Comedian and broadcaster Sandi Toksvig has been invited back to Cambridge University as part of a new initiative that enables distinguished LGBTQ+ alumni to conduct a research project.
Toksvig, 65, will pause her theatre and broadcasting work during the prestigious institution’s Michaelmas term while she works on a Mappa Mundi project.
The television presenter, who read law, archaeology and anthropology at Cambridge’s Girton College, has been awarded the inaugural Qantabrigian Fellowship for 2023-24.
The fellowship, awarded by the LGBTQ+ research programme in Cambridge’s Department of Sociology, aims to build stronger links with Cambridge’s LGBTQ+ alumni and widen participation in the university’s research and teaching activities.
Toksvig, who is married to wife Debbie Toksvig, aims to create a digital resource documenting women’s position, achievements and struggles across the globe as part of her Mappa Mundi project.
She said: “I’m delighted to be returning to my old stomping ground of Cambridge to lead such an innovative project.
“It will be story-led, data-driven and allow women from all countries to present their stories, their hardships, and their triumphs.”
Toksvig has also been elected to a Bye-Fellowship at Christ’s College, Cambridge for the 2023-2024 academic year.
She will convene a series of events, workshops and meetings to develop her initiative in partnership with Cambridge academic staff, students and support services.
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 and 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.”
Simon, Lord McDonald of Salford, Master of Christ’s College said: “Sandi Toksvig’s Q+ Fellowship comes at a vital time for both the College and the University communities as we continue to redefine learning, education and knowledge in the digital age.
“Thinking creatively about how we build publicly engaged and inclusive college communities is essential to the delivery of world-leading teaching and research, as well as excellence in education and scholarship.”