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Department of Sociology

Sandi Toksvig holding a world map marble in Darwin’s room at Christs college Cambridge. photo credit Graham Copekoga

The LGBTQ+ research programme, based here at the Department of Sociology has awarded the inaugural Qantabrigian Fellowship to Sandi Toksvig, the prize-winning author, broadcaster, entertainer and founder of the Women’s Equality Party.  

The Q+ Fellowship enables distinguished Cambridge LGBTQ+ alumni to spend time at the University to conduct a research project or incubate a new idea.  

Q+ founding Director Professor Sarah Franklin said: “The Q+ Fellowship is dedicated to recognising the many extraordinary achievements of Cambridge’s LGBTQ+ alumni over many centuries and across the globe. It also aims to show that building partnerships through research engaging ever more inclusive audiences is an important way we can fulfil the University’s core mission. I cannot think of a more inspiring individual to launch both these exciting new initiatives than the brilliant Sandi Toksvig.” 

Sandi will be pausing her theatre and broadcasting work for the Michaelmas term to develop a new Mappa Mundi project, with the aim of creating a digital resource documenting women’s position, achievements and struggles across the globe.  

Sandi Toksvig commented, “I’m delighted to be returning to my old stomping ground of Cambridge to lead such an innovative project. This new Mappa Mundi project will be a three-dimensional, interactive view of the globe from a female perspective, with the goal of changing the world by learning to see it differently. It will be story-led, data driven and allow women from all countries to present their stories, their hardships, and their triumphs.” 

Sandi has also been elected to a Bye-Fellowship at Christ’s College, Cambridge for the 2023-2024 academic year and will convene a series of events, workshops and meetings to develop her initiative in partnership with Cambridge academic staff, students and support services.  

Head of Cambridge Sociology, Professor Manali Desai confirmed that both the Q+ Fellowship Programme and Toksvig’s Mappa Mundi Project are an ideal match for the Department’s passionate commitment to public-facing research and education projects, adding that the entire department is thrilled to be hosting such a distinguished inaugural Q+ Fellow. ‘We are excited to be entering a new phase of university research and education by hosting innovative projects that widen our engagement with the world, and both the Q+ programme and the Mappa Mundi project are leading the way forward in doing exactly this kind of work’.


Read more on this topic: 

University of Cambridge website 

Christ’s College website 

The Independent

Daily Mail

Evening Standard 

Cambridge News