Research centres and networks
Often highly interdisciplinary, these groups bring together researchers at all career stages with partners and stakeholders on a range of activities.
Research centres and networks range from formal collaborations to informal groups of researchers working together on a theme or challenge.
A number are based in - or are affiliated with - the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC); others are based elsewhere in the University of Edinburgh or wider academic community, but involve our staff and students.
The groups provide opportunities for researchers at all career stages to work together with partners and stakeholders in organising events, workshopping publications, engaging audiences outside the academy, and exploring ideas for future projects and funding bids.
Here are just a few of our current groups, and significant networks that are no longer live but have left a legacy of networking and collaboration...
Part of a select network of six Alwaleed Centres at leading universities in the UK, USA and the Middle East, the Centre aims to promote a better understanding of Islam and Islamic culture through ground-breaking research and innovative outreach projects.
Established in 1995, the Centre promotes the teaching of francophone Belgian literature on university courses, and hosts a range of activities relating to the field of francophone Belgian studies, including seminars, conferences, publications, writing competitions, film screenings and other cultural events.
Established in 2006 and active until 2016, CASAW was one of five inter-institutional Centres of Excellence in Language-Based Area Studies (LBAS) supported by the joint Research Councils. Bringing together the universities of Edinburgh, Durham and Manchester, it played a key role in the UK government’s initiative to build crucial expertise on the Arab World based on a knowledge of the Arabic language coupled with advanced research methods skills in the social and political sciences, arts and humanities. In its second phase, activities were funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).
Involving colleagues in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies at LLC, the Centre brings together researchers from across the University of Edinburgh working on research related to Latin America.
Established in 1995, the interdisciplinary Centre for the History of the Book was active at the University of Edinburgh for 25 years. Hosting visiting fellows, public lectures, workshops and seminars, the Centre promoted research into the production, circulation and reception of published material, from manuscripts to electronic texts. You can still access its video resources online.
Spanning a range of disciplines in European, Islamic, American and Asian studies, including medieval literatures and cultures, the Centre brings together around 70 researchers across the University of Edinburgh.
Partnered with Fudan University in Shanghai, and part of a worldwide network of some 450 Confucius Institutes, the Centre promotes educational, economic, and cultural ties between Scotland and China.
Established by PhD students in European Languages and Cultures in 2017, this collaborative interdisciplinary network brings together researchers working on memory. Originally active through keynote lectures, symposia and film screenings, the network pivoted to podcasting in 2020 and continues to broadcast talks and interviews online. Founders Dr Paul Armstrong Leworthy (German) and Dr Bárbara Fernández Melleda (Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies) are now working at the Universities of Edinburgh and Hong Kong respectively.
Based around a series of events, and led by colleagues in German and Russian Studies, this research strand interrogates the ways in which cultural encounters and cultural dialogues take place.
Bringing together specialists in the fields of anglophone and francophone diasporas, this international network is unique in comparing the various diasporic communities’ responses to issues of identity, belonging and relocation in the specific contexts of British/French and Canadian immigration policies.
An informal interdisciplinary network meeting in-person and online, this group brings together researchers, artists, and writers interested in the gastronomics of modern literature and life. Spanning diverse critical contexts, from the medical humanities to posthumanism, Digestive Modernisms looks at food, diet, and gut health in modernist literature, art, culture and philosophy.
A network of scholars working on translation, ecology and environment, in part to foster awareness of eco-translation in mainstream debates on climate action. Members are based in a wide variety of disciplines ranging from comparative literature and environmental history to computational science, philosophy and translation studies.
Convened by the University of Edinburgh, but with members from across the north of the UK, this network spans an interdisciplinary range of expertise and interests in Buddhism. Members and Associate Members from the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC) include researchers in Asian Studies with specialisms in Chinese, Japanese and Sanskrit studies.
Growing out of conversations started in a group on Emotionally Distressing Research, this is a forum for researchers experiencing the ‘pressure on thinking’ from the ethical dilemmas their research gives rise to. Involving researchers from across the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, including colleagues in German Studies and Translation Studies, it embeds ethical reflection in research culture and collaboration.
Based in Celtic & Scottish Studies, the Centre’s primary focus is the promotion of research into everyday life and society in Scotland through long-term projects such as the Regional Ethnology of Scotland and publications including Scottish Life and Society: A Compendium of Scottish ethnology.
Initially funded by an AHRC Research Network Grant (2015-2017), this collaborative network led by Professor Marion Schmid brings together an international team of researchers and artists from France, Belgium, Austria, Romania, and the UK to forge new directions in the study of cinematic intermediality. Its particular focus is the ways in which the moving image is shaped and revitalised by artistic cross-fertilisation.
Involving researchers such as Dr Will Lamb in Celtic & Scottish Studies, this emerging network brings together academics interested in computational research on the Gaelic languages. The Group's bilingual blog features news, opinion pieces, interviews and other resources on projects such as the development of an Automatic Speech Recognition system for Scottish Gaelic.
Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), this network is co-ordinated by Dr Nicola Frith (University of Edinburgh) and Professor Joyce Hope Scott (Boston University). Through conferences, workshops, roundtables and collaborative projects, the INOSAAR brings together activists, academics and other partners dedicated to reparations and other forms of transitional justice for the enslavement and genocide of peoples of African descent.
Led by Professor Marion Schmid and Dr Fabien Arribert-Narce, this research strand interrogates the theory and practice of ‘intermediality’, that is, the interrelationships between different art forms and their signification. With a particular focus on events, several jointly organised with Meiji University in Tokyo, the strand brings together academics, research students and practitioners to foster exchange and initiate new collaborative projects.
Read an interview with Fabien on our research partnership with Meiji University
Based in European Languages and Cultures in LLC, this research strand explores the interplay between violence and language in various historical and cultural contexts and from different disciplinary perspectives (including literary and linguistic studies, translation, and memory studies).
Established in 1956, the Northern Scholars scheme fosters co-operation between colleagues in the University of Edinburgh and scholars of the Nordic and Baltic countries: Denmark; Finland; the Faroes; Greenland; Iceland; Norway; Sweden; Estonia; Latvia; and Lithuania. Mutual areas of interest include aspects of linguistics, history and culture common to these countries and to Scotland.
Founded in 2010, the Centre’s mission is to advance knowledge in the field of Russian language studies and to foster a broader understanding of Russia through research, academic training and knowledge exchange.
Founded in 2008, SWINC builds connections between researchers working in the field of 19th century Scottish studies and fosters public awareness of the richness and diversity of Scottish culture in the period. The network supports early career researchers, including current holders of ARHC Studentships and Marie-Curie Fellowships, and runs workshops, lectures and other events, a number of which are associated with the 250th anniversary of Sir Walter Scott in 2021.