Dr Emma Butcher

An academic at Edge Hill University has been selected to join a network of leading arts and humanities researchers as part of a drive to strengthen ties with Government and key policymakers.

Dr Emma Butcher has been awarded a placement by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to participate in its ‘Engaging with Government’ programme, which aims to enhance the relationship between Government and academia.

The AHRC-funded Institute for Government course aims to bring academics and policymakers together to provide researchers with an insight into the policy making process and to help understand the policy implications of their work.

Dr Butcher, a Lecturer in English Literature and Cultural Heritage, was selected to join the programme in recognition of her leading research into 19th century literature, which focuses on children’s experiences of war throughout the period.

She said: “It’s wonderful to have been selected by the AHRC and Institute for Government to join this programme and learn more about how researchers can forge stronger relationships with policymakers and translate their research into action.

“Historically, the arts and humanities tend to have fewer formal routes into Government compared to scientists and this is a fantastic opportunity for academics in the field to build new ties with key decisionmakers.

“One of my main research themes focuses on the experiences of children living through war, which in 2020 remains a genuine threat facing families across the globe. That’s why I’m delighted to have the opportunity to participate in this knowledge exchange programme to hopefully inform and influence policy on some of the most pressing issues in the world today.”

The three-day course will include discussions with a range of senior civil servants, researchers, politicians, and media professionals on the challenges and opportunities involved in engaging with policymakers.

Dr Butcher’s first monograph ‘The Brontës and War’ was published in 2020. She is currently working on a trade monograph titled ‘Children in the Age of Modern War’ which is due to be published by Oxford University Press.

Edge Hill’s Department of English, History and Creative Writing delivers research-informed teaching in English Literature, English Language, History and Creative Writing.