and cultural organisations around the UK at intervals during the year. The theme of the series will be ‘The Way We Live Now’ and individual debates will focus on more specific themes such as The Nation, Identity, Leisure, The City, Space, etc. The intention is that these debates will examine key aspects of our human world, the ways in which they are changing and shaping our lives, and to explore the ways in which the arts and humanities and the different disciplines within them can help us understand our changing world.

A key objective of the AHRC’s anniversary activities is to engage the arts and humanities community and to celebrate its achievements over the last decade and, with this in mind, the AHRC is looking to co-host and co-fund these national debates with universities and Independent Research Organisations (IROs) within the UK.

This call is therefore issued to elicit applications to co-host and co-fund individual events within the series outlined above and to work with the AHRC on developing, organising and delivering these debates.

The series theme will be ‘The Way We Live Now’. Individual debates will explore and examine specific aspects of our human world, such as The City, Identity, The Book, Faith, Diversity, The Nation. We would encourage applicants to suggest other topics within the overarching theme of ‘The Way We Live Now” which accord with areas of institutional expertise, although the AHRC wishes to keep a strong sense of continuity across the series.

A key objective of the debates is to bring a range of different disciplines to bear on the exploration of these themes; for example, a debate on ‘The City’ might be addressed by specialists in human geography, history, archaeology, literature, linguistics, classics, among many other disciplinary areas.

It is envisaged that each debate will feature three or four speakers who will speak for approximately 15 – 20 minutes each. Each debate should allow plenty of time for audience participation and it is hoped that discussion will extend into the online space through live streaming and social media. It is envisaged that a post-event reception for speakers and attendees should be held immediately after the debates.

Further information can be found in the call document (PDF) (PDF, 121KB).