By Catherine Clarke

The Institute of Historical Research is delighted to announce a series of new online Partnership Seminars, in collaboration with historians of all kinds and with institutions across the UK and internationally.

Designed as a space for timely interventions in current and emerging research areas, these online seminars will open up inter-disciplinary and cross-sector dialogues, bring together different approaches and expertise on selected themes, and forge new collaborations and networks across the UK and beyond. They’ll also see us into our IHR Centenary year (July 2021 – July 2022) with a programme of exciting, provocative and ambitious new research conversations. Each seminar series will be organised by historians from at least three universities or institutions, from across the UK and internationally. This opportunity to establish international partnerships and hold international conversations was a key motivation in creating the new programme.

In 2020, new social distancing and lockdown measures associated with the COVID-19 pandemic have moved many academic events into new digital formats, which have the potential to draw in more diverse participants and build wider-reaching networks and platforms. The large national and international audiences attending IHR online events helped to prompt this new initiative. How could targeted online research interventions facilitate more diverse, imaginative and innovative partnerships and research networks?

After an open call for proposals, we were overwhelmed by the number and high quality of applications, and thank all those who took time to prepare submissions. We are delighted to have been able to increase capacity to support ten Partnership Seminars. Each of these will run for one year (a ‘long’ year from January 2021 until July 2022, with slightly different timings and schedules for each seminar), offering a fixed-term, concentrated research focus on a timely topic.

Full details of the successful seminars, and the convening teams (and institutions) involved will be available on the IHR website shortly. The ten IHR Partnership Seminars for 2021-22 will be:

  • Anthropocene Histories
  • Applied History and Contemporary Geopolitics
  • The Archives of Global History in a Time of International Immobility
  • Coastal Connections
  • Doing Refugee History
  • Historians across Boundaries: collaborative historical research
  • Risk and Uncertainty in the Premodern World
  • Spaces of Sickness and Wellbeing: histories of art, architecture and experience
  • The Shock of the Record: archives and truth
  • The World in a Historic House: global connections and collections

We are hugely excited to see the range of these seminars, from Environmental Humanities and histories of the Anthropocene, to the history of health, medicine and wellbeing, global histories, politics and risk, and seminars on historical practices, resources and challenges for the profession.

We also welcome the rich inter-disciplinary and cross-institutional involvement across these projects, with international scholars as well as museums, archives, libraries, heritage organisations, community groups and others represented. Early-career researchers will play a central role in all these seminars, and convenors have made commitments to ensuring diversity and inclusion.

We look forward to working with the seminar convenors to support and promote these programmes. In addition to programme information on the IHR website, each series will share at least one post here on the IHR Blog reflecting on their themes and sharing conversations and insights.

The Partnership Seminar programmes will begin from January 2021. With their convenors, we look forward to welcoming you to these exciting online events!


Professor Catherine Clarke is Director of the Centre for the History of People, Place and Community at the IHR