Cultural Encounters – HERAnet Releases €18M Call

HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area – a network of European funders of humanities research) has just released a new call for proposals from researchers in the arts and humanities to address “cultural encounters“. This theme is inherently interdisciplinary and touches on research in history, social change, politics, cultural identity, conflict, communication and economic development. More details on the call are available on the HERAnet website:

HERA Joint Research Programme 2012: Cultural Encounters

The call will fund a consortium of researchers from at least three eligible European countries to carry out a research project over a maximum of 3 years, for up to €1M. UK participants will be funded under standard AHRC rules at 80% of Full Economic Cost. This is a two-stage call and the outline proposals are due by 4th May 2012, 14:00 CET (13:00 GMT). To apply you need to fill in the template form [.doc] and submit via the online HERA submission system.

Because the domain covered by “cultural encounters” is potentially so vast, the call for proposals [.pdf] document picks out three key focus areas, listed below. These are intended as a guide. Applicants are free to address topics which cut across one or more of these areas, or to propose an entirely different approach as long as it falls within the scope of the overall programme:

  1. Cultural Encounters over time and space: “The focus here is on the role of cultural encounters from historical and geographic perspectives, where cultural change may have played a complex role as an agent of, and response to, encounters among people with different languages, literatures, religions, institutions and traditions.”
  2. Social and political dimensions of cultural encounters: “This area focuses on how societies and policies have attempted to manage cultural encounters and diversity in different ways. This may include the analysis of concepts and models of the co-existence of cultural differences from historical, philosophical, theoretical and social perspectives, where phenomena such as migration, displacement, and the formation of multicultural communities will be important. It could include analysis of the cultural and political values that shape these concepts and models, and the institutional structures that support or challenge them.”
  3. Practices of translation, interpretation and mediatisation in relation to cultural encounters: “The third area focuses on how cultural expressions in different forms are interpreted, translated, and/or transformed across cultures, languages and sectors. This spans everyday life as well as professional and artistic practices, and includes virtual encounters on the internet as well as in encounters in real life (e.g., media, museums, literature, art, music). It embraces analysis of cultural texts as well as analysis of behaviour and professional practices in different cultural settings.”

Potential applicants should note that European added value is an important part of the assessment criteria. This means that the research carried out should be of higher quality and have more impact than if it had been a unilateral project. It does not mean all proposals need to address EU-specific topics or themes, although these could of course form part of a research project in this theme.

There is a matchmaking event on 21st February in Berlin to find potential partners for the call, but unfortunately the deadline has passed to be included in that. However, the AHRC are running some of their own UK-based information days on the Cultural Encounters call on the 13th March (Edinburgh) and the 15th March (London). More details are available on the AHRC website.

Please get in touch with us at an early stage if you need advice and guidance on developing an application.