Who we are

Campaign Steering Committee

Chair:  Nicola Miller, Professor of Latin American History, UCL

Fenella Cannell, Reader in Social Anthropology, LSE
Stephen Conway, Professor of History, UCL
Jane Gilbert, Senior Lecturer in French, UCL
Eva Lotta Hedman, IDEAS Research Fellow, LSE
Simon Jarvis, Professor of English, Cambridge
Peter Mandler, Professor of Modern Cultural History, Cambridge
Robin Osborne, Professor of Ancient History, Cambridge
Clare Pettitt, Professor of Victorian Literature and Culture, King’s College London
John Sabapathy, Lecturer in Medieval History, UCL
John Sidel, Sir Patrick Gillam Professor of International and Comparative Politics, LSE
Adam Smith, Senior Lecturer in US History, UCL
Barbara Taylor, Professor of Modern History, University of East London and Director of the Raphael Samuel History Centre
Jon Wilson, Lecturer in Imperial History and South Asian History, King’s College London

Email us at humanitiesmatter@gmail.com


Francis Spufford, author and writing lecturer at Goldsmiths College
‘This isn’t about self-interest. I’d like to have a job next year, sure; but much more than that, I’d like the country I live in to have a cultural life which hasn’t been reduced to a bland heritage experience for rich people, just to save rather less than the cost of bailing out one kamikaze bank.’

Mary Beard, Professor of Classics, Cambridge, and presenter of Pompeii, life of a Roman town. (BBC 2)
‘The Arts and Humanities are not optional extras…they are central to what makes a society civilised. Without them, it’s back to the Dark Ages.’

Jenny Uglow, OBE, biographer, editorial director of Chatto & Windus
‘ The humanities are vital to the way we think about society, and understand the present, as well as the past. This is also about class, and privilege. The removal of the block grant from teaching subjects such as history, and the loading of the cost on to students, will inevitably impact on peope from poorer backgrounds who may feel bound to opt for courses which seem to have more practical, short-term benefits. The wonderful, liberating explosion of studies over the past forty years – the history of women, of race, of ‘ordinary people’  – will be lost. This is a retrogressive step that will not only damage  academic life, but the life of the nation.’

Sarah Waters, novelist
‘The cutting of all public support for the teaching of the Humanities in universities represents a shameful undervaluing of the intellectual life of this country. It will damage the UK’s creative industries; it will  impoverish critical thought. More immediately, it represents a privatisation of the arts and humanities that will surely have the effect of excluding less well-off students. Do we really want History, for example, to become a niche subject for the wealthy?’

Francis Pryor, Time Team Archeologist
‘ I’ve spent most of my life as a field archeologist directing excavations and working in museums, looking after aspects of the nation’s
culture that people care a lot about. I also teach archeology as a Visiting Professor in Leicester University, as well as sometimes appearing on Time Team. Of course, the problem of how to fund universities needs to be thought about as student numbers grow, especially in difficult economic times. But current policies are taking a wrong turn, and one that will be disastrous for just those aspects of national culture we really value. The
intellectual independence of the universities, and the international
reputation of the UK arts, humanities and social sciences must be supported
and maintained.’