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School of Arts and Humanities


The School of Arts and Humanities is pleased to announce the winners of the inaugural Arts and Humanities Impact Fund.

The School received excellent applications from all arts and humanities disciplines across both SAH and HSS, and was impressed by not only the quality of the applications but the breadth of potential impact and audiences.

Here are short summaries of the winning projects: 

David Trippett, Music, Rediscovering Liszt’s Opera Sarandapalus

The opera, Sarandapalus, based on the story of the Assyrian King, has never been heard and remains almost entirely unknown. After completing the majority of the first act in draft piano score, Liszt abandoned the project, leaving it incomplete after his death.  Yet, there is a compelling case, historically and aesthetically, to bring this music to the world’s attention in a modern edition and recording. The music is now fully reconstructed, resulting in a unique blend of styles and the sheer aesthetic value of the some of the arias make it deserving of public attention and recognition.

The project will produce a high definition audio-visual recording of three major sections from Sardanapalus, sung by three up and coming opera singers from the Royal Opera House, and a documentary film about the making of the recording and the challenge of discovering and deciphering Liszt’s manuscript.

The recording and film will be widely distributed online. The performance will change perceptions of Liszt, who is not thought of as an opera composer, and bring his music to the world’s ears at the highest standard, efficiently and openly. 

David Willis, DTAL, Communicating Welsh dialects: An online resource for teachers and the general public

The research has comprised the collection, transcription and analysis of interviews with 200 Welsh speakers. The interviews were designed to elicit data on a range of syntactic features known to vary dialectially in Welsh, such as forms of verbs, pronouns and negation.

The project will present the results of this research in an online interactive atlas that will allow users to discover the geographic distribution of linguistic variants and to map or compare them to their own usage.

The launch of the website will be accompanied by a programme of user engagement to promote it to those groups who can benefit the most from its use: in particular, schoolteachers and Welsh for Adults tutors, who face the difficulty of guiding second-language learners of Welsh through poorly understood dialect variation. The website will also be promoted through media outlets based in Wales.

Mari Jones, French, Language Policy, Documentation and Revitalisation in Jersey

Jèrriais is the highly endangered indigenous language of Jersey, and whose fluent speakers are now increasingly elderly. Jersey has its won parliament and is responsible for internal policies, however, it has not taken a strategic approach to its language policy.

Recent local developments demonstrate the potential for lanugage revitalisation as attitudes towards Jèrriais are becoming more positive. The government is increasing promoting the use of  Jèrriais in its initiatives and more investment in Jèrriais language teaching.

The project will work with local stakeholders to create a digital archive of native speakers which can be used for future consultation. Locals will be trained in language documentation techniques. Meetings will be held with politicians in Jersey to develop effective language revitalisation strategies.

Jenny Mander, French, and Emily Kneebone, Classics, ‘Living in translation’: migrant storytelling from antiquity to today

Our research into the exchange of personal stories between migrants and those who give them hospitality in Greco-Roman antiquity and the European/colonial Enlightenment explores the challenges that arise when guest and host speak different languages and the cultural and economic benefits to a host society when these relationships are successfully negotiated. Both periods offer cultural frameworks for interlingual and intercultural guest-host relationships in which storytelling is central. These frameworks can provide productive points of reference for today’s society.

A workshop will bring together the key ideas from the research into dialogue with representatives from government and NGOs supporting migrants and asylum seekers in the UK, as well as those providing auxiliary services, such as translation and interpretation, and legal advice.

The workshop will result in a policy brief and provide a platform for deepening partnerships to address issues related to the linguistic and cultural challenges of migrants. 

Liliana Janik, Archaeology and Anthropology, Time and Space in Storytelling: Iiage and text, past and present

The project will liaise with curators in Książnica Pomorska, Szczecin, Poland to create an exhibition of prehistoric art that will engage diverse audiences including students of archaeology and art, the general public, the visually impaired, mentally and physically impaired adults, members of the University of the Third Age and school children.

The exhibition will be based on research which has argued that prehistoric art can be seen and appreciated in terms of contemporary understanding of imagery, including film, where events happen at the same time but in different locations.

The exhibition will result in a blueprint of methodological approaches and support materials for presenting prehistoric art to the visually impaired, and provide a platform for collaboration between Cambridge and Książnica Pomorska, a significant humanities orientated library in western Poland.


The School initiated the impact fund in 2016 as a way of supporting researchers to fully exploit the impact arising from completed research and to develop ways of engaging with the public, private and third sectors that can generate lessons learned for other impact projects. 

The impact fund is intended to fill the gap in impact funding in the arts and humanities in the absence of funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) similar to the Impact Acceleration Awards (IAA) set up by the other UK Research Councils. 

The School has made available £21,000 pounds to fund projects of between £3-5,000 for six months.