The Institute of Cornish Studies (ICS) exists to support and foster academic research on Cornwall and to undertake research on Cornwall and its past.
The ICS was formed in 1970 as a unique collaborative venture between the then Cornwall County Council and the University of Exeter. At that time its first Director, Professor Charles Thomas, defined its field as ‘the study of all aspects of man and his handiwork in the regional setting (Cornwall and Scilly), past, present and future. The development of society, industry and the landscape in our fast changing world is as much of concern … as the history of those vast topics in the recent and remote past.’
While this ambitious agenda remains, during the time of the current Director, Professor Philip Payton, our attention of our staff has become more focused on historical studies since 1800, this reflecting the ICS’s position since 2003 as part of the University’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HuSS) and since 2010 as part of the College of Humanities.
The Institute of Cornish Studies offers supervision for research degrees. Currently, MPhil/PhD students at the Institute are researching in areas as diverse as the impact of emigration on women in nineteenth-century Cornish communities, the Second World War in Cornwall, and the economic regeneration potential of Cornish identity.