Research Projects and Networks

Early Modern Discourses of Environmental Change and Sustainability (AHRC)

This Research Network, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and supported by English Heritage and the Peninsula Partnership for the Rural Environment (PPRE), aimed to advance understanding of both early modern and modern cultures of sustainability through collaborative research. Through a series of workshops and a conference, it brought together scholars from across the humanities and social sciences, including specialists working on regions other than Britain, to consider the expression, negotiation and transformation of notions of environment and sustainability over time and place.

Famine and Dearth in India and Britain, 1550-1800 (AHRC): Wiki

This AHRC-funded project (2014-16) aims to recover and define the practices, discourses, and literary modes through which the selected past societies articulated concerns about food availability and distribution. The project is a collaboration between members of the Departments of English at the University of Exeter and Jadavpur University, Calcutta. Our activities focus on researching relevant multilingual sources held in national and local archives and libraries in Britain, Bangladesh, and India. Besides publishing research findings in academic articles, the project team, based at the School of Cultural Texts and Records (Jadavpur), is working with the Digital Humanities team at Exeter to produce a publicly accessible website and database of selected primary sources and images relating to famine in India and Britain, 1550-1800. Further details can be accessed through the above link to the project wiki, and the team invites feedback at this formative stage from all potential users.

Food Security Land Research Alliance, Exeter-Bristol-Rothamstead

The need for research to help secure global food security and ensure resilient land management lies at the heart of the Alliance between the University of Bath,University of Bristol, University of Exeter, Rothamsted Research and Cardiff University. It is characterised by cross institutional working and cross-disciplinarity with each institution having a strong record of relevant research with well-established funding relationships with research councils, government departments and the private sector. The Alliance unites individual research strengths and is one of the leading international players in agro-food and land-based research.

The Meterological and Botanical History of the Indian Ocean, 1600-1900

This network addressed the sense of global concern associated with the threat of anthropogenic climate change.  It uncovered historical records that help us understand climate and environmental change in the last 400 years. European intellectual engagement with the environments of empire over four centuries produced a corpus of documentary sources on the environment. The use of colonies for environmental experimentation resulted in locations in South Asia, Southern Africa, Australia and islands such as Mauritius becoming open-air laboratories for scientists attempting to understand, investigate, and manipulate a world of new peoples, species, environments and diseases. These sources have rarely been examined for the information they contain on environmental and climate change.

Opportunities and risks for farming and the environment at landscape scales

This project is part of the Sustainable Intensification Research Platform (SIP) a multi-organisation research programme, established and funded by Defra to collectively explore the opportunities and risks for SI, from a range of perspectives and at a range of scales across England and Wales. Collaboration is vital to SI. At the heart of the SIP is a community spanning farmers, industry experts, academia, environmental organisations, policymakers and other stakeholders.

Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development

The Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development (OICSD) is a new centre based at Somerville College and aims to serve as the University of Oxford’s focal point for the study of India and Sustainable Development.  The Centre incubates innovative multi-disciplinary research, supports a cohort of Indian students to study Sustainable Development, and convenes the academics and practitioners from Oxford, India and globally to develop understanding and practical solutions to India’s most pressing challenges.

Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment

The Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment is a leading interdisciplinary academic hub focused upon teaching, research, and engagement with enterprise on climate change and long-term environmental sustainability. It works with social enterprises, corporations, and governments; it seeks to encourage innovative solutions to the apparent challenges facing humanity over the coming decades; its strengths lie in environmental economics and policy, enterprise management, and financial markets and investment. These strengths are complemented by close ties with the physical and social sciences, and especially the research and teaching programmes of the School of Geography and the Environment, the Environmental Change Institute, and the Transport Studies Unit.