The Impact of Impact: Partnership Working and the Humanities.

Robert Light's picture
Call for Papers
June 18, 2020
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Humanities, Social Sciences

The Impact of Impact: Partnership Working and the Humanities.

University of Huddersfield and Manchester Centre for Public History and Heritage, Manchester Metropolitan University


Venue: University of Huddersfield, 18 June 2020

For REF2021, ‘Impact beyond academia’ will represent 25% of each unit of assessment’s submission.  With impact training for Early Career Researchers, a growing cohort of Impact Support staff, and ‘Pathways to Impact’ featuring in grant applications, Impact is fast becoming an expected part of the armoury of the 21st century academic. In the next twelve months, University Impact Case Studies [ICS] will be revised and rewritten in a bid to demonstrate the reach and significance of academic research from a wide range of subject areas and methodologies.  For some, the pathways to impact are easier than others. For those involved, they can open up new funding streams and offer opportunities to develop new partnerships and communicate academic work to new audiences. At the same time, the demands for those in the Humanities to demonstrate the wider value of their research has been borne of a neo-liberal critique of their contributions to society beyond what is perceived to be the Ivory Tower of academia. Given the criteria of the ICS template, there is little space to problematize Impact, and elucidate on the challenges faced by those involved in the development and delivery of successful case studies. This free one-day event offers an opportunity to share examples of good practice and highlight the innovative contributions that the humanities make to wider society. It is also a chance to critically explore the current and ongoing problems faced by those working in partnership.


The organisers invite proposals for 20 minute papers that include, but are not limited to:

  • Public Engagement versus Impact
  • Routes or pathways to impact
  • Institutional and/or funding support for impact
  • Impact and ECRs
  • Heritage as Impact
  • Working in Communities
  • The Emotional Impact of Impact on Participants (academic and otherwise)
  • The Challenges of Impact
  • Working with External Partners
  • The Hidden and/or untold Stories of Impact
  • The Ethics of working in partnership
  • Internationalisation of impact
  • The Future of impact


Joint presentations with community partners and proposals for three-paper panels are also welcome. Please send a 300-word abstract, a short biography of each author, and 5 key words to the organisers by Monday 17th February, 2020. We intend to explore the possibilities of an edited collection or special journal edition as a follow-up to this event.


Organisers: Dr Rob Ellis (University of Huddersfield), Dr Rob Light (University of Huddersfield), and Prof Heather Shore (MCPHH, Manchester Metropolitan University)


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