School of Arts and Humanities
While its roots date back to the 13th century, the study of the arts and humanities at Cambridge is deeply engaged with the world today. It is distinguished by research and teaching of the highest order, and imaginative interaction across the boundaries of subject and convention.
Here are some of the ways in which you can support world-leading scholarship that provides nothing less than a “sat nav system for exploring civilizations”*, and goes to the heart of how we think about and understand our world and ourselves.
* Dr Andy Martin, Lecturer in French, University of Cambridge
From Samuel Pepys to Sylvia Plath, exceptional people have studied at Cambridge because enlightened people have supported them. Today, the continued excellence of the School’s graduate community hinges on the University’s ability to provide scholarships to the most outstanding candidates, offered at an early stage in the applications process. This applies to Masters and doctoral programmes across all academic disciplines, encompassing the languages, literatures, arts, cultures, beliefs and ideas of every region of the world, and ranging from the classical to the contemporary. By bringing fresh and challenging perspectives to bear on their subjects, graduate students play a vital role in ensuring that knowledge is renewed, and understanding deepened. Their experience of advanced study at Cambridge is, in turn, a formative one that equips them to play influential roles in their professions and vocations.
Supporting senior, strategic academic leadership by securing key posts is crucial to the continued excellence of the Arts and Humanities at Cambridge. It is a sign of the abiding importance of these leadership posts that many of them were established centuries ago, by benefactors ranging from Kings to tabloid newspaper proprietors. Opportunities exist to ensure that the following – as yet un-named – Professorships can continue to lead academic enquiry and shape public understanding: Music (established in 1684); Medieval and Renaissance Literature (established in 1954 for C S Lewis. Next year marks the 50th anniversary of his death); Classics; and the newest of these posts, Sustainable Architecture. The creation of a new Professorship in the History of Art represents a major opportunity for philanthropic investment.
In order to take place, take root, and respond to rapid change on a global scale, academic innovation needs nurturing. This is what CRASSH, the renowned Centre for Research in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, exists to do. Through Research Groups of graduate students and academics, early-career Fellowships, and through its flagship Conference Programme, CRASSH brings together academics from across the spectrum to collaborate, alongside leading artists, writers, film-makers, civil servants, and representatives of government, NGOs and the business sectors. Because it is not tethered to a given agenda, CRASSH has become the University’s ‘rapid response unit’, mounting large-scale events to explore topical issues. CRASSH seeks support for its Fellowships and Conferences, and for the endowment of its Directorship. In keeping with its participatory mission, the Centre invites its friends and supporters to raise the issues they think should be opened up to searching discussion and new approaches.
Thanks to its freedom to innovate, Cambridge is today in the vanguard of major new areas of scholarship in the arts and humanities. A new, multi-disciplinary MPhil in Screen Media and Cultures has quickly gained an international profile. A new post is required to extend provision in the subject. The study of Literature and the Environment illuminates the central role that writers play in reflecting and shaping our attitudes towards the environment. The creation of a Professorship in the subject would enable the development of this important emergent discipline, which is taking the study of literature out of the lecture-hall and into the field. There is exciting scope for building on Cambridge’s substantial cross-disciplinary expertise in the areas of Chinese Studies and Hindu Studies. Emergent provision in Polish Studies also provides a key opportunity for philanthropic partnership.
Back to top