On 12-14 November 2019, Warwick welcomed colleagues from Cergy Paris Université to the joint interdisciplinary workshop titled ‘Heritage, Memory and Creation: Conflicting Truths and Engagement’. Professor Mike Shipman, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International) Warwick, gave the opening address, welcoming CY Cergy Paris Université colleagues and highlighting the importance of this workshop both for our research community and in the wider context of our EUTOPIA alliance.

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Luciana Radut-Gaghi, Vice-President for the European Alliance, CY Cergy Paris Université, said,

“This workshop is an excellent example of CY Cergy Paris Université working closely with the University of Warwick to foster and support knowledge co-creation. Together we are tackling local challenges that impact not only our regions but communities across the world.

We are excited by the breadth of opportunities for our researchers to work together to share their complementary expertise. EUTOPIA is a core group of like-minded universities for whom change is not simply the output from our alliance, but the driving force that brings us together.”

Jackie Hodgson, Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) Warwick, further explained why international workshops are so important for the quality and impact of our research and the importance of bringing together academics from a wide range of disciplines to contribute their perspectives;

We are delighted to be hosting this workshop at the start of our EUTOPIA collaboration, cementing our partnerships across Europe. It speaks very much to our international and interdisciplinary research strategy, and Warwick’s vibrant research culture.

From departmental and faculty strengths through to our Global Research Priorities and research Centres, the connections between our institutions were demonstrated through the various presentations and panel themes. Across both universities there is a shared passion for collaboration and impactful research, and for engagement with major cultural events such as City of Culture. I am looking forward to an exciting programme of work with our European colleagues.”

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Arts, Humanities and Cultural Heritage is a key research focus for Warwick’s partnership with CY Cergy Paris Université, as Professor Penny Roberts, Chair, Faculty of Arts explains;

“This workshop is the result of ongoing dialogue and collaboration since 2017 between Warwick researchers and our colleagues from CY Cergy Paris Université. It has been a great opportunity to critically examine common challenges across multiple disciplines within our shared research themes of Heritage, Memory and Creation. To this end, we have had four jointly-organised and productive sessions working across and exploring fundamental interdisciplinary themes and methodologies’

With two jointly supervised PhD students and further academic exchanges planned we are looking forward to further strengthening the depth and breadth of our collaboration.”

EUTOPIA webpageThe workshop explored a range of research possibilities in the context of EUTOPIA. One of the mutual opportunities for both institutions is regional engagement and Professor Jackie Hodgson and Dr Helen Wheatley led a session on how Warwick is supporting Coventry City of Culture 2021. The session contained examples of several of the research projects and the overarching aim to work with our communities to have a lasting impact.

Dr Wheatley explained;

“The goals of EUTOPIA, particularly its focus on openness and inclusion, and on place making, are in synergy with Warwick’s research-led approach for Coventry City of Culture 2021. Warwick researchers are working with collaborators around the city and academics at Coventry University to co-create and co-produce projects within our communities.

At the heart of this approach is the understanding that our learning community is much broader than our campus, and we have much to learn from our surrounding communities. We are pleased to share this project with our colleagues from CY Cergy Paris Université and share methodologies and insights to inspire future projects.”