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Research priority area

Culture, Continuity & Transformation

The Culture, Continuity and Transformation Research Priority Area supports research and education that is critically reflective of its role in shaping culture and works towards social justice, wellbeing, ecological sustainability, and general cultural enrichment.

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Our research gains insight into culture through detailed analysis of representation in texts, novels, scriptures and historical records to life narratives, films, and everyday texts such as magazines.

Another aspect of research is the creation of cultural artifacts including plays, novels, and poems. The analysis and creative practice frequently explore key issues affecting the lives and wellbeing of many, such as colonialisation, racism, trauma, sexism, political repression, and ecological destruction.

These issues, explored using literary, philosophical, theological, political, ecological and linguistic theories, and the results of the research, inform practical impact activities designed to make a difference in the world.

Historic slavery

Decolonising past and present

This theme examines how new approaches to the past in terms of culture, heritage, and memory can be used to address issues of contested heritage such as those revealed in the aftermath of the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020. Using local case studies and collaborating with local institutions and organisations, this area promotes a more critical understanding of history to help bridge social divisions.

Genre and Representation

This theme provides a focus for research into the politics of representation. Research explores the impact of literature and texts on wider audiences and the capacity to inform public and political debates. Connections are made between textual innovation and thematic content. Studies are informed by current debates around feminism, postcolonialism, genre, ecology, critical pedagogy, and social justice.

Student sat in dark room

Religion, Arts and Engagement

This theme embraces research and impact integrating religious ideas and experience and their artistic, literary, dramatic and musical interpretation and expression for public benefit. Areas of interest include interpretation of the Song of Songs in its original context and via paint on canvas, and Hindu traditions as a source of new strategies for addressing social justice issues and Covid.


Research centres


Contact Arran Stibbe, research priority area convenor for Culture, Continuity and Transformation.


We’ll get back to you as soon as we can within office hours