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Mid-Career Fellowships - Past Awards: 2016

A list of the Mid-Career Fellowship awards made in 2016

The British Academy was able to confirm 35 awards in this round of the Mid-Career Fellowship competition to be taken up from autumn 2016.

Please note: Awards are arranged alphabetically by surname of the grant recipient. The institution is that given at the time of award.

 

Allen, Dr Lori                                                                                                         MD150027

Senior Lecturer, SOAS, University of London, Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Anthropology / Historical Anthropology

A Genealogy of Political Proof: Making Facts Through Investigative Commissions In Palestine, 1919-2009

Sum Awarded from BA: £102,888

Abstract:

This project offers a major reconsideration of international politics by analyzing Palestinian engagement with an oft-deployed but rarely studied global governance technology: the investigative commission. Commissions reveal a great deal about political epistemologies, the social processes and categories by which proof and evidence are produced and mobilized in political claim-making, and offer a lens onto systems of political thought and global institutions through which Palestinian worthiness to self-rule has been debated and evaluated. Based on ethnographic interviews and archival research, the project analyzes six commissions convened in Palestine over the past century. In historicizing the ways in which Palestinians have engaged developmentalism, humanitarian sensibilities, the UN and human rights law as contested fields of power through commissions, I show how they have functioned as a liberal colonial device – one that operates on a pretense to consultation, fostering a belief in the existence of a global moral community guided by reason.

 

Anderson, Dr Peter                                                                                               MD150054

Lecturer in Twentieth Century European History, University of Leeds, School of History

History / Modern History

Losing Children: state care, adoption and the 'theft' of children in early twentieth-century Spain

Sum Awarded from BA: £100,106

Abstract:

The Franco regime took 30,000 children from leftists between 1939-1953 and used adoptive families or Francoist care homes to turn the youngsters against their parents’ ideas. These removals morphed into a criminal enterprise: between1953-1990 doctors and nurses sold around 300,000 children into adoption. Public debate rages over the ‘thefts’ that centres on new Francoist practices and the use of the state against passive ideological enemies. The project challenges public understandings of the early seizures. It asks how Francoists used long-standing state institutions to seize children, drew on progressive ideas to advocate separation, removed children from parents judged unfit in everyday life, relied on social workers and informants in society to watch over families and facilitated the agency of parents who placed their children in care. It will feed into public debate through engagement activities with activist groups and dissemination in popular history forums: showing how the humanities can improve understanding of social issues. It will also promote language learning in the UK.

 

Berry, Dr Mark                                                                                                       MD150013

Senior Lecturer in Music, Royal Holloway, University of London, Department of Music

Music / History & Criticism of Music: Art Music since 1900

Arnold Schoenberg and Intellectual Biography

Sum Awarded from BA: £105,041

Abstract:

I shall write an intellectual biography of Arnold Schoenberg, the first of its kind, which treats of his life through his ideas and works, both musical and non-musical (prose, paintings, etc.). It will place Schoenberg very much within his political, social, and cultural context: contemporary to him, of course, but also with due attention played to origins, and to reception following Schoenberg's death, a period during which controversies concerning the composer, especially as alleged high-priest of 'modernism', have, if anything, intensified. However, I also intend to use this particular study as a means of interrogating historical narratives, specifically musical and otherwise, and, more fundamentally, ideas of intellectual biography. How amenable are musical works to such study? If all such narratives are constructed by us, how do we privilege some over others? These are debates concerning the philosophy and practice of history as much as musicology. As a scholar with a background and appointments in both history and musicology, I shall explore such problems and opportunities.

 

Boehm, Professor Steffen                                                                                     MD150045

Professor in Organisation Studies, University of Exeter, Business School

Business and Management Studies / Organisational Theory

Environmental Activism within Energy Companies

Sum Awarded from BA: £78,958

Abstract:

Environmental activism is normally seen as the prevail of social movements and other civil society organisations. While we know a lot about how such organisations challenge companies from the outside, very little is known about green activism and environmental contestations within firms. This is particularly important with regards to the energy sector, which is in the frontline of the battle to reduce carbon emissions and deal with climate change. This project empirically traces environmental activism within two energy companies, focusing on how green activists are employed, managed and cultivated to bring about a transition of the energy system. The Fellowship will enable me to a) complete this research, b) prepare a book manuscript, and c) organise a series of events and write short articles to communicate the research findings to fellow academics, practitioners, policymakers as well as the wider public. The book will be amongst the first attempts to understand environmental activism within companies, advancing our knowledge in this crucial area of climate and business policy.

 

Bombi, Dr Barbara                                                                                                MD150038

Reader in Medieval History (1 October 2010), University of Kent, School of History

History / Medieval History - History

Anglo-papal relations in the fourteenth century. A Study in Medieval Diplomacy.

Sum Awarded from BA: £107,600

Abstract:

This project aims at completing a major research monograph on Anglo-papal relations in the period c.1300-1360, contracted for publication by OUP. The book will be the first to challenge the assumption that Medieval diplomacy only dealt with management of foreign affairs; it focuses on the relationship between diplomacy, administrative practices and political conflicts to enquire how far these issues re-shaped Anglo-papal relations in this period. Bureaucracy and its formation in the medieval and early modern periods have often been associated with the rise of the Early Modern State. The fourteenth century was especially critical in this development owing to the papacy’s move to Avignon and the outbreak of the Hundred Years’ War, which saw the papacy act as a mediator in this Anglo-French conflict. Rather than writing the political history of Anglo-papal relations in this period, the book addresses four case studies in the context of political changes and conflicts in order to question whether bureaucratic reforms were a reaction either to political or to administrative circumstances.

 

Bressey, Dr Caroline                                                                                             MD150048

Reader in Historical and Cultural Geography, University College London, Geography

Geography / Historical Geography

Living together: working life, love and labour in multi-cultural England 1870-1919

Sum Awarded from BA: £117,135

Abstract:

This project marks the culmination of over a decade of my research exploring the black presence in Victorian and Edwardian Britain. During the fellowship I will draw together biographies of women and with them reveal the hidden histories of their lives and the multi-cultural communities among which they lived and worked. Using extensive archives, from asylum records to advertisements for black barmaids, the project will contextualise untold histories of multi-cultural working class culture. This will challenge widely held perceptions within political, popular and academic arenas that ‘multi-cultural’ Britain began with the arrival of Caribbean migrants after World War Two. As such the wider ambition of the fellowship is to radically re-think the history of multi-culturalism in Britain and contribute to debates from the ‘failure of multi-culturalism’ to ‘colour blind’ casting in television dramas, to how we live together in “a more cohesive society” ('Extremism', David Cameron, speech 20 July 2015).

 

Copeman, Dr Jacob                                                                                              MD150036

Lecturer in social anthropology, University of Edinburgh, Social anthropology

Anthropology / Social & Cultural Anthropology, other branches

Names and (dis)identity: A new approach to Indian secularism

Sum Awarded from BA: £102,713

Abstract:

This project takes up social and political questions of naming that are often ignored in studies of inequality or exclusion. What if Indian personal names ceased to automatically categorise their bearers according to their caste and/or religion so that identities are deliberately blurred? Grounded in ethnographic work amongst proponents of secularism, the project will examine strategies used to produce ‘disidentification’: e.g. purification of caste connotations of names, and names that cross religious boundaries in order to bring the association between name and pigeonholed identity into question. To reach a broader non-academic audience (e.g. British South Asians interested in personal names), I will publish accessible layperson summaries of my findings on a dedicated webpage, as well as more standard academic outputs. The project is likely to generate significant data on the effectiveness of personal name changing in combatting discrimination, so a report will be submitted to the Indian Institute of Dalit Studies, which is consulted by the Indian government on its equality agenda.

 

Cummings, Dr Vicki                                                                                              MD150041

Reader in Archaeology, University of Central Lancashire, Archaeology, School of Forensic and Applied Sciences

Archaeology / Prehistoric Archaeology

A technology of enchantment: building the great dolmens of NW Europe

Sum Awarded from BA: £98,282

Abstract:

The construction of Stonehenge is often considered to be the pinnacle of megalithic engineering. However, over a thousand years before construction began at Stonehenge, people were building dolmens, monuments which are characterised by an enormous capstone balanced on top of smaller uprights. Found throughout NW Europe, these megalithic constructions were amazing feats of engineering, with some sites employing stones that were twice as heavy as the largest stone at Stonehenge. However, surprisingly little was known about these monuments prior to the start of this project. Earlier excavations focussed on the chamber which often saw burials being deposited over thousands of years. Consequently, there had been little consideration of how these remarkable monuments were actually constructed, and the broader implications of building with huge stones to Neolithic society. This research project has readdressed this by focussing on gaining an understanding of construction methods through a targeted survey and excavation programme in Britain, Ireland and NW Europe.

 

 

Davis, Dr James                                                                                                    MD150028

Senior Lecturer in Medieval History, Queen's University Belfast, School of History and Anthropology

History / Medieval History - History

Medieval Street Life: Space, Culture and Commerce in English Towns, 1200-1500

Sum Awarded from BA: £103,681

Abstract:

The dynamics of medieval urban life were primarily forged in the streets. They were the main site for marketing, festivities, rituals and gossip, but also for violence, protest, surveillance and punishment. Without analysis of the complex interactions that daily took place in these open spaces, we cannot fully comprehend the history of our towns and their inhabitants. This project proposes a new direction for medieval urban studies, providing a link between the emerging townscapes of thirteenth-century England and modern perceptions of our streets. Using a novel interdisciplinary approach that combines historical sources with the techniques of geographers, anthropologists, architects, archaeologists and literary scholars, the project looks at how streets were perceived and used by medieval townspeople. These spaces shaped their identity and behaviour, but the street environment was also a product of their varied activities. The research will lead to a substantial book, both for an academic and popular readership, as well as a website and a programme of public lectures and workshops.

 

de Paula, Dr Aureo                                                                                                MD150039

Reader, University College London, Economics

Economics / Econometrics

Econometrics of Interaction Models

Sum Awarded from BA: £69,832.80

Abstract:

This research programme comprises two research projects to be carried out in six months/one year. The first project refers to the econometrics of game theoretic models with multiple equilibria. In it, I examine the use of permutation tests to detect multiplicity in games of incomplete information when private information is potentially correlated across agents. Given that uniqueness is an important assumption for many estimators of game theoretic structures, this test will be an important preliminary step in the analysis of interactions. The second project focusses on the development of a "sampling-based equilibrium" concept for (social or economic) network formation that emulates similar concepts in non-cooperative game theory, relaxing some of the epistemic demands that popular solution concepts impose on players and facilitating computation. Both projects will be developed in the United States to facilitate collaboration.

 

Endersby, Dr Jim                                                                                                  MD150024

Reader in the History of Science, University of Sussex, History (School of History, Art History and Philosophy)

History / History of Science

Mutants, Midwives and Moths: the public culture of Anglo-American biology, 1900-1939

Sum Awarded from BA: £103,455

Abstract:

In political and other debates today, biological claims are often used to define and delimit human potential. This began last century: in discussions of everything from eugenics to genetic engineering, biological utopias and dystopias came to haunt the public’s imagination. This project analyses how this biologically infused public culture took shape during the century’s early decades, by tracing the ways in which three “celebrity organisms” appeared in newspapers, magazines and in fiction: the evening primrose (key to the Mutation Theory, a supposedly rapid, alternative theory of evolution); the midwife toad (which exemplified another alternative – the neo-Lamarckian view that characteristics acquired over an organism’s lifetime could be passed on); and, the peppered moth (emblem of conventional Darwinism – demonstrating natural selection in action). Tracing the history of these three organisms will show how today’s debates about the role of biology in shaping humanity’s future were created at the intersection of specialist and popular knowledge.

 

Gilmour, Dr Rachael                                                                                              MD160017

Senior Lecturer in English, Queen Mary University of London, English

English Language and Literature / Contemporary Literature (English)

Bad English: literature and language diversity in contemporary Britain

Sum Awarded from BA: £91,839

Abstract:

How do creative writers in Britain negotiate between proliferating language diversity, and enduring ideas about language and nation? How should we approach the emergence of a distinctive literature concerned with the representation of the sounds, properties, histories, and experiences of linguistic difference; a literature whose engagements with form and voice emerge out of the gap between highly self-conscious, polyphonic modernism, and increasingly taken-for-granted lived experiences of multilingualism? And what place do these questions have in the contemporary study of ‘English literature’? This programme combines ground-breaking scholarly research, resulting in a distinctive monograph, Bad English: literature and language diversity in contemporary Britain (Manchester University Press), with the application of these ideas to develop innovative teaching strategies for literature in the multilingual classroom. Outcomes include a series of teachers’ workshops, durable, open-access teaching resources, publication and other forms of dissemination and engagement.

 

Gordon, Dr John                                                                                                   MD150021

Senior Lecturer in Education and Course Director for Secondary PGCE(M) in Initial Teacher Education, University of East Anglia, School of Education and Lifelong Learning, Social Sciences Faculty

Education / Curricular Areas

Literature’s lasting impression: what makes shared reading of novels powerful?

Sum Awarded from BA: £108,726

Abstract:

This project seeks to enhance literary education through the wider development of shared reading. What features of shared novel reading stimulate deep response? Everyone remembers ‘reading round the class’, an approach used for decades with little account of its efficacy or of recent research on classroom talk for learning. As community and online book groups thrive, literary study in education is in crisis. Erratic GCSE English results, the persistent gender gap where boys underachieve, and low confidence of teachers working with literature raise a second question: how do teachers guide shared novel reading to improve students’ literary response? To understand the impact of this reading at its best, the project surveys adults about their lasting memories of reading novels in school, interviews students and teachers currently engaged in the process, and examines distinctive yet related reading practices in informal book groups and in primary, secondary and higher education. The project’s methods sustain public engagement and contribute transcripts to an online language corpus. The project documents practices to inform training for teachers of literature, promoting toolkits and case exemplars via national professional networks and social media user groups.

 

Greggs, Professor Tom                                                                                         MD160005

Professor in Historical and Doctrinal Theology, University of Aberdeen, School of Divinity, History and Philosophy

Religious Studies / Systematic Theology

A Dogmatic Ecclesiology: The Priestly Catholicity of the Church

Sum Awarded from BA: £122,218

Abstract:

This project involves the writing of the first volume of the first ever multi-volume dogmatic Protestant Ecclesiology. Each volume will correspond to one of the creedal identifying marks of the church (catholic, apostolic, holy, with a coda on unity) in relation to the offices of Christ (respectively, priest, prophet, king). The argument of the volumes is that there is a three-fold irreducible dogmatic narrative of the church in relation to the work of the Spirit: 1) The church participates by the Spirit’s salvific work in the priestly office of Christ; in this is its catholicity (vol. 1). 2) The church encounters the prophetic office of Christ through an event of the Spirit; in this is its apostolicity (vol. 2). 3) The church is transformed by the Spirit’s redeeming grace into the kingly servitude of Christ; in this is the church’s holiness (vol. 3). Each volume’s chapters correspond across the other two volumes, ensuring maximal cohesion. The first volume seeks to offer a creative account of catholicity for Protestant theologies, suggesting catholicity as an expansive category.

 

Grig, Dr Lucy                                                                                                        MD150018

Senior Lecturer in Classics, University of Edinburgh, Classics, School of History Classics and Archaeology

Classics and Ancient History / History of Rome, Italy and the Roman provinces

Popular Culture and the End of Antiquity in Southern Gaul, c. 400-550.

Sum Awarded from BA: £79,974

Abstract:

How should we understand the cultural and social transformation from the classical to the medieval world? This remains a question of great importance and this project proposes a new approach, focusing on a key region and a period that is particularly rich in literary and material evidence, i.e. southern Gaul c. 400-550, with a particular focus on Caesarius of Arles (469/70-542). The project, culminating in a full-length monograph, takes a cultural-historical approach to this period of transformation, specifically looking through the lens of popular culture and its study. Was there a "democratisation of culture" in Late Antiquity? What role did Christianity play in cultural change? The approach, which focuses on popular culture in particular, looks at questions of social and cultural change from 'bottom up' as well as more traditional 'top down' perspectives, while providing useful models and insights, including those from outside the fields of ancient and medieval history, to help solve challenging questions for our understanding of the development of European society.

 

Harding, Professor Rosie                                                                                      MD150026

Chair in Law and Society, University of Birmingham, Birmingham Law School

Law / Sociology of Law

Everyday Decisions: Interrogating the interface between mental capacity and legal capacity

Sum Awarded from BA: £107,271

Abstract:

The right to equal recognition of all persons before the law is a long-standing legal principle. People with intellectual disabilities (here understood to include those with learning disabilities, acquired brain injuries, and dementia) have been routinely denied their right to equal treatment before the law. Many jurisdictions have implemented systems whereby people with intellectual disabilities have their rights to make decisions about their own lives legally removed from them, on the basis of perceived limitations in their ‘mental’ capacity. An international consensus is emerging that such approaches have limits, and that supported decision-making processes that foreground the will and preferences of the individual should be used instead. Using qualitative research methods, this project seeks to interrogate how socio-legal understandings of 'legal' and 'mental' capacity interact in the everyday lives of people with intellectual disabilities, in order to generate new approaches to better support their everyday legally-relevant decision making.

 

Lovell, Dr Julia                                                                                                      MD150019

Reader in Modern Chinese History and Literature, Birkbeck College, University of London, History, Classics and Archaeology

History / Modern History

Maoism: A Global History

Sum Awarded from BA: £110,804

Abstract:

A Mid-Career Fellowship would enable me to complete a monograph on the international history of Maoism: a study of how the ideas of the Maoist revolution travelled beyond China to become a global force from the 1930s to the present day. The book will examine the 1960s-70s enthusiasm for Mao Zedong’s thought in the West and the influence of Maoism on decolonisation after World War II, in inspiring national insurgencies and Communist parties across Asia, Africa and Latin America. The book will conclude with an analysis of the ongoing Maoist insurgency across eastern India. The book, to be published by Bodley Head, will reach a broad international audience. In the course of the Fellowship, I would also present my research at think-tanks (Chatham House, the Institute of International and European Affairs), develop an online Archive of Global Maoism and a documentary film, and convene an international conference in which academics and policy-makers will contextualise past and present forms of Maoism within global debates on decolonisation, radicalism and political violence.

 

Martin, Dr Shane                                                                                                   MD150032

Reader, University of Essex, Department of Government

Politics / Parliamentary Studies

Trust is Good, Control is Better: Parliament and the Coalition Government, 2010-15

Sum Awarded from BA: £115,959

Abstract:

The British Parliament is often perceived as being politically ineffective. In contrast, international research suggests that national parliaments do perform significant roles, particularly during periods of coalition governments. However, we know very little about the British parliament’s role in coalition government. To address this gap, my project seeks to provide the first quantitative study of parliamentary activity during the recent Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government. How did MPs from different government parties interact with one another? Did they treat each other as allies or did they exhibit partisan distrust? Data on parliamentary questions, committee activity and plenary debates will be collected and analysed to assess the extent to which Conservative MPs targeted oversight towards Liberal Democrat politicians, and vice versa. The results promise to shed new light on parliamentary politics in Britain, and will be communicated to the scholarly community (via a monograph) and to wider audiences (via an 'academic meets practitioner' event and media outputs).

 

Mastrobuoni, Professor Giovanni                                                                         MD150014

Professor, University of Essex, Economics

Economics / Economic Policy

Evidence-based Crime Prevention: Policing with Big Data

Sum Awarded from BA: £115,255

Abstract:

Academic research has shown that more policing reduces crime, but there is little consensus and knowledge about the mechanism. Most of this effort being based on aggregate level data this has resulted in limited impact at the operational level. This project will use micro-level Big Data collected by Essex Police containing detailed information on the timing and location of police patrols and of all individual crimes committed and arrests made to address important questions such as: Does policing deter crime by reducing its attractiveness, or because it leads to additional arrests? How should police patrolling be organized? Should patrolling focus on locations with high crime levels, based on which crimes, and for how long? This shift will benefit research into policing and criminal behaviour that spans several disciplines (e.g., economics, criminology, and sociology). It will contribute to the designing of better policing strategies that will use their resources more efficiently.

 

McConnell, Dr Fiona                                                                                             MD160003

Associate Professor in Human Geography (University of Oxford) and Tutorial Fellow in Geography (St Catherine's College), University of Oxford and St Catherine's College, Oxford, School of Geography and the Environment

Geography / Political and Electoral Geography

Representing the unrepresented: the politics and practices of subaltern diplomacy

Sum Awarded from BA: £100,794

Abstract:

Despite conflicts and human rights abuses increasingly involving non-state actors there is a problematic diplomatic deficit: marginalised groups – whose interests are most at stake – are often excluded from forums of international diplomacy. This project aims to better understand this deficit by examining the strategies by which such unrepresented communities seek to engage with the UN. The research develops the notion of subaltern diplomacy to analyse the ways in which representatives from these communities mimic formal state diplomacy and the role of interlocutors who advocate at the UN on their behalf. It draws together ongoing research on the diplomacy of unrecognised states with new research on the role of intermediaries in ‘representing the unrepresented’: an NGO which advocates on behalf of minorities (Minority Rights Group) and freelance diplomats who represent unrecognised governments (Independent Diplomat). Outputs include a research monograph, articles written for practitioner and public audiences, and training materials for innovative ‘Model UNPO’ simulation exercises.

 

Michelson, Dr Emily                                                                                              MD150052

Lecturer in History, University of St Andrews, Modern History

History / Early Modern History

Imaginary Jews in Early Modern Rome

Sum Awarded from BA: £46,110.40

Abstract:

Early Modern Rome was a unique laboratory for studying the mutual impact of Jews and Catholics. Its Jewish community was the oldest in Europe, and grew rapidly in the 16th century. Yet Rome also generated most of the rhetoric and concepts about Judaism (“Imaginary Judaism”) that informed centuries of Catholic theology; in Rome, real and imaginary Jews were equally deep-rooted and impossible to ignore. They converged at weekly conversionary preaching, a public spectacle that drew clerics, citizens, pilgrims, and visitors. Before a Jewish congregation, preachers publicly critiqued Judaism as they imagined it, while promoting and celebrating a resurgent Catholicism. Conversionary preaching has largely been considered a subset only of Jewish history. My project, based on abundant archival sources, considers its essential paradox: that conversion was never its only goal nor Jews its only target. From the first it addressed a multilayered, diverse audience, and thus served many functions; it influenced Jewish-Christian relations but was also a key platform for affirming Catholic identity.

 

Milne, Dr Elizabeth                                                                                                MD150049

Reader in Cognitive Neuroscience, The University of Sheffield, Psychology

Psychology / Clinical Psychology

Autism spectrum disorder: continuous or dichotomous?

Sum Awarded from BA: £101,176

Abstract:

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is estimated to affect up to 1 in 68 of us. Within the general population individual differences in the traits associated with ASD are correlated with individual differences in cognition, perception, and neural function suggesting that ASD occurs on a continuum. This dimensional view of ASD is at odds with the current clinical approach of defining someone as either having, or not having, ASD. This project will investigate the diagnostic boundary of ASD. It will use multivariate analyses of questionnaire and EEG data to investigate whether the core symptom domains and neural markers of ASD vary continuously across the population, or whether there is a discrete difference between those with and without ASD. It will also evaluate the extent to which other factors associated with the autism phenotype such as anxiety and sensory sensitivity may predict diagnosis status. The output from the project will provide a much richer understanding of the nature of high functioning ASD and will develop a forum for discussing the implications with a wide audience.

 

Philpotts, Dr Matthew                                                                                           MD150042

Professor, University of Liverpool, Modern Languages and Cultures

Modern Languages / History of the book

Editing the Twentieth Century

Sum Awarded from BA: £79,359.60

Abstract:

This project explores the important role played by the editors of literary and cultural magazines in twentieth-century Europe. Scholars working across a range of fields have acknowledged the influence of periodical publications from the Victorian period to the present and have studied a range of individual editors. However, no-one has yet undertaken a book-length study that compares different types of editors across different national contexts. This project sets out to fill that gap through five sets of comparative case studies: editors of a range of German intellectual journals from the year 1930; "big name" founding editors (Thomas Mann, T.S. Eliot, and Jean-Paul Sartre); editors of established reviews (e.g. Times Literary Supplement and Nouvelle Revue Française) at moments of succession; editors under Communism in the Cold War; and counter-cultural editorial collectives in the 1970s. In the process the book will shed light on the practice and function of these crucial figures who did so much to select and shape knowledge and cultural values in the 20th century.

 

Pillen, Dr Alex                                                                                                       MD160019

Lecturer, UCL, Anthropology

Anthropology / Linguistic Anthropology

The anthropology of Kurdish rhetoric: Evidence, responsibility and authority.

Sum Awarded from BA: £109,362

Abstract:

Kurdish societies have received increased international attention, most notably during the battle against ISIS in Kobane. This is a study of the Kurdish language and its communicative forms, for an in-depth analysis of Kurdish political subjectivity and leadership. Kurdish is an Indo-European language spoken by large populations in the borderlands of Turkish and Arabic linguistic territories, and shows striking similarities to Classical Persian-Tajik. I specialize in the anthropology of language, more specifically the use of direct quotations of other people’s words. This is a prominent technique used in Kurdish to articulate a particular point of view and present the evidence for what one is saying. These language practices are linked to culture-specific understandings of authority. The project is based on an anthropological analysis of empirical discursive material gathered amongst Kurdish refugees in London. Based at UCL, London’s global university, this program intends to provide a much-needed academic and language-based perspective on chronic violence in the Kurdish regions.

 

Ryan, Professor Bernard                                                                                      MD150055

Professor of Law, University of Leicester, Law

Law / Labour Law and Discrimination

Re-imagining Employment Law in a Time of Migration

Sum Awarded from BA: £85,645

Abstract:

The proposed fellowship would be used to consider the implications of contemporary migration trends for employment law in Britain. The background is the increased share of foreign-born workers in Britain, up from 7% in 1997 to 16% in 2015. The dominant public policy response has aimed at a reduction in labour migration. That approach has however run into difficulty, due to employer demand, and EU law rights to work. This fellowship would be used to explore an alternative response to recent migration, based on a re-assessment of employment law. First, should the goals of employment law be updated, to focus on risks of exploitation, undercutting and non-compliance with legal obligations? Secondly, should the scope of employment law be re-conceived, to include aspects of immigration policy and previously neglected groups? Thirdly, which reforms to the content of employment law appear desirable in response to contemporary migration? These questions would be addressed through a monograph, a comparative academic workshop and related publication, and [update] three engagement events.

 

Savant, Dr Sarah                                                                                                   MD160013

Associate Professor, Aga Khan University, Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations

History / Intellectual history - History

Knowledge, Information Technology and the Arabic Book

Sum Awarded from BA: £55,531

Abstract:

I seek funding so that I can: 1) publish and disseminate the first, major research from KITAB, a project that I lead which uses a new digital method to study how authors working in classical Arabic in the period of 750 to 1500 copied texts into other texts. The research will be disseminated in public lectures in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands; in a monograph contracted already by the University of Leiden and Brill Publishers; and through KITAB’s website; 2) widely promote the digital research corpus and methods that I am developing with my team. This work will follow KITAB’s pilot, in which our team of volunteers assembled a corpus of 10,000 pre-processed Arabic texts from the period;collected basic metadata relating to all texts; experimented with, and adapted and ran, algorithms to detect text copying on the whole corpus; created a database of indexed results; designed an interactive web page; and initiated a user group through an engagement event funded by the British Academy.

 

Siebert, Professor Sabina                                                                                     MD150056

Professor of Management, University of Glasgow, Adam Smith Business School

Business and Management Studies / Organisational Theory

Trust in biomedical research: Managing overflow in science

Sum Awarded from BA: £124,531

Abstract:

In recent years the scientific community has expressed concerns about distrust of the results of scientific research among scientists, editors and funders. This project will investigate the nature and extent of such distrust and its underlying causes. It will address two questions: (1) has there been an observable decline in trust among scientists, and if so what can be done about it, and (2) how do these concerns affect scientists and the funders for science? As well as exploring these questions, I will focus closely on one potential cause for a decline of trust in science, i.e. the “overflow in science”. I use this term to capture the perceptions of the scientific community of a rapid proliferation of academic journals and conferences beyond the capacity of the system to verify the quality of outputs. I will investigate the extent of overflow in biomedical sciences, and how it affects trust in scientists’ work. I will also explore other relevant themes: personal and lab reputations, integrity and competence, scientific rigour, and the appropriateness of the peer review system.

 

Sime, Dr Daniela                                                                                                   MD160010

Senior Lecturer, University of Strathclyde, School of Social Work & Social Policy

Sociology / Social Divisions and Inequalities

Getting By: Young people’s experiences of poverty and stigma at the intersection of ethnicity, class and gender

Sum Awarded from BA: £78,698

Abstract:

Tackling poverty and social inequalities is of great interest to contemporary society. Growing up in poverty has devastating effects on young people's wellbeing, health and education, and likely to lead to long-term disadvantages and marginalisation. In the context of the current economic austerity, welfare reform and consequences for service provision, this study will examine young people’s experiences of poverty and stigma in urban deprived areas. It will focus specifically on documenting young people's everyday lives and marginal position, at the intersection of ethnicity, class and gender. Focussing on young people aged 12-18, the study will provide a unique understanding on their long-term experiences of stigma, marginalisation and disadvantage, exploring also the social networks which help them ‘get by’. The study will be innovative by giving young people a voice in the current debates on social justice and inequality and by making connections between policy discourses of social inclusion and young people's experiences of marginalisation.

 

Smith, Dr Laura                                                                                                     MD150031

Lecturer in Social Psychology, Deputy Director of Undergraduate Studies, University of Bath, Department of Psychology

Psychology / Social Psychology and Organisational Psychology

Predicting the growth of Islamic State online

Sum Awarded from BA: £70,740

Abstract:

The use of online communications in English by supporters of Islamic State (IS) presents two unprecedented research opportunities: first, to predict the spread of extremism in English-speaking populations; and second, to understand how online communications shape people's understanding of IS and its opponents. The proposed research provides a timely opportunity to refine methods, software and analytics to maximise the impact that psychology, computer science and political science can make to countering extremism. The central research questions are how and why do people develop identification with extremist Islam online over time? To answer these questions, I will build upon the capabilities of an existing open-access software tool, Chorus, and integrate it with a new conceptual framework from Psychology to explore the usefulness of a novel analysis of longitudinal qualitative big data. By doing so, I aim to identify novel variables derived from online language that can predict the radicalisation of mainstream users.

 

Strathern, Dr Alan                                                                                                 MD150037

Associate Professor in History, Brasenose College, Oxford and the University of Oxford, History

History / Early Modern History

Sacred Kingship and Religious Change in the Early Modern World

Sum Awarded from BA: £119,450

Abstract:

The fellowship would be used to complete a large work of comparative global history. This project will help to explain the religious map of the world today by analyzing ruler conversions to monotheism in the early modern period. Why is it that rulers in some societies would jeopardize their legitimacy if they abandoned the existing religion while rulers elsewhere could strengthen their position through conversion? I will answer that question by focusing on four main case study areas: sixteenth century Central Africa, particularly Kongo; late sixteenth century Japan; late seventeenth century Siam; and early nineteenth century Oceania, particularly Hawaii. However, the project also ranges more widely in order to develop a theoretical approach to understanding religion and its relationship with politics. It will draw heavily on anthropological and sociological literature to that end. The research will be disseminated to academics through international conference papers. It will find a public audience through a magazine article, blog, public workshops and potentially a radio programme.

 

Sultany, Dr Nimer                                                                                                  MD160011

Lecturer in Public Law and PG Admissions Tutor, SOAS, University of London, Law

Law / Comparative Law and Roman Law

Revolution, Constitutionalism, and Religion After the Arab Spring

Sum Awarded from BA: £99,637

Abstract:

Law has been central to the upheavals of the Arab Spring. It played contradictory roles: it was the revolution’s enemy but also its expression; a stabilizing yet contentious force; and manifested in positive rules but also in higher principles. Whilst revolutionary changes (in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya) led to new constitutions expressing the new order, monarchies (Morocco, Jordan, Oman) reformed existing constitutions that preserved the existing order. Political disputes in Egypt and Tunisia turned into legal battles, and judges were accused of partisanship. Finally, the increased Islamist electoral presence in Egypt and Tunisia revived debates about religious law. Taking the Arab Spring as a case study, this project seeks to critically evaluate the different roles and trajectories of the law in a revolutionary setting. Specifically, the research will critically analyze the Arab constitutions’ success in legitimating new regimes; how constitutions and revolutions converge or clash; and the effect of constitutional arrangements on identity, minorities, gender, and social justice.

 

Viding, Professor Essi                                                                                          MD160004

Professor of Developmental Psychopathology, University College London, Psychology and Language Sciences

Psychology / Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology

The puzzle of conduct problems in children: Finding new pieces

Sum Awarded from BA: £114,933.60

Abstract:

Conduct problems (CP) in children incur a substantial societal cost and constitute the most common reason for childhood referral to mental health and educational services. Delineating psychological and neural processes that are compromised in CP can help us understand why children develop behavioural problems and what we might be able to do to help them. My research plan is to write a theory paper and lead analysis and writing up of two studies investigating psychological and neural underpinnings of 1) atypical empathy and 2) atypical social bonding in children with CP – in particular those children who have high levels callous-unemotional traits in addition to CP. Practitioners and families with children with CP are interested in the latest science and want to know about helpful resources. My communication plan is to 1) organise a workshop that brings together researchers (including one of the world leaders in this area), practitioners, policy makers and families and 2) develop a web resource for families, practitioners and policy makers, based on needs identified at the workshop.

 

Vieira, Dr Monica                                                                                                   MD160009

Lecturer in Politics, University of York, Department of Politics

Politics / Political Theory

The Politics of Silence

Sum Awarded from BA: £101,066

Abstract:

From deliberative democracy to participatory politics, democratic theory has overwhelmingly focused on voice, speech, and discourse. Speech, however, cannot be intelligible unless permeated by silence. Pauses between words, their duration and location, are as meaningful and consequential as words themselves. But silence is more than what makes voice possible. It is a political category in its own right. As we do things with words, so silence allows us to act politically. Silence can acquiesce to power as well as deploy it. It can claim authority as well as constitute community. Besides interpreting what is said, one needs therefore to realize what was left unsaid, what silences speech harbours, and what one can do by refusing to speak. What powers and potentials lie in silence? This project aims at contributing to respond to this question.

 

Walters, Dr Lee                                                                                                     MD150047

Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Southampton, Philosophy

Philosophy / Aesthetics

The Metaphysics of Repeatable Artworks

Sum Awarded from BA: £85,156

Abstract:

Some artforms, e.g. paintings, have a single instance, and the painting just is this instance. Others, e.g. plays, have many instances, and the play is not itself any of these instances. One tradition treats such repeatable artworks (RAs) as unstructured, eternal objects, outside the causal nexus, and discovered by artists. My project, instead, is to argue that RAs are created by addressing head-on four problems such a view faces: 1) Why can some RAs be forged, but others not? 2) What grounds the identity and existence of RAs; how are they related to the material world? 3) How do RAs change; what is the relation between an RA and its different versions? 4) Can we account for an RAs structure; what is it for a line to occur twice in a poem? Given the focus on broader metaphysical themes, such as identity, change, and structure, the project has implications for general metaphysics. It will also be of interest to musicologists and literary scholars. My research results will be communicated through four journal articles, a conference, teaching, blog posts, and a public 'Cultural Day'.

 

Wilson-Lee, Dr Edward                                                                                         MD150017

Fellow and Lecturer in English, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, Faculty of English

Modern Languages / History of the book

Hernando Colón's New World of Books

Sum Awarded from BA: £61,014

Abstract:

My Fellowship project focuses on the life and library of Hernando Colón, son of the explorer Columbus. Between 1509 and his death in 1539 Hernando amassed the greatest print library of the age on personal buying trips across Europe, recording in detail the location, date, and cost of each purchase, and embarking on at least nine different cataloguing projects intended to navigate this exponentially growing world of information. Hernando moved fluidly between his library - which brought together elite scholarly works and ephemera, printed images and music - and his work as a leading map-maker and diplomat, and he attempted to reduce the world around him to catalogic form through a series of charts, dictionaries, and geographical indexes. My research will explore Hernando's bold and influential vision of the world, prompted by his attempts to navigate the expanding worlds of geography, politics, and information, and will be published in two formats: as a biography of Hernando for a general audience, and in a co-authored scholarly volume for academic readers.

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