SOAS University of London

SOAS Teaching Innovation Fund makes its first award

19 March 2019

Dr Andrea Janku, Senior Lecturer in the History of China, and Dr Eleanor Newbigin, Senior Lecturer in the History of Modern South Asia, have been awarded £2000 by the new Teaching Innovation Fund for their project Decolonising History: Playwrights in Residence.

The Decolonising History – Playwrights in Residence scheme will involve the hosting of five emerging playwrights from diverse backgrounds in the History department. They will spend ten days at SOAS, attending classes, engaging with students and teachers, and developing a series of 20-min audio dramas that will reflect on this experience. This might include the history taught, the sources it is based on and the ways students engage with it.

These dramas will be produced as podcasts which will then be used for gathered listening events in theatres and cultural spaces in London, Birmingham and Manchester, accompanied by panel debates involving students and playwrights which offer a unique opportunity for students and artists to engage with each other.

Thinking about what it means to study non-Western histories at SOAS, a university in the heart of cosmopolitan London, the project seeks to uncover untold stories about the past and the present from new perspectives. It will thus enhance student engagement and create a link to a broader public and non-academic communities at the same time.

Dr Janku said: “We are excited about this project and curious to see what our playwrights will make out of their experience in our classes. This is a fantastic opportunity for our students to engage with their subject in a new way, to explore how it is relevant beyond academia, and how this can be communicated to the world out there.”

For more information on the Teaching Innovation Fund, contact Professor Hong Bo, Dr Angela Gallagher-Brett and Dr Julia Sallabank.