Dr Alison Wood convenes British Academy Funded Network on Critical University Studies, January 2018

Image credit: CRASSH – Supported by the British Academy, the new Critical University Studies early career researcher network held their inaugural workshop at CRASSH, Cambridge on 23 January 2018.

How can Universities better serve the public good?

Dr Alison Wood (English/CRASSH) has won a British Academy Rising Stars Engagement Award (£14,500) to convene a research network on Critical University Studies (CUS).

20 early career researchers from 13 institutions and 10 disciplines are gathering to consider how Critical University Studies – and so also Universities – might be advanced in ways that are both intellectually meaningful and pragmatic.

Drawing on disciplines across the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences CUS is both scholarly and political, setting out to better understand how Universities can serve the public good. Arguably, expertise in this field is needed more than ever as Universities, their environments, and their commitments become more complex; and as those complexities highlight an urgent need for better visions of what Universities are and do.

But CUS poses serious challenges for early career scholars: not least because it is a relatively new, cross-disciplinary and trans-sector field. This network will counter some of those challenges, working with policy makers, administrators and experienced scholars to build research and leadership expertise.