Who we are

TORCH (The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities) is a hub for intellectual collaboration and cross disciplinary research projects, based in the Humanities at 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

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

Strategic areas of TORCH include academic leaderships: Professor Abigail Williams (Professor of English Literature) is the Knowledge Exchange, Innovation and Impact Director (2021-2024). In 2020, we welcomed Dr Maria del Pilar Blanco (Associate Professor in Spanish American Literature) as our Academic Champion (Networks, Programmes and International). 

TORCH is supported by an administrative team, led and overseen by Dr Victoria McGuinness (Head of Public Engagement - Humanities).

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 culturalprogramme@humanities.ox.ac.uk


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

Chair: Professor Abigail Williams (Associate Head of Research, Humanities Division; TORCH Director of Knowledge Exchange, Impact and Innovation; English Faculty)

Professor Wes Williams (TORCH Director and MML Faculty)

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

Professor Dan Grimley (Head of Humanities Division)

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 (Asian and Middle Eastern Studies)

Dr Victoria McGuinness (Head of Public Engagement, Humanities Division and Head of TORCH) - in attendance 

Dr Michele Warren (Head of Research Support, Humanities Division) - in attendance

Sarah Clay (TORCH Operations Manager) - servicing the committee

The TORCH Management Committee reports into the Humanities Research Committee.