The programme runs from January 2005 to the end of February 2010 with a budget of £6.3 million.
The AHRC added strategic programmes to its other research funding modes in 2004. The first two autonomous programmes were launched in April 2005 (DMI) and January 2006 (L&E) respectively.
The purpose of such programmes is “to invest in areas where there is a sense of intellectual urgency and where a concentrated stream of funding may be needed in order rapidly to advance the field”.
AHRC strategic initiatives
Themes, schemes and other activities
The programme covers the full range of arts and humanities disciplines. Its themes are,
migration, settlement and diaspora: modes, stages and forms;
representation, performance and discourse;
languages and linguistic change;
subjectivity, emotion and identity;
objects, practices and places;
beliefs, values and laws.
Interdisciplinary research themes
In October 2005, we commissioned
20 small research projects
14 workshops and networks
In July 2006, we commissioned
15 large research grants (from a total of 157 applications, short-listed to 25)
Total £5.5 million; including four studentships.
Commissioning projects within the programme
In addition to projects, networks and workshops, other programme activities include,
Programme database and email updates;
Programme website, www.diasporas.ac.uk;
Workshops for award-holders, RAs and PGs;
Two postgraduate conferences, 2006 and 2008;
Open seminars and joint programme events in 2008;
A final conference;
A programme book: Diasporas: Concepts, Identities, Intersections.
On a variety of subjects including,
Memory and identity among Palestinian women refugees
Migrating foods and sensual experience
Afghan music in London
Risorgimento in exile
Sudanese refugees dealing with displacement
Black British drama
Artefacts and narratives of migration
The making of gypsy diasporas.
Small research projects
Tanya Kaiser, SOAS
Answering Exile: how Sudanese refugees deal with displacement
This project sets out to develop recent thinking on the socio-cultural construction of place in the context of debates about human displacement and emplacement. Its ethnographic focus is some of the multiply displaced Southern Sudanese groups currently resident in Uganda and in Sudan. The project investigates relationships between place and the social and ritual activity performed there, and raises questions about the construction of identity and of social value in this context.
Small research projects: example 1
Dr Kate Pahl, Sheffield
Artefacts and narratives of migration: Rotherham museum collections and the Pakistani/Kashmiri community
This project involved collaboration between two universities, Creative Partnerships, a museum, local families, a school, a Sure Start centre, and a visual artist. It explored ways in which museum practices and the collection of artefacts within a museum are both upheld and disrupted through the presentation of an exhibition of identity narratives. The exhibition, at the Walker Gallery Rotherham, was opened in February 2007, and a web-based version is at http://www.ferhamfamilies.com/intro.html.
Small research projects: example 2
Postgraduate e-mail updates
Opportunities for project postgraduates to meet
Training opportunities (cross-programme)
For information on networks and large grants, see lists in workshop packs.
Call for working papers for website
Towards a history and politics of diasporas and migration: A grounded spatial approach
Narratives of migration and artefacts of identity: new imaginings and new generations
Beyond the Community – Queer Migrant Club Cultures in Metropolitan Spaces
Here we go - but where? The possibilities of diaspora in the field of sport
The making of gypsy diasporas
Young asylum seekers’ conceptions of home
We are working with other programmes to organise joint events which will involve award holders and allow them to disseminate their research in interdisciplinary contexts.
Encounters and Intersections: Diasporas, Religion and Identities Joint conference (with AHRC/ESRC ‘Religion and Society’ and ESRC ‘Identities and Social Action’), 9-11 July 2008, St Catherine’s College Oxford;
Diasporas, space and the city Joint double session (with AHRC ‘Landscape and Environment’) at RGS/IBG Annual Conference, London 27-29 August 2008.
Forthcoming joint programme activities
AHRC Research programmes:
Research quality, range and coherence;
Research engagement and dissemination (including knowledge exchange);
Collaboration and interdisciplinarity;
Improving public awareness of arts and humanities research;
Embedding research in medium to long term agenda;
Monitoring and evaluation of research.
Both research quality and range of disciplines and themes are considered to be important in an interdisciplinary strategic programme.
Furthermore, the programme has to have coherence, with links made between different projects and activities, and with development of a body of common ideas and interests.
Quality, range and coherence
AHRC stresses the importance of engagement and dissemination,
research collaboration with the cultural sector (e.g. ‘Moving Here’, National Archive; regional and national museums and galleries);
engagement with public, voluntary or community bodies to share knowledge and develop outcomes of mutual interest and benefit (e.g. Home Office, interfaith bodies, community arts projects);
the development of outputs directed at a wide non-academic audience (e.g. web pages, exhibitions, theatre, music, installations, public lectures or presentations).
Research engagement and dissemination
It is important for the programme to,
Break down disciplinary boundaries through research networks and collaborative projects;
Develop links with other research programmes and centres within AHRC (e.g. Landscape and Environment, Religion and Society, Beyond Text;
Develop links with research programmes and centres outside AHRC, e.g. ESRC Identities and Social Action, COMPAS);
Develop links with emerging programmes in Europe and beyond on related themes such as migration and cultural diversity (e.g. Ford/SSRC programmes on migration.
Collaboration and interdisciplinarity
On public awareness, the programme seeks to,
promote research on DMI through the website;
engage with the interests of a diverse range of stakeholders beyond the academy;
raise the profile of the programme and its projects in the media;
link up with other related research programmes in public events;
have an impact on public awareness and, as appropriate, policy.
Seeking to improve public awareness of arts and humanities research
By the end of the programme, research on diasporas, migration and identities should be embedded in the intellectual agenda of the arts and humanities;
DMI should stimulate interest beyond its 5-year duration in applications to responsive-mode schemes;
DMI should contribute to developing the research agenda of funding bodies in and beyond the UK;
Funding in this area should have a substantial impact beyond the academy;
Through its website, publications and other outcomes, DMI research should continue to have an impact beyond the life of the programme.
Embedding diasporas and migration
research in future agenda
AHRC has responsibility for requesting and assessing final project reports within the programme, but the director is responsible for other aspects of programme monitoring and evaluation. There is a DMI programme evaluation framework.
The director will request progress reports from project award holders annually. These will be read and any outstanding or problematic issues followed up. Information from your reports will be used in the annual programme report (see http://www.diasporas.ac.uk/publications.htmfor reports for 2005 and 2006).
Steering committee mentors will visit award holders annually.
Monitoring and evaluation of research: progress reports
Project Mentors will be members of the DMI Steering Committee (SC). Committee members will be responsible for overseeing the welfare and progress of one or two large research projects within the programme. The role is intended to be informal, collegial, supportive and based on shared interests.
The aims of the role are (a) to make and maintain connections between the SC and the programme’s large research projects, (b) to provide award holders with additional programme level support and communication, and (c) to give SC members direct insights into some of the emerging research activities and findings.
Monitoring and evaluation of research: project mentors 1
The role will normally involve the following,
an annual visit or conference call in order to meet the project team;
answering questions about the programme and the work of the Steering Committee (SC);
taking any queries back to the SC;
and noting project achievements and progress for report to the SC.
Monitoring and evaluation of research: project mentors 2
The programme director will prepare an annual report with information about attainments and evaluation of progress towards programme goals. This will be monitored by the programme Steering Committee and sent to AHRC Strategic Advisory Group.
In these annual reports the director will consider the success of the programme in meeting goals of quality, range and coherence, engagement and dissemination, collaboration and interdisciplinarity, in raising the public profile of arts and humanities research, and embedding diasporas and migration research in longer-term agenda.
The director will write a final programme report in 2010.
Monitoring and evaluation of research: director’s reports
University of Leeds