Environmental Humanities

7 years Heritage logo on a starry background: Sharing Knowledge, Building Partnerships, Growing Expertise

The TORCH Heritage Programme has enabled and supported a range of projects that explore the relationship between local monuments and landscapes and global histories. More than ever before, historical landmarks are now understood as local gateways to global stories, and researchers based at the University of Oxford have created projects to explore these links by working with individual properties and heritage organisations. Individually, and collectively, these projects contribute to the three priority areas of the TORCH Heritage Programme: Building Partnerships, Growing Expertise, and Sharing Knowledge.


To celebrate the TORCH Goes Digital theme for this week, Environmental Humanities, we’ll be showcasing past projects. These include Dr Oliver Cox’s work exploring the influence and legacy of Capability Brown during his tercentenary year in 2016; a special issue of the journal Women’s History publishing papers delivered as part of the Women Gardeners c. 1500-2000 conference, which was hosted at the History Faculty in 2018; Jemima Hubberstey’s collaborative work with English Heritage at Wrest Park; Dr Julie Farguson and Dr Linda Hulin’s knowledge exchange project with the National Trust exploring the links between the British country house and the sea; and Dr Oliver Owen’s knowledge exchange project with Professor Wale Adebanwi on Rail Heritage in Nigeria.


We will also take this opportunity to revisit projects developed through the National Trust Partnership:

The Post-Conflict Landscapes Symposium was co-convened by Professor Fiona Stafford in support of the National Trust’s 2019 ‘People’s Landscapes’ National Public Programme. The day consisted of three themed panels – on Landscapes, Seascapes, and Buildings and Collections – followed by a roundtable discussion at the end of the day. The six talks given at the symposium were recorded and are available online via the university's podcast website and Apple Podcasts

People's Landscapes: Beyond the Green & Pleasant Land was a series of free, public roundtable events that brought together 20 experts and commentators from a range of institutions, professions, and academic disciplines to explore people's engagement with and impact upon land and landscape in the past, present and future. The series was also part of the National Trust’s 2019 ‘People’s Landscapes’ National Public Programme and featured four sessions on Contested Landscapes; Creative Landscapes; Living in Landscapes; and Future Landscapes. You can watch the full series online through the university’s podcast website or Apple Podcasts

Lastly, Moving, Teaching, Inspiring was an interdisciplinary lecture series that explored the challenges and opportunities facing both the higher education and heritage sectors. As a celebration of the first three years of collaboration between the National Trust and the University of Oxford, this series highlighted the many points of connection between our two institutions from a number of perspectives: from caring for collections and landscapes to gaining support through brand and marketing. The event was received with great enthusiasm amongst students, who shared their experience in a series of blog-posts on the National Trust Partnership website. From this series you can also watch the session Land, Outdoors and Nature, where Peter Nixon and Professor Heather Viles discuss the challenges and opportunities we face today in caring for and studying the natural environment.

TORCH Heritage Programme Homepage

National Trust Partnership Homepage