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SR in the Curriculum

(1 February 2018)

In support of the priority to encourage socially responsible graduates, the Faculty of Humanities provides funding to course leaders through the annual Social Responsibility in the Curriculum competition. The aim is for Humanities students to be encouraged to think how their enthusiasm for their subject can communicate, connect or be relevant beyond the immediate demands of their course. The competition is currently open for applications for 2018-19 and the closing date for entries is 12 February 2018.

Thanks to his funding, Dr John Morgan, Lecturer in Early Modern History in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, is highlighting the historical links between sustainability and social justice to students on his environmental history of England, (1500-1800) module.

The students first undertook a workshop with Professor Angus Winchester (History, Lancaster University) on the sustainability of common land in northern England, which engaged them with world-leading research on the environmental sustainability agricultural practices in early modern history (1500-1800).

They then took a field trip (travelling by train - the most sustainable method) to Martin Mere, a rare example of a wetland landscape that retains some early modern features. This field trip helped the students engage with an example of sustainability from 500 years ago, understand the social relations that underpinned it, and learn what it takes to maintain such a landscape today.

John said: “The trip was a central part of our course this year, where we got a sense of how the site might have looked before it was drained in the 17th and 18th centuries. It also gave us a glimpse of the variety of species that would have populated a much wider area before drainage. An excellent talk from the site’s education team on the ecology and management of the site in the 21st century brought many of these lines of thinking up to the present day, as we considered the value of wetlands for biodiversity, carbon storage and flood prevention.

“These experiences informed our discussions for the rest of the semester as we studied how people have adapted and modified their environments over time, and the often damaging, unintended consequences this has had.”

  • Please see the Social Responsibility pages  on HumNet for more information about the 2018 SR in the Curriculum competition, along with details of previously funded projects. 


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