Who we are

TORCH (The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities) exists to provide a hub for intellectual collaboration and cross disciplinary research projects, based in the Humanities departments of the University of Oxford.

While our funding, training and networks develop research projects and careers, our engagement activity increases the social impact and understanding of humanities research amongst a wider public audience. 

On this page:  Impact stories   |   What we do  |   People  |   Annual Review

What we do

torch organisational chart  aug


TORCH is led by an academic Director: Professor Wes Williams (Professor of French Literature), 2020-2023.

Other strategic areas of TORCH include academic leaderships: the Knowledge Exchange Champion (currently vacant). In 2020, we welcomed Dr Maria del Pilar Blanco (Associate Professor in Spanish American Literature) as the inaugural Academic Champion. 

TORCH is supported by an administrative team, led and overseen by Dr Victoria McGuinness (Head of Cultural Programming and Partnerships).

For general enquiries and the Networks and Programmes and International teams, please contact us on torch@humanities.ox.ac.uk 
- Knowledge Exchange on kesupport@humanities.ox.ac.uk 
- Humanities Cultural Programme Team on hcp@torch.ox.ac.uk

Photos of the members of the TORCH management committee, arranged in a grid

Chair: Professor Dan Grimley (Associate Head of Humanities Division - Research and Music Faculty)

Professor Wes Williams (TORCH Director and MML Faculty)

Dr María del Pilar Blanco (TORCH Academic Champion Networks and Partnerships and MML Faculty)

Professor Abigail Williams (TORCH Knowledge Exchange, Impact and Innovation Director and English Faculty)

Dr Priya Atwal (History)

Professor Santanu Das (English)

Professor Jas Elsner (Classics)

Dr Rachel Fraser (Philosophy)

Professor Sondra Hausner (Theology and Religion)

Professor Polly Jones (MML)

Professor Gascia Ouzounian (Music)

Dr Sian Pooley (History)

Professor Tian Yuan Tan (Oriential Studies)

Dr Victoria McGuinness (Head of Cultural Programming and Partnerships) - in attendance 
Dr Andrew Fairweather-Tall (Head of Humanities Research Support) - in attendance 
Sarah Clay (TORCH Operations Manager) - servicing the committee

The TORCH Management Committee reports into the Humanities Research Committee.