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About the Postgraduate Arts and Humanities Centre (PAHC), Faculty of Arts and Humanities

PAHC was formed in 2017 from the merger of the Manchester School of Art, Manchester Fashion Institute and the Faculty of Humanities, Languages and Social Science. It offers an integrated programme with a clear and distinctive academic and intellectual identity. Our rationale is built around re-imagining forms of knowledge creation through multidisciplinary, cross faculty approaches which play to the unique strengths of the university’s radical history of generating knowledge through praxis. As a modern university, we have a tradition of engaged research, often delivered through collaboration and reflected in an openness to partnerships inside and outside academia. Alongside traditional disciplinary-based approaches PAHC highlights applied, practice-based and inter and multidisciplinary methodologies and promotes projects with elements of social, cultural and public engagement.

PAHC provides research and skills training through our Research Training Programme (RTP) workshops and events. The RTP is a focus for our research community and aims to provide a foundation for the understanding of the wider culture and society.

PAHC is a vigorous research community of over 250 postgraduate and early career researchers in the Arts and Humanities with an agenda to do and act in the world in ways that are relevant to society and its cultures through academically rigorous and ethical research.

Find out more about PAHC on the Man Met website…

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About HARTS.Online – purpose, intent, audience

HARTS.Online is the new media strand of the Postgraduate Arts & Humanities Centre’s training and support programme.

HARTS.Online features:

  • a network of news, training, project and individual PGR research websites supported by a ‘self-publishing’ Web infrastructure;
  • the collation of upcoming internal and external activities and opportunities of interest to the research community via a ‘digital noticeboard’ and Social Media networks;
  • Postgraduate ‘Profiles’ and research ‘Stories’ – details of current and recently conferred Faculty of A&H researchers’ project titles, abstracts, images, links and research keywords and individual PGR research and collective PGR project news;
  • online documentation of the Research Training Programme sessions plus select talks and symposia and student initiated projects;
  • group and one-to-one training and support;
  • a student-led, forward looking steering team – the HARTS Online Group (HOG).


  • aims firmly at the internal audience of postgraduates and research staff within the faculty;
  • strives to be a ‘virtual hub’ for the 300+ strong postgraduate research community – complementing and enhancing the ‘real-world’ programming and physical spaces;
  • enables sharing and dissemination of and encourages critical discourse around research and associated activities across disciplines and throughout the faculty;
  • promotes the World Wide Web, Social Media and contemporary Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) as tools, media and sources for research and practice within the Arts & Humanities.

HARTS.Online believes:

  • these technologies have revolutionised the way in which knowledge and information is shared and exchanged – and this should be reflected in the way academic institutions and individual researchers respond to their potentialities;
  • that research within the Faculty of Arts & Humanities should not only have a progressive presence and engagement with these technologies but also a coherent ideological and practical strategy for engaging with them;
  • that while these technologies cannot be ignored by academics, the way individual researchers use them should be as unique as their research.
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HARTS.Online – a manifesto

ARE WE DECLARING SOMETHING? Are we declaring anything? Is anybody there? The desk is dust covered. The wall is cracked. The lighting makes a dull buzzing sound. Voices warble. There is a table. Small pieces of paper. Seats that creeeeeeeaaak. Join fingers on the base of the upturned wineglass and move slowly slowly, turn slowly turn –

Think back. We think back. We are are thinking are are thinking. We sit there thinking.

We sit sit sit  thinking thinking thinking and writing. We scribble. With biros. With pencils. With fountain pen. We scribibibibible. We scraawlll. We have backwards sloping handwriting we have forward sloping handwriting we print CAPITALS we trY cursive we try cursing without swearing. We write on post-its pink post-its. And on paper white paper. And on the back of a bill from the Museum on Science and Industry. What we want. What do we want. When do we want it. For a thing. For an online thing. An online material thing using materials like language. Material is language. It’s here in words. Here:

The words the marketing man didn’t use:

  • Truth
  • Culture
  • Co-operation
  • Quality
  • Critical
  • Ethical
  • Social change
  • Massive market failure
  • Story of humankind
  • Meaning
  • Value
  • Commonality
  • Transformation
  • Dissent
  • Risk


Round and round the wineglass goes. Please check. Do you understand strategic dynamism? Erudition? Umbrellas leaning at 45 degrees dripping invisible rain on to that  plastic “bag for life”, already full of holes? Understand “privation is like a face?” More evidence coming to light here:

  • Communal
  • Creative
  • Motivated
  • Student led
  • Useful

People glance at one another. The crack in the window makes a whistling noise whenever the weather gets uppity. And then the radiator starts to knock, Bangbangbang. Who’s there. Nobody. Every so often a car revs up outside, hasty to accelerate in between the regularly placed metal speed-bumps. Arrival-departure-shopping-status-lifestyle-thisismygirlfriendboyfriendgotadegree-gotwheels. The upturned wineglass spells out some more:

  • Inspiring
  • Informative

Against culture divide bridging formulating a new perspective for both facilities.

I want harts.online to be the virtual home within the faculty –

The wineglass gets agitated, moves quick, skitter skitter. Can’t keep up. What do you mean. What are you trying to say. What is your name. When do you mean. I do not quite understand. When were you born. Does that mean/ is it possible/ can it be conceivable you are older than Eighth Day. 

I declare that harts.online should stand aside from commercially motivated profit-seeking, short-termist notions of research

We don’t want closed mindedness

YES innovation creativity

I warn you, it’s a bit of a museum, there’s nothing new here apart from the telly, the Victorian brass bed was a bit of a steal, taking an idea and turning it into a global media empire, the light was the colour of custard, however there are some caveats. 

We are opposed to moving post graduate researchers from the Righton Building to the Ormond Building and the lack of consultation that has so far taken place with regard to this.

We are in favour of a democratically run HE system that interacts more effectively with the local community and opens education up to the underprivileged.

Spelling it out letter by letter. It gave me a personal drive which I’d lacked before. Writing is a great way to share your knowledge and passion, we were breaking free, what exoticism, book now, they jacked in their high-flying jobs and returned home, then along came an engineer with a radical plan, forming their own enterprise incubators. Don’t ask me what that means.

  • Up to the minute
  • Communal
  • Integrity

You’re slowing down. We fail to understand your true meaning. We charge no management fees, it’s always been that way, there were times when I haven’t wanted to leave the house, all choices mean not choosing something else, it was just a cacophony of sound, as a hide-all or quick fix, did you spot what’s different different different?

Want to make it inclusive and communal – safe and permissive in the sense that you don’t feel inhibited or that you might be ridiculous

Don’t go. Keep talking. You contacted my ad but left a number that was unclear. Some action might be on the way. Of course, the drama didn’t end there.

Rail against Form dictating Content. Must be easy to navigate – not whizzy for its own sake.

The wineglass slows down. The letters blow off the table. Empty room. All gone.

Written by Bob Dickinson following a HARTS.online Group (HOG) meeting on 8th March 2017.
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The HARTS Online Group (HOG)

The HARTS Online Group (HOG) is an open forum for PGRs and staff to discuss and develop more considered approaches to the ‘academic’ Web. It’s a forward looking, student-led initiative seeking to research and develop strategies for how the Postgraduate Arts & Humanities Centre (PAHC) might respond to current Information Communication Technologies (ICTs), as well as promote inventive online approaches to support, enable and disseminate student and staff research to a wider academic community.

Through the HARTS Online News site http://news.harts.online we’re keen to feature the best of current ‘digital’ practices across the Faculty integrated in a thoughtful and balanced way – and we’d like input from the PGR community to help us evaluate whether we’re managing to realise this.

If you use – or are interested in how you might use – the Web and/or Social Media in your research, then we’d welcome your involvement. Participating in HOG requires no technical expertise or time commitment over and above a bi-termly meeting (unless you want it to). Please contact Lewis Sykes, HARTS Online Coordinator – L.Sykes@mmu.ac.uk – if you’re interested and would like to get involved. [/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_tabs]