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Head and Shoulders of Dr Rafe McGregor

News story

Edge Hill academic receives funding boost for international research into the impact of stories

March 1, 2024

AN international team of academics – including a criminology expert at Edge Hill University – has been awarded a £78,000 cash boost to continue research into the impact of storytelling.

Dr Rafe McGregor, Reader in Criminology at Edge Hill, is part of a group that was first awarded a £140,000 grant in 2021 from the Croatian Science Foundation.

The work to investigate how the stories and fiction we share can impact society has now been granted additional funding.

Stories in society have been a hot topic in recent years with the publishing industry wrapped in debate about editing older books to remove content that could be deemed offensive.

Agatha Christie novels, Ian Fleming’s James Bond books and classics by Roald Dahl including Charlie and The Chocolate Factory have all been edited to meet modern-day values.

Books including James and the Giant Peach, The Witches and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, written by Roald Dahl

“There is a culture war going on about what promotes a better society and a world we want to live in. This research will help to facilitate the debate.”

“The additional funding is a big show of confidence at 55 per cent of the original grant.”

Dr Rafe McGregor, Reader in Criminology at Edge Hill

The extra funding will expand the team – a collaboration between Edge Hill, The University of Rijeka, Queen Mary University of London, Humboldt University of Berlin and Oxford University – to seven.

The project is divided into three strands; stories and knowledge, stories and ethical life, and stories and social cohesion and the research runs until January 2026

Dr McGregor’s work has included exploring how films and TV can help us understand real-life crimes and social issues, focusing on Fight Club, Game of Thrones and 2019 psychological horror Us.

That strand of work alongside the University of Rijeka’s David Grčki has resulted in a book – An Epistemology of Criminological Cinema – which is published next month.

Find out more about studying Criminology at Edge Hill University at: criminology-and-offending

March 1, 2024


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