Aims and Objectives


The aim of the programme is to support a multi-disciplinary community of scholars and practitioners drawn from Higher Education, museums, galleries, libraries and archives, business, policy, media, technology and the law to explore how human communication is articulated through sound, sight and associated sensory perceptions in both the past and the present. It aims to enhance connections between those who make and preserve works and those who study them, bridging divides that have often hampered effective scholarship, policy debates and discussion. It aims to have outputs which generate new questions and research and to provide a platform for future investigations. In doing so, it aims to be deliberately international and comparative in order to encourage innovative forms of research.

By the end of the five-year period, the Beyond Text programme will have:

  1. Stimulated high-quality research in the thematic areas, and in response to the research questions posed by the Beyond Text programme which will both draw on a wide range of disciplinary resources and skills and encourage interdisciplinary collaboration, in and beyond Higher Education Institutions.

  2. Made distinctive contributions to the theoretical, conceptual, thematic, practice-led and empirical study of these areas.

  3. Created an arena for shared debate both within and beyond the academic community on how to use evidence, approaches and methods to generate new questions and issues for those working with performances, sounds, images and objects.

  4. Developed a body of theory, methods, approaches and case studies which allow for a comparative analysis of issues concerning these questions and themes across time and place.

  5. Facilitated connections, communication and exchange - at both project and programme levels - between researchers and a wide range of individuals and organisations outside academia with an interest in the research and its outcomes, including but not limited to those in the ICT, public policy, legal, creative and cultural sectors, museums, galleries, libraries and archives, performance spaces and the media. These connections will be international as well as British in scope.

  6. Contributed to public awareness of this research through programme and project-based outputs and events.

  7. Generated research findings and outcomes of international significance, and disseminated them to an international audience both within and beyond academia.

  8. Developed a vibrant research community whose activities will continue beyond the life of the Beyond Text programme.

  9. Built capacity in this field, in part by supporting early career researchers and postgraduate students.

  10.  Informed and inflected public policy in this field.

The programme as a whole will meet these objectives with contributions from individual projects and leadership from the programme director.  Projects are expected to help in achieving the above, but are not expected to deliver all of the programme's objectives. 



Arts & Humanities Research Council: Each year the AHRC provides approximately £100 million from the Government to support research and postgraduate study in the arts and humanities, from archaeology and English literature to design and dance. In any one year, the AHRC makes approximately 700 research awards and around 1,000 postgraduate awards. Awards are made after a rigorous peer review process, to ensure that only applications of the highest quality are funded. Arts and humanities researchers constitute nearly a quarter of all research-active staff in the higher education sector. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK. See Arts & Humanities Research Council website.