Research Themes and Projects

Our research themes cover a wide range of topics, disciplines and interdisciplinary approaches.

Within the school, our researchers explore:

  • global challenges and histories;
  • identity issues and cultural and religious diversity;
  • creative practices;
  • language;
  • heritage;
  • material cultures. 

We have world leading scholars and expertise reflected in our Research Centres such as the Centre for Jewish Studies, and our Centre for the Study of Sexuality and Culture. Our cross-faculty Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute brings together cutting-edge research in disaster management and peace building, and our Centre for New Writing continues to be a leader in its field, benefiting from the presence of internationally significant prize-winning writers such as Jeanette Winterson, Kamilla Shamsi and Ian McGuire. 

In terms of linguistic and cultural diversitywe make a major contribution to research relating to the ecology of world languages and cultures, and to linguistic diversity in Manchester and beyond. 

Our NOVARS Research Centre leads the field in experimental, innovative work in electroacoustic composition, and Drama’s award-winning 'In Place of War' project features international networks of artists engaged in producing creative performances in places of war and conflict. 

The Institute for Cultural Practices conducts ground-breaking practice-based research in museology and cultural management, and includes work on the digital transformation of the arts and collaborative learning models. 

The John Rylands Research Institute and Library promotes research in the humanities and sciences using the astonishingly rich special collections of The University of Manchester Library. It is at the forefront of innovative and impactful collections-based research, incorporating new approaches in digital humanities and curation, as well as scientific techniques in the study and conservation of heritage materials. 

Recent and ongoing successful research grants, and the researchers involved, include: 


Liam Harte

Conflict, Memory and Migration: Northern Irish Migrants and the Troubles in Great Britain’ (AHRC Standard) 

Ana Carden-Coyne

Understanding Displacement Aesthetics and Creating Change in the Art Gallery for Refugees, Migrants and Host Communities’ (AHRC Standard)

Patrycja Strycharczuk

TarDiS: Targets and Dynamics in Speech (AHRC Early Career)

Laure Humbert

Colonial and Transnational Intimacies: Medical Humanitarianism in the French external Resistance, 1940-1945 (AHRC Early Career) 

Charlotte Wildman

Challenging Domesticity in Britain, 1890-1990’ (AHRC Research Networking Grant)

Ben Harker

Confronting alienation: bringing theatre to areas of low cultural engagement (AHRC Research Follow-on Grant)

Jean-Marc Dreyfus

'Disclosing post-Holocaust and deportation exhumations: the example of the French national search mission for corpses, 1945-1958’ (British Academy Senior Research Fellowship)

Stephen Todd

Commentary on Lysias speeches 12-23 (British Academy Senior Research Fellowship) 

Anastasia Valassopoulos

Palestine in the Popular Imagination’ (British Academy Senior Research Fellowship) 

Chantal Conneller

Pioneers at the edge: Magdalenians of the Channel River Valley (British Academy Small Research Grant)

Jonathan Mair

Moral education in practice: Taiwanese Buddhist short-term renunciation’ (British Academy Small Research Grant) 

Andrew Koontz-Garboden

The lexical semantics of lexical categories’ (European Research Council)

Paul Oldfield

Hidden Histories: Documenting the Past in Medieval Puglia (1130-1250)’ (Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship)

Alexia Yates

Property and the Making and Unmaking of French Empire, 1870-1970 (Leverhulme Trust Philip Leverhulme Prize)  

Erica Baffelli

'Travel in Tokugawa Period Japan (1603- 1868): Identity, Nation and Social Transformation (Marie Sklodwska-Curie Actions Individual Fellowship)

Tim Peake

Sexual health in antiquity - evidence, influence, identity’ (Wellcome Trust SEED Award)