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Mapping Knowledge: exploiting English studies research in broadcast media and the publishing industry

Summary of the impact

The history of cartography research group at Queen Mary have exploited their research on the cultural history of maps in the early modern period to enhance public understanding of mapmaking and the knowledge that maps create. They have taken their academic research to a wider audience through authored television and radio programmes, research council-funded books, public lectures and reviews across a range of media. In this way, their research has generated significant economic impact, contributing to the economic prosperity of the creative sector, including trade publishing, print media journalism, television, and literary festivals, and improving the quality of evidence, argument and expression in public discourse on contemporary map-making.

Submitting Institution

Queen Mary, University of London

Unit of Assessment

English Language and Literature

Summary Impact Type

Cultural

Research Subject Area(s)

Language, Communication and Culture: Cultural Studies, Literary Studies
History and Archaeology: Historical Studies

The Public Understanding of the Crusades through Television

Summary of the impact

This case study concerns two forms of impact from the 2012 BBC2 television series, The Crusades, based on the research of Asbridge (www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01b3fpw): on the public understanding of the crusades; and on the creative industries. Asbridge's landmark television series, which he wrote and presented, informed public understanding of the crusades as an historical event with contemporary echoes in international political debate. In this example of one area of the School's historical research, a Queen Mary historian has drawn upon two decade's research on the history of the crusades to mediate his findings for a national and international public audience. Asbridge's series presented his research in an accessible, non-technical form to over two million viewers in the UK and to audiences across the world from Australia to Russia. In achieving a major BBC television commission to produce a series based on his research, Asbridge also made a contribution to the creative industries. The Crusades led to employment and prosperity for a television production company (360 Productionswww.360production.com/) and to the development of BBC television history.

Submitting Institution

Queen Mary, University of London

Unit of Assessment

History

Summary Impact Type

Cultural

Research Subject Area(s)

Language, Communication and Culture: Literary Studies
History and Archaeology: Historical Studies
Philosophy and Religious Studies: Religion and Religious Studies

Theatre History and the General Public: Plays, Companies and Playhouses

Summary of the impact

Dr Lucy Munro's consultancy and public engagement work with Shakespeare's Globe and King Edward VI School has brought her cutting-edge research on early modern theatre history into the public domain, helping to shape not only broader understandings of this field in the culture at large but also the performative and material specifics of its contemporary production. Dr Munro's research focuses in particular on the places in which plays were performed, the companies that performed them, and the ways in which theatrical repertories were constructed.

Submitting Institution

Keele University

Unit of Assessment

English Language and Literature

Summary Impact Type

Cultural

Research Subject Area(s)

Studies In Creative Arts and Writing: Performing Arts and Creative Writing
Language, Communication and Culture: Literary Studies
History and Archaeology: Historical Studies

John Tosh, Citizen Scholars and the Practical Application of History

Summary of the impact

This case study concerns the public understanding of history as a practical discipline. Through a series of high-profile research publications, popular articles, and textbooks, Professor John Tosh's research has had an impact in two distinct ways. Firstly, these publications have been incorporated into teaching and lecturing practice internationally, influencing students' understanding of the discipline. Secondly, they have had an impact on wider public understanding of history as a practical discipline. The reach and significance of this impact is demonstrated by publication sales and readership figures, high-profile critical reception, political debate and wider public discourse.

Submitting Institution

Roehampton University

Unit of Assessment

History

Summary Impact Type

Cultural

Research Subject Area(s)

History and Archaeology: Historical Studies

Expanding public understanding of Byzantium and its political and cultural legacy to Europe and the Near East

Summary of the impact

Public interest in Byzantium has traditionally been low, and Byzantium mostly viewed as a decadent non-western postscript to Greco-Roman civilisation. Throughout her decades of research Herrin has led the field in bringing a new perception of Byzantium into mainstream world history. From 2008, through the unforeseen immense popularity of her 2007 book and its many translated editions (3.2), she has awoken widespread public interest in and engagement with Byzantium. The principal benefit is cultural enrichment and increased knowledge of the international public interested in the history of Europe and the Near East; the book has also had impact in stimulating reflection on and discussion of current problems of nationalism and intolerance, especially in the regions from the Danube to the Tigris.

Submitting Institution

King's College London

Unit of Assessment

Classics

Summary Impact Type

Cultural

Research Subject Area(s)

Language, Communication and Culture: Literary Studies
History and Archaeology: Historical Studies
Philosophy and Religious Studies: Religion and Religious Studies

Internationalising Dutch Studies

Summary of the impact

Research on the discipline of Dutch Studies conducted at UCL contributed to recommendations from the Raad voor de Nederlandse Taal en Letteren (Council for Dutch Language and Literature), providing policy advice to the Committee of Ministers overseeing the Dutch Language Union, the intergovernmental organisation responsible for the internal and external language policies of the Netherlands and Flanders. This in turn led to a new policy of the Dutch Language Union, which influences a €12 million annual budget supporting Dutch language infrastructure across the world. It also led to substantial worldwide debate amongst university teachers and to changes in how these subjects are taught and researched.

Submitting Institution

University College London

Unit of Assessment

Modern Languages and Linguistics

Summary Impact Type

Cultural

Research Subject Area(s)

Language, Communication and Culture: Literary Studies
History and Archaeology: Historical Studies
Philosophy and Religious Studies: History and Philosophy of Specific Fields

Impact on public engagement with two areas of Church history: the life and work of the scientist, theologian and philosopher Robert Grosseteste (c.1168-1253), and movements and ideas in the Reformation

Summary of the impact

The impact that pertains to this case study is located in three domains. Firstly, lay engagement with the understanding and appreciation of ecclesiastical history via public lectures. Secondly, informing understanding about the historical, theological and philosophical processes attached to the discipline of ecclesiastical history through expert comments in the mass media. Thirdly, through the organisation of conferences leading to the development of international societies, international partnerships, and engagement with the general public and dissemination of original research.

Submitting Institution

Bishop Grosseteste University

Unit of Assessment

History

Summary Impact Type

Cultural

Research Subject Area(s)

Language, Communication and Culture: Literary Studies
History and Archaeology: Historical Studies

Working towards the F├╝hrer: Shaping Public Understanding of Nazi Power

Summary of the impact

Professor Sir Ian Kershaw's The End (2011) marked his `final word' on the Nazi state and so concluded research that fundamentally changed public understanding of Nazi power. A key stage in this transformation came with the publication of Kershaw's definitive biography of Adolf Hitler (2 vols: 1998, 2000), which during the assessment period continued to shape how the Third Reich was taught in schools and universities. Through his concept, 'working towards the Führer', Kershaw's publications have shifted public understandings across Europe of Hitler's relationship with the German people. A variety of publishing formats, including TV collaborations and a major exhibition at the Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin, testify to the extent of the impact while responses to the research culminated with the Leipzig Book Award for European Understanding. Beyond the Nazi state, Kershaw's work has profoundly influenced contemporary understandings of the Holocaust by demonstrating the incorporation of ordinary citizens in the system of government that made it possible. His research has thus changed both scholarly and public understanding of the nature of Nazi power, within both Germany and the wider confines of occupied Europe. Kershaw's contribution to European reconciliation, as emphasised by the Leipzig Book Award judges [S4], lies in our deeper comprehension of the historical circumstances of the Second World War and the Holocaust, which has allowed current generations to come to terms with these events, both in Germany and elsewhere.

Submitting Institution

University of Sheffield

Unit of Assessment

History

Summary Impact Type

Cultural

Research Subject Area(s)

History and Archaeology: Historical Studies

Trajectories of European Jewish identity: Providing tools to engage with pasts unknown

Summary of the impact

Research by Michael Berkowitz, François Guesnet and John D. Klier has inspired and informed a wide range of public engagement, including exhibitions, popular television shows (such as Who Do You Think You Are? reaching 5.82 million viewers) and lively conversation on internet-based forums. Their work on Jewish life and culture in continental Europe and Britain has shaped and provided vital content to local, national and international communities numbering in the millions. Through non-academic conferences and lectures, stimulated and contributed to international public debate on little-discussed histories, and provided cultural organisations an opportunity to promote and participate in this debate.

Submitting Institution

University College London

Unit of Assessment

Theology and Religious Studies

Summary Impact Type

Societal

Research Subject Area(s)

Language, Communication and Culture: Literary Studies
History and Archaeology: Historical Studies
Philosophy and Religious Studies: Religion and Religious Studies

Consultancies on Medicinal Cannibalism to Promote Documentary Film-making (CS1)

Summary of the impact

Dr Richard Sugg has applied his research on the cultural history of medicinal cannibalism in a series of consultancies for makers of television and radio documentaries. International media coverage of his research led to collaborations with independent documentary companies. He provided decisive contributions to programme scripting, filming strategy and content, all derived directly from his research findings. These programmes were screened by national and international broadcasters, helping the programme-makers to develop their companies and the broadcasters to secure audiences and revenue. This research therefore had creative and commercial impacts in the documentary film-making industry, in which the UK is a world-leader.

Submitting Institution

University of Durham

Unit of Assessment

English Language and Literature

Summary Impact Type

Cultural

Research Subject Area(s)

Language, Communication and Culture: Cultural Studies, Literary Studies
History and Archaeology: Historical Studies

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