The dual concern of the Institute is to explore cultural identity and cultural memory: that is, the investigation of the diverse textual representational constructs and creations (e.g. traditions, myths, literary canons, and political institutions) by which national and other culture groups explore, criticise and renew their sense of identity and their public and private memories.

Our research comprises various perspectives, methodologies and theoretical frameworks, but at its core is a shared interest in interdisciplinary explorations of cultural identity and cultural memory. The Institute seeks to bring together different approaches in an innovative way and to engage with both the academic community and the wider public.

We wish to:

  • meet researchers from across the University with an interest in the topics of Cultural Identity and Cultural Memory
  • facilitate collaborative work and the building of research partnerships initially within the university, but with a view to creating wider research networks in the future
  • address and promote awareness of the importance of memory to our understanding of important societal and human questions (such as identity, conflict, how we remember, etc.)
  • Influence public discourse on identity and memory and their importance – engage in public debate and discussion
  • provide a forum for discussion of individual scholarship and collaborative work
  • explore the role played by different media in our understanding
  • provide support for PG students and colleagues
  • Share expertise and support colleagues involved in funding bids related to the themes of the Institute

We welcome staff and students from any discipline who would like to get involved.

Follow us on Twitter: @StCims

The History of the Institute

The Institute, previously known as the Cultural Identity Studies Institute (CISI) and the Institute of European Cultural Identity Studies (IECIS), was set up in 1998 for the study of the collective identities of the countries of continental Europe. As we have gradually expanded to refer to other culture-zones, including the Arabic- and Persian-speaking world; the ex-Soviet republics; Latin America; French-speaking Africa, Canada and the Caribbean; as well as Britain, in 2016 we dropped the “European” from the title, becoming the Cultural Identity Studies Institute. This year, we have expanded further to refer to the importance of memory in our understanding of identity in its many guises, we have adapted once again.