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Institute for Collaborative Research in the Humanities

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Institute for Collaborative Research in the Humanities

The Institute for Collaborative Research in the Humanities was an academic research group established in August 2012 at Queen's University Belfast. It achieved some notability for organising a conference concerned with the ramification of the 2015 Charlie Hebdo shooting, and in February 2016 the University announced the immediate winding-up of the institute, and its closure by 31 July 2016.



The Institute provided strategic leadership at Queen’s supporting and enhancing world class interdisciplinary research in the Humanities at all levels, from postgraduate training and early career research through to the development of large-scale collaborative research projects of exceptional scope and importance. It encouraged and promoted cross-School, cross-Faculty and inter-institutional collaboration that leads to high-quality research outputs with significant impact on society.

The Institute identified a wide variety of opportunities for training, mentoring, and knowledge-exchange across the Humanities, enhancing postgraduate employability and career prospects as well as contributing to the social and economic well-being of communities with which researchers in Humanities at Queen’s made connections.

The Institute lead and managed the substantial commitment by Queen’s to the Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership, a consortium with Newcastle University and Durham University to the AHRC Block Grant Partnership process.

Core activities included supporting research in the Humanities, and prioritising and supporting collaborative research and teamwork on a flexible set of broadly interdisciplinary themes.

Charlie Hebdo controversy & closure

In 2015, the Institute was at the centre of a controversy involving delivery of a conference exploring the implications of the attack in Paris of that year. The 2016 closure of the institute has been ascribed to the University's displeasure with the controversy, though the University states that it was a decision "taken in the context of wider plans for the future of Queen's." The Institute's director, Prof John Thompson, left the employment of the University in February 2016.


  1. COST Action - ISCH COST Action IS1301.
  2. Digital Humanities Initiative.


Institute for Collaborative Research in the Humanities Wikipedia

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