Welcome to the International Institute for Cultural Enquiry at the University of Exeter.
Cultural enquiry is at the centre of the IICE’s aims – but we are not (too) doctrinaire about what this means. Our remit is interdisciplinary research into culture, working within academia – but also with external partners – cultural producers and practitioners – to develop both applied and curiosity driven research.
What is cultural enquiry? We work with a broad definition: cultural enquiry is, for us, investigating the behaviours, beliefs, values, symbols and material effects of human animals. Question the wording; debate the reference. That is, in part, the point of a working definition. Most likely, the Institute’s footprint activity will determine our definition in the long term – that is, we will be using a practice-based approach.
What do we do? The IICE provides opportunities to researchers to carry out cultural enquiry. This puts humanities research at IICE’s core, but social science disciplines have a crucial role to play. Key in all this is interdisciplinarity: that means collaborative research projects working across departments and disciplines. Naturally, this will be within humanities, arts and social sciences (HASS) disciplines; but many of the most pressing research questions require collaboration with so-called STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths). IICE also promotes external engagement – working beyond academia with global partners in creative industries, business and government.
Our activities: IICE sponsors research projects, seminars and public events with multiple methodologies. We work across disciplines, but also using different research approaches. Our research may be curiosity driven; or an urgent global issue may drive our research. Sometimes questions can only be answered with large-scale collaborative teams of academics and practitioners; at others, a researcher just needs a space to think, write and test their ideas. It is these mixed research methods that IICE promotes – have a look at our schemes, activities and events on this site.
Professor Rob Gleave – Director