The uses of poetry

Posted on Tuesday 16th July 2013

Congratulations to Kate Rumbold who has been awarded £37, 946 (fec) by the AHRC to lead an interdisciplinary project entitled 'The uses of poetry: measuring the value of engaging with poetry in lifelong learning and development'.

With the support of co-investigators Professor Vivien Ellis (Head of Education, Brunel University), and Professor Patricia Riddell (Head of Department of Psychology, Reading), the project will bring together an interdisciplinary team of practitioners and researchers in literature, education and psychology to re-examine the perceived benefits of engaging with poetry within and beyond mainstream education.

In a series of seminars and practical workshops, the team will evaluate collectively the strengths of their respective disciplinary approaches to measuring and articulating the value of engaging with poetry across a range of educational and therapeutic settings. Over the course of the project, they will test and develop new collaborative research methods that will better integrate qualitative, quantitative, practice-based and historical evidence for the benefits of poetry, and better synthesise understanding of the cognitive, aesthetic and affective properties of poetry that are so often treated separately.

The project responds to the AHRC's recent 'Cultural Value' call, in which applications were sought for projects that would contribute to the research council's ambitious goal of establishing 'a framework that will advance the way in which we talk about the value of cultural engagement and the methods by which we evaluate that value.