‘By imagination we live’: A strategy for the humanities, 2020–2030
On 6 November 2019 the Alliance was honoured to welcome Dame Marina Warner, to Dublin for the official launch of its strategic vision for the 2020s: By Imagination We Live: a strategy for the humanities, 2020-2030. The launch took place in the Royal Irish Academy. Speaking at the launch Dame Marina Warner said 'I congratulate all those involved in putting together this clear, all-Ireland vision for the humanities. We all need to use our imagination, especially now in this technological age. The IHA Strategic Plan places great value on the contribution that humanities disciplines can make in addressing the most pressing social, political, cultural, technological, and environmental issues of the 21st century'. You can listen to the podcast of the launch here.
WHY THIS STATEMENT OF STRATEGY
Across Europe today, higher education and research are major strategic focuses also because policy is shaped by new economic, social, technological and cultural realities. The Societal Challenges pillar of Horizon 2020 has been a key factor in the development of new research directions. With its successor programme, Horizon Europe, due to launch in January 2021, there is a pressing need to address the central place of the humanities in these developments.
To this end, the IHA has engaged widely with the humanities community in member institutions to ensure that humanities perspectives are duly represented in research and higher education policy-making discussions.The strategy proposes a blueprint for how and why the humanities can and must make a central contribution to resolving the major challenges of the 21st century. As higher education in Ireland, Northern Ireland, and elsewhere undergoes a period of rapid change, the IHA commits to championing the social, cultural and economic value of humanities education and research.
CORE OBJECTIVES OF THE STRATEGY:
Our strategic vision for the humanities is rooted in the conviction that the humanities disciplines have a major contribution to make to the the most pressing social, political, cultural, technological, and environmental issues of the 21st century. By imagination we live demonstrates and articulates the value and diversity of the established and emerging humanities disciplines, and the critical role they play in understanding the human experience through history, culture and language. Its core objectives are to:
1. Protect, promote and develop humanities scholarship across the island of Ireland.
2. Ensure parity of esteem between all disciplines.
3. Promote secure and adequate funding of humanities research in Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Europe.
4. Promote the centrality of the humanities in addressing the pressing societal challenges that face us.
5. Support excellence at all stages of academic career development in the humanities.
6. Advocate research strategies attuned to a multi-cultural and multi-lingual society.
THE STRATEGY STEERING GROUP,
This project was coordinated by the Strategy Steering Group, whose members are Professor Anne Fuchs (RIA/UCD), Professor Noel Fitzpatrick (TUD); Professor Victor Lazzarini (MU); Professor Eugene McNulty (DCU), Professor Patrick O'Donovan (Convener, UCC), Professor Mary O’Dowd (RIA/QUB) and Dr Mel Farrell (IHA). Professor Imelda Maher (RIA/UCD) and Dr Aoibhín de Búrca (IHA) are former members of the group.
The IHA Strategy Steering Group carried out an initial consultation with the humanities community to identify the strategic issues that face the humanities disciplines in both IHA jurisdictions. The initial output from this consultation was an all-island conference in December 2015, which led in turn to an Interim Strategy Report.