The HRI supports a wide range of collaborative projects and activities across the Faculty. Current and recent cross-disciplinary collaborations in the Arts and Humanities include:

Varieties of Understanding

Research Network

Varieties of Understanding: Are Historical and Aesthetic Understanding Distinctly Individualizing?

Investigators: Michael Braddick (History, Sheffield), Robert Stern (Philosophy, Sheffield), Robert Hopkins (Philosophy, New York University)

Supported by the Templeton Foundation

A distinguished tradition in philosophy holds that historical and aesthetic understanding are distinctive in being individualizing. While science seeks to grasp phenomena by bringing them under general concepts and laws, the historian and the appreciative spectator seek to make sense of their objects of study in all their individuality. This project investigates the idea of individualizing understanding, and how far it characterizes aesthetic and historical practice. It attempts to articulate various options for what individualising understanding might be. It does so by considering the aesthetic case, and then ask how far the historical case fits those options. Although it is not likely that historical understanding, in particular, can be understood solely in these terms, this project’s working hypothesis is that some important strands in historical inquiry, and perhaps the central aspects of aesthetic interrogation, are usefully conceived in these ways.

The project features three workshops and a final conference hosted at New York University and the University of Sheffield. Participants include philosophers of art and history, archaeologists, and historians, including historians of both philosophy and of history itself. Participants from Sheffield will include Michael Braddick (History), Benjamin Ziemann (History), Phil Withington (History), Robert Stern (Philosophy) and John Barrett (Archaeology).

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Marjorie Levinson

Postgraduate Masterclass

In March 2015, the School of Languages and Cultures, Prokhorov Centre for the Study of Central and Eastern European Intellectual and Cultural History, and Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies co-hosted a visit by Professor Marjorie Levinson, L. Huetwell Professor of English at the University of Michigan: a leading expert in Romanticism, lyric, literary and cultural theory, and the author of The Romantic Fragment Poem: Critique of a Form, Wordsworth’s Great Period Poems, and Keats’s Life of Allegory: Origins of a Style. During her visit, she delivered a lecture entitled ‘Lyric: The Idea of this Invention’ and held a masterclass for postgraduate students and staff on Romanticism.

Imagined Futures

Research Project

‘Whose imagined futures? - Revisiting the modernist dream’

This project – a collaboration between Susan Reid (Russian, Sheffield), Prue Chiles (Architecture, Newcastle), and Kim Streets (Museums Sheffield) – revisits Park Hill flats, an iconic modernist housing development currently being re-developed by Urban Splash and the subject of a study conducted by Museums Sheffield in 1999-2000 about residents’ experiences. The project will produce a film exploring the personal experiences of life in the newly regenerated building, and will draw on Susan Reid's previous work interviewing the residents of Soviet housing blocks to explore the relationship between domesticity, material culture and imagining better futures.

The project is funded by AHRC as part of the Connected Communities consortium project: “The social, historical, cultural and democratic context of civic engagement: Imagining different communities and making them happen”.

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Digital Projects

Full list of The Digital Humanities Institute projects

Film Hub North: How Audiences Form

This project involves the School of English, Department of Sociological Studies and The Digital Humanities Institute working with Film Hub North and the BFI to develop a Strategic Plan for developing audience engagement in national cinema.

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Connecting Shakespeare

Connecting Shakespeare

A collaborative Research & Development project between the Folger Shakespeare Library and The Digital Humanities Institute team to develop a federated semantic search and discovery service for the Folger's multiple, online resources.

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Digital Panopticon

Digital Panopticon

This project uses data mapping and life-course analysis to investigate a central issue of penology and social policy: the relative impacts of different types of punishment on criminal desistance, health outcomes, employment opportunities, and family life over the long term. Using sophisticated data-linking methodologies and data visualisation techniques developed by the HRI, it will join together existing and widely used large datasets (Old Bailey Online, London Lives, and Founders and Survivors) with newly digitised data to make it possible to chart the fortunes of all Londoners convicted at the Old Bailey between the departure of the First Fleet to Australia (1787) through to the death of the last transported Londoner in Australia in the early 1920s.

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