Themes of sea, migration and mobility swept through the launch of the University’s Research Institute for Literature and Cultural History at Liverpool Tate.
The newest of the Liverpool John Moores University research institutes produces work of world-leading and international excellence and enjoys a track record of public engagement that accords with the university’s aims in widening participation and civic mission.
Launch guests included representatives of cultural partnerships across the city, senior staff from HE institutions across the North-West, Honorary Fellows, staff from across LJMU and from the postgraduate community.
The event showcased the work of staff in English and Creative Writing through critical and cultural presentations around themes of the sea, margins and mobility. The keynote speaker, Professor Steven Mentz, of St John’s University, New York is a leading figure in the ‘blue Humanities’, currently one of the most exciting and innovative areas of research. His wide-ranging and compelling lecture covered Shakespeare, climate change and swimming.
Other speakers included Professor David Amigoni, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research at Keele University and our first PhD student in English at LJMU. He spoke of the energy and innovative of the then Polytechnics and the ways in which their commitment to innovation was being sustained in the work of the Institute.
Dr Alex Thomson of the University of Edinburgh and Chair of University English, the national subject body, described the huge potential for socially valuable and interdisciplinary research in English.
Professor Joe Yates, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Arts, Professional and Social Studies at LJMU thanked everyone, commenting that the thematic synergies emerging around migration and mobility were clearly relevant to the city of Liverpool and the region. The launch had further endorsed the vibrancy of the research culture in the Institute, he said.
In keeping with its central ‘watery’ theme, the afternoon ended with a performance of the LJMU shanty choir: ‘Anti-Shanties’.
Picture: Dr Alex Thomson, Professor David Amigoni, Professor Glenda Norquay, head of the Institute and Professor Joe Yates.