Centre for Material Worlds Past and Present


The primary aim of the Research Centre is to develop a sophisticated interdisciplinary approach to material worlds, past and present. Colleagues work across disciplines to articulate new ways of measuring and studying objects.

Our discussions develop accounts of materials that revel in their complexity and draw on philosophy and social theory to challenge our assumptions about how they work and how they were understood.

By bringing these two aspects together, we can begin creating new ways of articulating the complex intersection of materials in human worlds, past and present. To ensure this is not just an academic exercise we work with the Heritage Hub to communicate our research to the public.

In summary:

  • To deliver world-leading research into material worlds, shaped by both social and empirical engagements, united in a manner that undoes easy divides between the natural sciences, the social sciences and the humanities
  • To foster an interdisciplinary environment at the University of Leicester around materials research that facilitates and promotes innovative ideas, exciting new ways of thinking and new interpretations
  • To strengthen our research infrastructure to have the capacity to deliver cutting-edge analysis and to identify spaces for innovative new empirical techniques
  • To run events that create a sense of shared endeavour for our researchers from postgraduates onwards, and helps make this Centre an exciting, challenging and fun place to work.

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