See below for external links.
Contemporary Religion in Historical Perspective
Contemporary Religion in Historical Perspective was established as a research group in the Department of Religious Studies at the Open University at the end of 2000. It aims to invite exploration of questions relating to the centrality of belief vis à vis experience and outward observance, and the location of boundaries between the 'alternative' and the 'mainstream' at historical, institutional, definitional, traditional, geographical, methodological, and transnational levels. The group intends to facilitate the production of research in those religions and spiritual groups which fall outside the remit of mainstream or traditional religion (as temporally or geographically defined), both contemporary and historically, constituting observable religion outside what is conventionally regarded as religion. Such religions include (but are not limited to): Paganism; New Age; New Religious Movements; spiritualism; traditionally Eastern beliefs in a Western setting (e.g. Western Buddhism); Hinduism and Islam in diaspora; vernacular religion; diaspora religion.
Digital Humanities at the Open University
Our goal is to develop collaborative Humanities research across the University. We are especially interested in studying how the use of digital technologies is shaping the research process, and how they can enhance the University’s mission of ‘openness’.
Development Policy and Practice
DPP challenges traditional thinking about international development - what it is, who drives it, and where it happens - to help create more effective development interventions. We are driven by a desire to generate real improvements in the lives and prospects of people across the globe. We work collaboratively with other organisations and institutions globally and in the UK, as well as with other teams within the Open University studying, teaching and promoting international development.
International Development Office
The Open University has been working with partners across Sub-Saharan African since 1992. We work with developing countries to: help build human capital and capacity (strengthening existing infrastructure and building for the future), directly impact the socio-economic development of the region, and assist Sub-Saharan countries to meet their Millennium Development Goals.
Innovation, Knowledge and Development Research Centre
The IKD: Innovation, Knowledge and Development Research Centre is a major contributor to ID@OU: the Open University's international development activity. ID@OU brings together research, teaching and programmes in international development across the university. The IKD: Innovation, Knowledge and Development research centre explores the dynamics between technology creation and diffusion, business behavior, government and non-governmental actors. A primary focus is on exploring ways that knowledge and innovation can contribute to inclusive and sustainable patterns of development. IKD's strength comes from its diversity and its ability to cross traditional discipline boundaries. This permits research relevant to that primary focus in the following areas for example: Governance and conflict; education; migration and diaspora; health; medical and agricultural biotechnology; innovation and industry dynamics; capabilities and capacity development; public-private partnerships; regulatory frameworks; social justice, complexity and enterprise development and entrepreneurship.
Open Arts Archive
The Open Arts Archive is a major website and archive, hosted by the Art History Department at the Open University, which provides open access to a wealth of artistic, cultural and educational resources, featuring work from the ancient to the modern period. These resources include seminars, study days, artist interviews, research projects, curator’s talks and exhibition archives produced by a wide national network of museums and galleries in collaboration with the Open University.
Open Arts Journal
The Open Arts Journal is a new, peer-reviewed journal launching in autumn 2012. It will be published online and be accessible to all. Our dissemination is open, spanning diverse cultural, social and academic communities. We are committed to cross-fertilisation between communities – academics, curators, practitioners of art, architecture and design – as well as among academic disciplines. We emphasise innovation. Each edition of the journal engages with a key theme, issue or critical debate.
OpenSpace Research Group
The OpenSpace Research Centre promotes research on geographical and environmental concerns. Our research aims to be conceptually and empirically innovative, and designed to engage with diverse publics. The Centre encourages a vibrant research environment, drawing on research expertise both within and beyond The Open University and academia.
Post-Colonial Literatures Research Group
Founded in 1992, the Postcolonial Literatures Research Group represents an active community of scholars who work on a wide range of individual and collaborative projects, both within the Open University and in partnership with other academics and organisations. The group is organised as a research collective, and its activities are co-ordinated by its current director, Alex Tickell. The predominant focus of the group is on Anglophone literatures from South Asia, Africa and the Caribbean, and forms of colonial and neo-colonial experience represented in these literary traditions, but group members’ interests also encompass the writing of the Caribbean and South-Asian diasporas; colonial cultural and literary history; anti-colonial political thought, and wider global literary systems. Members of the group also work on poetry, film and drama, anthropology, postcolonial theory, and the publishing and reception of literature in the post-colony. Members of the group have directed and participated in several externally-funded AHRC projects (see Projects), organised numerous conferences and seminar series (see Events) and disseminated its research through the international journal Wasafiri. Wasafiri is a literary magazine at the forefront in mapping new landscapes in contemporary international literature today. In over 20 years of publishing, it has continued to provide consistent coverage to Britain's diverse cultural heritage and publishes a range of diasporic and migrant writing worldwide. Since its inception in 1984, it has focused on writing as a form of cultural travelling (Wasafiri is Kiswahili for 'traveller') and extended the boundaries of literary culture. In the past two decades the group has published extensively and has shaped and informed the field of postcolonial studies.
The Africa Desk is a portal designed to support collaboration between UK and African researchers by enabling them to locate and make contact with colleagues sharing similar research interests and to identify potential future collaborators. The Africa Desk also aims to provide a central source of advice and information for African scholars interested in the activities of the UK Africanist research community, or who wish to apply for research funding or fellowships, establish collaborative projects with UK academics, or get their work published in UK Africanist journals.
Digital Imaging South Africa Project
A joint project run by the Killie Campbell Museum and University of KwaZulu-Natal. The aim of the DISA project, which is expected to last three years, is to make accessible to scholars and researchers world-wide, South African material of high socio-political interest which would otherwise be difficult to locate and use. In addition the project aims to provide experience and develop knowledge and expertise in digital imaging amongst archivists and librarians in South Africa. It is intended that DISA be the first in a series of projects dealing with South Africa's fascinating social and political history.
Moving Worlds Journal
Moving Worlds is a forum for creative work as well as criticism, literary as well as visual texts, writing in scholarly as well as more personal modes, in English and translations into English. It is open to experimentation, and represents work of different kinds and from different cultural traditions. It reappraises acknowledged achievements and promotes fresh talent. Its central concern – the transcultural – is the movement of cultures across national boundaries, and the productive transformations resulting from these crisscrossings. Its outreach is regional, national and international, that is, towards the diversity and richness of global/local communities.
Oecumene, Citizenship after Orientalism
Oecumene: Citizenship after Orientalism explores how the concept of citizenship is being refigured and renewed around the globe. At a time when tumultuous world events, from Israel to India, call for a deeper understanding of the purpose and power of citizenship, the project opens up the boundaries of citizenship by exploring political subjectivities outside of Europe.
World Oral Literature Project
For many communities around the world, the transmission of oral literature from one generation to the next lies at the heart of cultural practice. Performances of creative works of verbal art - which include ritual texts, curative chants, epic poems, musical genres, folk tales, creation tales, songs, myths, legends, word games, life histories or historical narratives - are increasingly endangered. Globalisation and rapid socio-economic change exert complex pressures on smaller communities, often eroding expressive diversity and transforming culture through assimilation to more dominant ways of life. As vehicles for the transmission of unique cultural knowledge, local languages encode oral traditions that become threatened when elders die and livelihoods are disrupted.