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Postdoctoral Fellowships - 2015 Awards

A list of the Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards made in 2015

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

 

Dr Richard Ansell                                                                                                pf150050

University of Leicester

Education, Travel and Family Strategy in Britain and Ireland, c.1650-1750

This project explores the relationship between educational travel and the formation of a ‘British’ elite in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Historians assume this great social and cultural change, but rarely examine its workings. The project will draw on manuscript letters, notebooks and financial records to reconstruct strategies among landowning families from Co. Cork, Yorkshire and the Scottish Lowlands, analysing decisions over domestic education, foreign travel and entry into adulthood over several generations. These were key moments in upbringing, when parents and children voiced and even challenged assumed values and intentions. They allow us to consider how provincial origins and networks shaped family engagements with local, metropolitan and cosmopolitan educational options. This research will assess whether educational mobility, by sons and daughters at home and abroad, encouraged or disrupted social and cultural bonds among landowning families in early modern Britain and Ireland. Did educational travel help to create a ‘British’ elite?

 

Dr Ruth Armstrong                                                                                             pf150089

University of Cambridge

Making space for desistance: An interpretive evaluation of a prison based educational programme where prisoners and university students learn together.

Most people who commit criminal offences desist from offending behaviour. It is known that the factors that lead people to offend in the first place are not the same as those that help them to desist. Rather than a movement away from crime, desistance is a movement towards civic values and behaviour. Prison can be a difficult place to develop such virtues. This project will implement and evaluate a ‘Learning Together’ education programme designed to create a space within prison in which students can develop dispositions that are associated with desistance: increased social connectivity, increased civic values and reduced perceptions of stigma. ‘Learning Together’ involves university and prisoner students taking classes together in prison. This research will advance theoretical understandings of the transformative potential of ‘Learning Together’ and its contribution to early stage desistance through observing, operationalising and measuring the interpersonal dynamics of individual movements towards desistance in prison.

 

Dr Teodora Boneva                                                                                             pf150072

University College London

The Importance of Parental Beliefs in Parental Investment Decisions

Children in socio-economically disadvantaged families often do not have access to stimulating home environments. The lack of stimulation contributes to the socio-economic gap in achievement which already emerges at a very young age and persists throughout adult life. This research quantitatively assesses how children differ in the amount of support they receive from their parents, and investigates why we observe these differences. More specifically, the research aims to uncover the role of parental beliefs about the productivity of their investments in the parents’ decision of how much time and financial resources to allocate to their children. Using detailed information on child development, parental investments and parental beliefs we can obtain valuable insights into the channels through which targeted interventions can affect parenting behaviours and the accumulation of skills. These insights will help us understand how to design more effective interventions in the future.

 

 

Dr Jack Britton                                                                                                    pf150081

Institute for Fiscal Studies

A study of Higher Education Choices

Higher Education (HE) funding is a topical issue, which features heavily in the current policy debate. It has widespread implications for economic growth, productivity and social mobility. Current HE models which look at the impact of policy changes assume that there are no short- or long-run behavioural changes when policies change. This research will use advanced and innovative techniques to specifically address these limitations and significantly improve the modelling of HE investment decisions in the UK to answer key questions relating to HE funding policy. The model will allow behavioural responses to changes in fees and student support arrangements, including the demand for different HE courses, institution of study, loans and subsequent post-graduate courses. The work will represent a significant contribution to HE research and will, by necessity, also make important methodological contributions to estimating dynamic models of individual choices, a burgeoning area of research.

 

Dr Luke Brunning                                                                                                pf150117

University of Oxford

Ethics and Lives Less Ordinary: Ideals of Coherence and Compartmentalisation

This project contests the philosophical ideal of a coherent and uncompartmentalized life. It will examine three experiments in living - (1) contemporary polyamory, (2) radical attempts to combine family and career, and (3) contemporary first nation peoples in America, who live between traditional and modern culture - in order to examine the diverse ways that people actively try to structure their desires, values, and emotions. These forms of life typically revolve around explicitly stated ethical principles. The project will argue that these countercultural forms of life pose a challenge to arguments that conclude that compartmentalized lives are ethically problematic and/or psychologically unstable. The research will argue, first, that these forms of life show that there are many distinct forms of coherence in life that often must be traded against each other, and that compartmentalized lives can be good. My project will culminate in an innovate book, which changes ethical thinking by grounding ideals of life in a richer understanding of how people navigate complexity whilst heeding ethical principles.

 

Dr Anne Byrne                                                                                                     pf150077

Birkbeck, University of London

Loving the king, 1744-1789

Love for the king is the great lost emotion of French history. It has been expunged from the history books by the coming of the Revolution. Historians of the eighteenth century have focused on pornographic pamphlets, unsavoury rumours, and weak kings. Theories abound on the remoteness of monarchy and the rigidity of emotional regimes. The doom of the monarchy is repeatedly foretold in the detail of the histories we read. This project will capture the lived experience of loving the king up to 1789. Framed around celebrations of royal dynastic events, it will draw on little-used provincial archives to depict the diversity of real experiences of royalty. It will encompass testimony from the highest and the lowest social classes from all over France and will propose that love for the king was an 'emotional community' which bound French people of all sorts together. Loving the king was not a static state, however, the emotion ebbed and flowed like any other. Going beyond political theory, this study of France will show how, why, and when royalty worked.

 

 

Dr Philippa Byrne                                                                                                pf150080

University of Oxford

Neither East nor West? Reassessing the Intellectual Cultures of Norman Sicily, 1140-1194

The unique intellectual dynamics of twelfth-century Norman Sicily have rarely been studied in their own right. A cultural crossroads between East and West, Sicily has been considered as a staging post in the movement of knowledge, transmitting Arabic and Greek science to northern Europe. My project challenges this perspective by examining the complex moral and philosophical discussions of justice taking place at the later twelfth-century Sicilian court. It seeks to reassess the intellectual significance of Sicily within twelfth-century Europe. Leading figures of the Norman court were not simply office-holders, but engaged in serious intellectual endeavours, producing poetry, theological treatises and philosophical commentaries. Those authors married the insights of Plato on political organisation to Arabic traditions of the just ruler. Their works examine the nature of kingship and the specific challenges of governing Sicily, a new kingdom, its politics fraught with factionalism. The project analyses the creation of a distinctive Sicilian perspective on the meaning of true justice.

 

Dr Anna Corrias                                                                                                  pf150071

University College London

Priscianus Lydus on Theophrastus’s ‘On the Soul’ in the Renaissance: Marsilio Ficino’s Translation and Commentary

Marsilio Ficino’s Latin translation of and commentary on Priscianus Lydus’s Paraphrase of Theophrastus’s 'On the Soul', published in 1497, is a rich and under-explored resource which can offer a unique insight into the reception of ancient Platonic interpretations of Aristotelian works in the Renaissance. Moreover, it represents a crucial source for the early modern interpretation of both Platonic and Aristotelian epistemology, particularly as regards the activity of sense -perception and of the imagination. My project will produce a critical edition, an English translation and a study of this work. The resulting book will be of great interest to scholars working in the field of Renaissance philosophy and Renaissance intellectual history, to early modern intellectual and cultural historians, and to the increasingly large community of scholars studying the premodern history of emotions

 

Dr Jennifer Craig-Norton                                                                                    pf150048

University of Southampton

'The right type of refugee': Jewish Domestics and Nurses in Britain 1933-1948

21,000 refugees arrived in Britain 1933-1939 on domestic and nursing visas - twice as many as the Kindertransportees and ten times more than the intellectuals fleeing Fascism, yet they have been overlooked in scholarship on British interwar refugees and forgotten in the national discourse. This project aims to produce the first monograph on these predominantly Jewish women refugees, examining their lives prior to emigration and their experiences in Britain to 1948 including the politics of their admission and the impact of class, nationality, age and gender on their reception by the public and employers. Utilising a multi-perspective model that interrogates both document and memory, this research will compare nurses and domestics’ experiences and their treatment in the historiography relative to other refugee groups. Covering refugee, migrant and memory studies, and gender, labour and European Jewish history, this project provides critical new perspectives in the emerging field of 20th century British domestic labour and makes an important contribution to British social history.

 

 

Dr Christine Cuskley                                                                                           pf150065

University of Edinburgh

Emergence and Dynamics of Linguistic Rules Across Complex Populations

Rules form the core of human languages, allowing us to communicate a vast array of meanings with high cognitive efficiency: a single rule can apply to many words or utterances. The goal of this project will be to investigate how properties of populations affect the emergence and stability of rules in language, examining how rules emerge, stabilise, and break down. Using innovative language game experiments extending from the lab into a large-scale online environment, the project will examine linguistic rule dynamics in action. In parallel, the project will use language corpora and agent-based modeling to further illuminate how linguistic rules function over time in complex populations. Understanding the role of social structure in linguistic rule dynamics will lead to a better understanding of not only the emergence of human communication, but also of how established communication systems function across time and space. This improved understanding has broad practical implications for effective language policy in increasingly dynamic and diverse social environments.

 

Dr Dominic Davies                                                                                              pf150095

University of Oxford

Drawing the South African City: Mapping Urban Infrastructures in the Graphic Novel Form

Whilst the experimentation with different literary forms in order to better represent the landscape has always been a preoccupation of South African literary and artistic production, the post-apartheid era has seen the emergence of new ways of narrating and producing the region’s increasingly complex urban geography. Much recent fiction and non-fiction writing has struggled, formally, to represent the spatiality of the cityscape through the medium of linear narrative. Given these difficulties, the sociopolitical South African graphic novel, which includes visual mediums like maps, plans and blueprints alongside its artistic drawings and literary narratives, is on the rise. This project interrogates the way in which the as of yet under researched visual-narrative medium of the graphic novel form critically responds to, and represents, the South African city. In so doing, it argues that this unique form has the capacity to facilitate new urban imaginings, producing alternative networks of communication, economic exchange and social interaction.

 

Dr Hannah Dean                                                                                                  pf150111

University of Leeds

The journey of female entrepreneurs in Yorkshire: An oral history Study

Within the gendered discourse on entrepreneurship, the voice of the female entrepreneur has largely been silenced and her experience has been overshadowed by a dominant masculine hegemony. By documenting the oral history accounts of female entrepreneurs over the last 70 years, this study plays a central role in bringing to light women’s achievements which otherwise would be lost. The narratives will also destabilise stereotypes and assumptions that undermine female entrepreneurs thus opening the space for a better understanding of their lived experiences. Given the diverse industrial heritage of Yorkshire and the major macroeconomic changes that the region has witnessed over the years, the accounts of Yorkshire female entrepreneurs will shed original insights into the complexity of women’s entrepreneurial experience. It will bring to light their inter-relation with the environment, their struggles, their coping strategies and their agency. Moreover, this interdisciplinary longitudinal study will capture the richness of varied experience of different generations of female entrepreneur

 

 

Dr Chloe Duckworth                                                                                           pf150064

University of Leicester

Addressing the invisible: recycling, glass and technological practice in the 1st millennium AD

This project will use experimental archaeology to reconstruct glass recycling in the 1st millennium AD Mediterranean, and - by contextualising the results in an existing body of data on glass composition - will allow the quantification of past recycling, and its relationship with social factors, to be approached on a large scale. This is vital for two reasons: i) recycling provides a valuable insight into human interaction with material culture and played a key role in the economic changes of the 1st millennium; ii) it significantly affects the relationship of finished objects to their origins and production technology, biasing scientific studies into ancient materials. Glasses will be replicated to ancient recipes and mixed, to test for compositional ‘markers’ of recycling (e.g. the accumulation of heavy metals). These markers will be traced over time and space using the vast body of published data for 1st millennium AD glass composition. The effects of recycling on working properties and the experience of glass workers will also be explored in collaboration with a glassblower.

 

Dr Annie Fee                                                                                                        pf150083

University College London

A Counter-Cartography of 1920s Paris Film Culture

This project will seek to create an interactive historical map of 1920s Parisian cinema culture. Most scholarship on French cinema in the inter-war period has focused on the critical and theoretical writings of a small group of predominantly bourgeois, intellectual film critics now known as the first “cinephiles”. As a result, film histories of the 20s tend to overlook the existence of a vibrant and unruly culture of working-class cinema audiences. As opposed to the cinephiles, who moved in the sphere of public, nation-wide publications, the cinema-centred practices of ordinary cinema-goers were embedded in the cultural and political concerns of local communities and the personal aspirations of individual Parisians. This project will therefore explore alternative data such as autobiographical accounts, news stories, fan letters, and details of political meetings held in cinemas. This data will be integrated into a digital map with which users can experience the richness of cinema-going in1920s Paris.

 

Dr Carlos Fonseca                                                                                              pf150070

University of Cambridge

Forensic Fictions: Event, Archive and Violence after the Latin American Boom

My project aims to explore the figure of the Latin American archive in the age of cultural studies. The project takes as its point of departure the central thesis of Roberto González Echevarría’s 1990 classic Myth and Archive - namely that our paradigmatic stories are all archival fictions - in order to explore how a new modality of such archival fictions, which are here call forensic fictions, has come to mediate the historiographical coupling of present and past within Latin America’s recent history. Following Eyal Weizman, the project defines these forensic fictions by that which Roman rhetorician Quintillian called evidentia narration: namely a pairing of law, truth and narrative which attempts to produce public truths out of archival objects. In doing so, the project wishes to suggest that, in contrast to the so-called ‘total novels’of the Latin American Boom, our post-dictatorial archival fictions no longer find their basis in myth, but rather attempt to tackle the elusive anchor concept of contemporary critical theory: the political event.

 

 

 

Dr Clare Foster                                                                                                    pf150003

University College London

The emergence of the original in Western culture: 'adaptation' in theory and practice

This project examines the origins of a hierarchical vision of textual relations – the priority of an ‘original’ over its versions – as particular to the West, and the nineteenth-century. It explores a distinct idea of authenticity, emerging in Britain with the advent of mass reproduction (c.1820-1840), and rooted in objects. Other changes – science, expanding education, copyright legislation, the commercial art market, a focus on the artist/author - combined to further valorise 'originals'. This history sheds light on a common view of adaptations today as bound to frustrate. Based in the new field of Classical Reception Studies, the project takes as its core example changing attitudes to the ‘original’ texts of Greek drama c. 1814-1945, comparing these with similar patterns in music, painting, sculpture, and the novel. Taking an alternative approach to cultural history based in capacities to recognize, it aims to penetrate the politics of our modern concept of ‘the classic’.

 

Dr Tom Geue                                                                                                        pf150106

University of St Andrews

'The Muted Voice: Authorship, Autocracy and Anonymity in First Century CE Rome'

The first century of the Roman Principate features an all-star cast of nasty autocrats: ‘bad’ emperors whose capricious savagery gradually settled in the minds of Roman authors as dense anxiety and paranoia. This is a fascinating period for testing how authors respond to political constraints by processing them in their texts. This research project proposes to examine this phenomenon using the concept of ‘anonymity’, with a focus on literary texts surviving from the period. The project will argue that many authors of the period deliberately scrape the ‘sense of an author’ from their works, as a means of negotiating (and underscoring) the dangerous new political landscape. The study will aim to open up unfamiliar vistas of classical literary criticism by employing a new ‘synthesising’ approach, as well as contribute more widely to our understanding of the relationship between literature and culture. It will spotlight some of the most neglected (and interesting) corners of classical literature along the way.

 

Dr Piotr Goldstein                                                                                               pf150021

University of Manchester

Beyond Donor Dependency: Self-Sustained Civil Society in Eastern (and Western) Europe

This study fills a gap in the research on contemporary East European (including Western Balkan) civil societies, which has so far concentrated on Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and particularly those funded from the West. This project, instead, focuses on those civil society actors in Eastern Europe which are independent of both foreign and local funding. In particular, it explores groups and movements which aim to function without any budget, activist co-operatives and social enterprises. One innovation of the project is to explore the role of ethnic minorities as not only beneficiaries of the civic sector but also its active constituents. By critically assessing the role of the communist legacy in shaping contemporary civil societies and comparing civic initiatives in Eastern and Western Europe the research aims to provide a critical intervention to the debates on the prospects of civil society in times affected by the financial crisis.

 

Dr Huw Groucutt                                                                                                 pf150124

University of Oxford

The cultural dimension of Neanderthal-Homo sapiens admixture at the gateway to Eurasia

Africa was the only home to our species (Homo sapiens) for around 100,000 thousand years, yet we reached Australia and Europe within a few thousand years of entering Eurasia. This rapid global colonisation may be explained by admixture with Neanderthals in the Middle East ~75-55 thousand years ago, who specifically contributed genes for disease resistance and aspects of the skin and hair. Critically, this combination of features is suggestive of culturally selected admixture, yet nothing is known about the cultural dimension of Neanderthal/H. sapiens interactions and exchanges. The proposed project will address this research gap by determining the character and degree of interaction between species in the Middle East, the nexus of admixture. Using new Neanderthal and H. sapiens stone tool samples and environmental information, a suite of spatial and cultural ‘distance’ analyses will clarify our transition from a rare African primate to a globally distributed species.

 

Dr Victoria Hudson                                                                                             pf150082

King's College London

Russia’s Renewal of Cultural Influence and Attraction Abroad: A Comparative Study of Audience Receptivity to Russian Soft Power in Ukraine, Estonia and Kazakhstan.

Cultural influence, often framed as 'soft power' is becoming an increasingly important aspect of global and regional leadership. This project seeks to examine the extent to which Russia is succeeding in its recent attempts to renew its cultural and ideological leadership on the international stage, with a particular focus on three states of the post-Soviet space (Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Estonia). Following an in-depth investigation of Russia's 'soft power' communicative resources deployed and an analysis of the cultural narratives projected there, the study will explore their success, based on the ultimate criteria: their reception by the target audiences. A mixed methods approach will be taken. Surveys will provide a quantitative picture of public opinion, allowing cross-case comparison and identification of the most significant factors. Qualitative understanding will be provided by focus group discussions, which offer in-depth insight into why the target narratives are accepted or rejected.

 

Dr Iwona Janicka                                                                                                 pf150030

University of Warwick

How to think politics for a non-anthropocentric framework? Politics as intelligibility: Peter Sloterdijk, Gilbert Simondon and Jacques Rancière.

The concept of politics as we know it is antiquated. It does not satisfactorily account for entities such as the environment, plants, animals and Artificial Intelligence. This is because the concept of politics is defined through polis (institutional structure) and logos (language). It revolves around a very specific image of the human being - the Vitruvian man, who is male, white and able-bodied. Politics in its genealogy axiomatically excludes from its definition not only ‘speechless’ entities like women, the disabled or the poor but also non-human others: the environment, plants, animals and Artificial Intelligence. Yet, with the rapidly changing world there is a pressing need to include nature and technology into the notion of politics. Otherwise, politics will stop being relevant and will stop constituting a means of social change in the 21st century. The concept of politics needs to catch up with the contemporary world. This postdoctoral project is one step in that direction.

 

Dr Andreas Jarvstad                                                                                           pf150005

University of Oxford

Decision-making across domains (D-MAD)

Human decisions have implications for the wellbeing of individuals, society and environment: from choosing when to cross the street, how to invest, to choices about recycling. Yet, research is highly fractionated; different choices are traditionally studied with different methods and frameworks. Taken to its extreme, this division implies one ‘theory’ for every choice we might ever make. However, choice problems also share universal features; most, if not all, choice requires trading off risk (uncertainty) with reward; whether we make investment decisions (e.g., stocks vs bonds), or choose when to cross a busy street (getting run over vs. crossing). Understanding the mechanisms by which choices in different domains are made is crucial, not least if we wish to improve human decision-making. This project asks questions about how domain-specific knowledge supports risk evaluation, how learning influences risk-reward trade-offs and the extent to which risk-reward trade-off mechanisms and their neural substrate are shared across domains.

 

Dr Nick Jones                                                                                                      pf150084

Queen Mary University of London

Contemporary 3-D Cinema: Space in the Digital Age

This project investigates the manner in which 3-D cinema represents space. It redresses the absence of sustained critical work on this topic, and shows how contemporary digital 3-D creates a unique form of cinematic space: a digitally-rendered virtual world which relates in complex ways to ideas of spatial representation and agency in the digital age. It uses critical social geographer Henri Lefebvre’s theories of space to reveal how 3-D space is a manifestation of social practices and cultural values, not just an inert container or background. It will show that digital 3-D’s aesthetics are more particular than has so far been recognised, and that digital 3-D has gained more traction than previous cinematic deployments of the technology thanks to its productive links with other digital productions of space, among them computer games, cyberspace and surveillance technologies. The project will conclusively articulate digital 3-D’s place in contemporary visual culture as a ‘symbolic form’: a perceptual schema linking privileged social, technical and cognitive attitudes to space.

 

Dr Katharina Esther Keim                                                                                  pf150031

University of Manchester

The Samaritan Correspondence of Dr Moses Gaster: Texts, Analysis, and Contexts

The project will edit, translate, analyze, and contextualize around 500 letters in Samaritan Hebrew that passed between the Jewish scholar Moses Gaster in London and the Samaritan community in Nablus in the years 1904-1933. Gaster was a pioneering scholar of Samaritanism, and the correspondence (now in the John Rylands Library, Manchester) is vital for assessing his contribution to this field, and in particular for evaluating his editions of two important Samaritan texts – the Hebrew version of the Samaritan Joshua and the Asatir, both of which he published for the first time from unique MSS in his possession (now in the Rylands). My main aim is to contribute to the history of Samaritanism through a critique of Gaster’s groundbreaking work. My research will also clarify the motives and methods behind his creation of one of the most important collections of ‘oriental’ MSS assembled in the 20th century, against the backdrop of the desperate attempts of the small Samaritan community to preserve its cultural heritage.

 

Dr Holly Kennard                                                                                                 pf150116

University of Oxford

Metrical structure, gender and mutation: two generations of Breton speakers under influence from French

This project aims to add to our understanding of morphophonology in situations of interrupted language transmission where there are no monolingual speakers. First-language Breton speakers are aged 70+, while all young Breton speakers are bilingual in Breton and French, with a transmission gap of at least 30 years. Despite centuries of language contact, little is known about the linguistic effects of the adaptation of French loanwords, especially across generations whose native Breton knowledge differs. This project will conduct a theoretical and experimental investigation of the morphophonological interface, focusing on the effect of French on Breton, by examining the interaction of Breton stress with grammatical gender and mutation. The project will use standard linguistic analyses and psycholinguistic tasks to investigate the degree to which the lexicon and phrasal phonology have been affected. Interviews will elicit data for theoretical analysis, while psycholinguistic experiments manipulating gender and mutation will examine the extent to which the generations differ in their adaptation of loans.

 

Dr Paul Knights                                                                                                   pf150067

University of Manchester

Environmental values and ecosystem services: An investigation into the concepts and policies of the new economic arguments for nature protection

Appeal to the economic value of the natural environment has become the dominant discourse used to justify and formulate nature conservation policies. This interdisciplinary project will investigate whether scepticism among parts of the environmental movement about embracing this discourse is justified. The philosophical research strand will investigate the central economic concept of the discourse – ‘ecosystem services’, which denotes the benefits provided by nature that contribute to human well-being - and the sceptics’ criticism that it fails to capture both the plurality of valuing attitudes appropriate to the natural world and the ways in which nature may contribute to well-being. The empirical research strand will investigate the sceptics’ caution that the market-based policy that is formulated around this concept - payments for ecosystem services - risks distorting, weakening and crowding out the plurality of non-economic environmental values. It will do this by carrying out interviews with farmers, recreational visitors and conservationists participating in such schemes.

 

Dr Felix Krawatzek                                                                                              pf150029

University of Oxford

The Politics of the Future? Negotiating Tomorrow’s Uncertainties in Diverse Political Conditions

How is the future perceived and governed in differing political systems? This research tackles this vital question through a technique of discourse analysis that contributes to existing historiography. The project will explore the post-9/11 world through a comparison of France, Russia and the US. These countries have responded differently to the challenge the future poses, which will be studied via three policy areas (climate change, intergenerational justice, international security). The project analyses political speeches, analyses and interviews through Discourse Network Analysis. The fellowship will seek to develop this new method further and integrate most recent computational advances to increase our capacity for quantitative textual analysis. Studying debates about the future is also timely for society at large given new uncertainties about the world of tomorrow. The primary aim is to recognise how present and past conditions impact on constructions of the future. This research enables us to understand how political power structures condition the contested negotiations which shape the political reality of our future.

 

Dr Daniel Lametti                                                                                                pf150034

University of Oxford

The Neural Basis of Speech Motor Learning

Children learn to talk by adjusting their vocal output until it matches what they want to perceive themselves saying - typically, what they hear from their parents and siblings. This process of ‘speech motor learning’ helps establish and maintain speech - a fundamental human behaviour - yet we know very little about the brain basis of this learning. Speech learning can be studied in the lab by altering the sound of the voice in real-time as speech is produced; in this case, just as children learn speech, adult participants learn to adjust their vocal output until they once again hear themselves producing speech correctly. This project will pair this model of speech learning with state-of-the-art measures of brain function to significantly advance our understanding of the brain basis of learning to produce speech. Dr Lametti will conduct three studies. Study 1 will map the brain areas activated during speech learning; study 2 will elucidate the role of specific brain structures in speech learning; and study 3 will determine whether the neural mechanisms that drive speech learning are exclusive to speech.

 

Dr Martin Mahony                                                                                                pf150042

University of Nottingham

Imperial Weather: Meteorology and the Making of Twentieth Century Colonialism

In the late 19th and early 20th century meteorology went from being a corpus of amateur observation to a science of colonial administration. Meanwhile, the atmosphere was emerging as a field of imperial mobility and power. What role did the British Empire, with its diversity of climates, play in facilitating and shaping the scientific field of meteorology? What part did meteorology play in the shifting governmental and economic priorities of British imperialism? This project contends that an understanding of the logics of 20th century colonial government demands an understanding of how colonial administrators and scientists built relationships with the sky. These relationships concerned the effects of tropical weather not only on human health but on agricultural productivity, the role of aerial transport in the construction of ‘imperial unity’, and the possibilities of weather control. In exploring these relationships, this study will offer a radically new perspective on the history of British imperialism and on the relationships between weather and human societies.

 

Dr Tomas McAuley                                                                                              pf150059

University of Cambridge

Hearing the Enlightenment in England and Scotland, c. 1680 - c. 1740

‘Hearing the Enlightenment’ reveals how English and Scottish philosophy in the early Enlightenment both drew on and reciprocally informed widely-circulating ideas about music. This dialogue was not restricted to any subsection of philosophy – there was no ‘philosophy of music’ in which to insulate safely questions about this peculiarly puzzling art – but struck at the core of many of the Enlightenment’s most abiding ethical, natural-philosophical, and metaphysical concerns. As such, the project both provides a fresh account of English and Scottish musical thought in this period, and challenges the conventional scholarly picture of the Enlightenment as a predominantly visual phenomenon, offering instead a new understanding of the Enlightenment as fundamentally musical. In drawing out the impact of musical thought on the history of philosophy, the project highlights the fertility for philosophy of current research in musicology, and offers a vital new direction for the growing interdisciplinary field of music and philosophy.

 

Dr Francesca Menichelli                                                                                     pf150053

University of Oxford

Governing through security: distribution of power and opportunities for governing in Europe

This project understands security as a governmental strategy and adopts a comparative perspective in order to analyse how its deployment has opened up new spaces for governing in three different countries: Italy, France and England and Wales. The research looks at the legal tools developed in each country for the production and governance of security. The project assumes that what these legal devices actually do goes beyond the mere provision of security to urban populations and, crucially, that key to their success are the opportunities they offer for the establishment of networks that cut through levels of government in order to link together in new ways relevant actors and enable and facilitate the exchange of different kinds of resources (financial, organisational, political, discursive). Studying these networks and how they have changed over time will make it possible to understand how security has been instrumental in the rearrangement of relationships between different levels of government and in the transformation of how power and authority are distributed between them.

 

Dr David Napolitano                                                                                            pf150088

University of Cambridge

The Medieval City Magistrate Caught Between Ideal and Practice

To the modern mind the mention of a medieval king or knight immediately conjures up a clear image. Despite the importance of medieval city-republics the same does not hold true for the city magistrate. This difference in present-day perceptions is mainly attributable to an imbalance in scholarly interest. In contrast to the mirrors-for-princes and courtly literature didactic writings targeted at city magistrates have been largely ignored. My project corrects this imbalance and brings these remnants of late medieval urban culture within the purview of literary and historical scholarship. The research will adopt an integrative and interdisciplinary approach to a representative set of didactic texts covering the three most urbanised areas of medieval Europe, written in both Latin and the vernacular and stretching from the thirteenth until fifteenth centuries. The project will have three key research objectives in relation to this corpus: to reconstruct the ideal image of the city magistrate, to contrast this ideal with contemporary practice, and to compare it to contemporary views on kingship and knighthood.

 

Dr Ksenia Northmore-Ball                                                                                  pf150066

University of Nottingham

Moulding Communist Children into Democratic Voters: Political Socialization in Eastern European New Democracies

The transformation of authoritarian regimes into democracies requires change not only in institutions but also in individual behaviour. From established democracies, we know that political attitudes and the habit of voting form early in life whereas learning among mature adults is minimal. So how have citizens who came of age before democracy learned to vote? This puzzle will be addressed in the context of post-communist Eastern Europe in which there is a large generation without democratic experience and an uninterrupted post-transition democratic period. Using both pooled repeated cross-sectional and panel data, this research will examine the formative experiences of mature post-communist voters starting with the earliest influences such as parents, education, the socializing effects of the macro-level context (e.g. de facto compulsory voting) and ending with opportunities for learning in the post-transition period. This research will move us towards a universal conceptualization of these formative mechanisms that works across regime contexts.

 

Dr Luca Palozzi                                                                                                    pf150074

University of Edinburgh

The Renaissance in the Round: Sculptors, Space and Three-Dimensionality in Trecento Italy

Scholars agree that new concepts of artistic space and the human figure therein were the major artistic achievements of the Italian Trecento. Yet our view of the artistic Renaissance in Trecento Italy is essentially pictorial, that is to say, two-dimensional. Following a long historiographical tradition, we credit painters, in particular Giotto (d. 1337), with these fundamental accomplishments of the period, while dismissing the contribution of sculptors as less significant. This project both challenges and complements this long-standing historiographical perspective. It suggests that the critical misfortune of Trecento sculptors originated in the art-historical discourse of the fourteenth-century Italian intellectuals who categorically refused to name any contemporary sculptors in their published works while on the other hand celebrating both major and minor painters of the day. The project fully recovers the contributions of the former by reconsidering their social status, how they thought of their work, and the sources and technical devices they used to revive three-dimensional forms

 

Dr Jean-Alexandre Perras                                                                                  pf150044

University of Oxford

Frivolity and the Problem of Value in Early Modern France

“Let them eat cake!” The attribution of this well-worn expression to Marie-Antoinette can partly be ascribed to the fact that the attitude and the huge expenses of Madame Déficit, as she was called, no longer signified magnificence, but frivolity. At the same time, frivolity also became a positive notion that illustrated the sociable character of the French nation. These major shifts, which both occurred on the eve of the French Revolution, reveal the relativity of the notion of frivolity during that period. This research analyses the historical process whereby frivolity was constituted both as the vice against which bourgeois values were defined, and a reaction against the rise of these values. It focuses on the political and economic background of the re-evaluation of frivolity in French discourses and practices, showing how frivolity is an essential notion in understanding the changes that reshaped the question of values at the dawn of the modern era.

 

Dr Felix Pretis                                                                                                      pf150041

University of Oxford

Application of Econometrics to Climate Change

To understand climate change and devise appropriate policy responses thereto requires models of socio-economic and physical climate processes based on accurate measurements. However, data to evaluate impacts and establish historical records are non-stationary as distributions shift over time due to shocks (e.g. policy interventions), measurement changes, and stochastic trends (economic activity) - all of which invalidate standard statistical inference. This project will develop econometric methods to augment climate-economic research by disentangling the complex links between human actions and climate masked by stochastic trends and breaks. To do so, research will establish econometric methods to model the non-stationary nature of the data consistent with known physical and socio-economic processes, enabling joint estimation and testing. By developing techniques for the automatic detection of shifts, policy impacts can be evaluated, historical records corrected for measurement changes, and uncertainties reduced in socio-economic scenarios for long-run predictions of resulting climate damages.

 

Dr David Sancho                                                                                                 pf150094

University of Sussex

Educating migrants: An ethnography of Indian private schools and middle-class lives in Dubai, UAE

The growing circulation of private educational institutions, curricula and students across national borders is a multi-billion dollar global industry that has captured the attention of scholars and policymakers. This project focuses on the educational flows across the Indian Ocean and specifically on Indian private schools in Dubai and their role in the consolidation of a transnational Indian middle class. Indian middle-class migrants constitute not only the main consumers of education, but also the most successful educational entrepreneurs in what is the world’s laboratory for the development of an almost entirely private education sector. In a context where migrants are denied the right to citizenship, schools foster complex modes of transnational belonging and orientations that are yet to be explored. The project seeks to understand how these might foster and sustain processes of social and spatial mobility among Indian middle-class migrants. In addition the project aims to draw out unique empirical insight into the relationship between education providers and state regulations.

 

Dr Elizabeth Savage                                                                                            pf150017

University of Manchester

The Craft of Collecting: Hiero von Holtorp and the Creation of Bibliography

Hiero von Holtorp's collection has a gripping narrative. For fifty years, the Victorian collector aimed to explain the invention of printing as a cultural phenomenon. In scientifically and aesthetically arranged albums, he recontextualised thousands of print specimens that represent all major, and most minor, artists and printers from every corner of the fifteenth- and sixteenth-century print world. After he died, Enriqueta Rylands acquired all twenty lots of his collection at Sotheby's in 1906 for £742 15s (£600,000 today) for the John Rylands Library. It has re-emerged a century later, still in his arrangement and with his notes. As a rare, fully intact model of Victorian collecting, it gives extraordinary insights into his obsession, the rise of Victorian aesthetic collecting practices, and the origins of the field of bibliography. This project reconstructs the connections that Holtorp built into his careful organisation of art historical and bibliographical material, exploring his engagement with individual objects and the collecting practice of creating order through design.

 

Dr Joana Setzer                                                                                                   pf150002

London School of Economics and Political Science

Climate Change Litigation: a comparative research

In the past fifteen years a growing number of lawsuits over climate change have been filed in courts around the world. Litigation is used by governments, NGOs and citizens to compel action on climate change. Climate litigation has become so significant that it is now understood as an integral part of the multilevel climate governance system. Climate litigation is also the subject of a rapidly developing body of academic literature. However, our knowledge of the scope of climate litigation, the relation between climate litigation and legislation, and the contribution of litigation to climate justice, remains very incomplete. This proposal is designed to address this deficit through a comparative study of climate litigation. The initiative builds upon a comprehensive climate legislation database developed by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment (GRI), in partnership with Globe International. By expanding the scope of this study to the realm of litigation it will be possible to significantly further knowledge about the role of law in climate policy.

 

Dr Maria Sironi                                                                                                     pf150105

University College London

Is Having Children Detrimental to Your Health? A Cross-national Investigation of Fertility Trajectories and Health in Later Life

Although life expectancy in developed countries has increased, so too have health inequalities among older people, so there is a serious concern over raised morbidity and longer periods spent with a lower quality of life for the elderly. It is critical, therefore, to identify the determinants that lead to well-being inequality at old ages. As life course events may be among such determinants, this project is designed to investigate the role of fertility trajectories in shaping mental and physical health outcomes, an aspect that has not received enough attention in the literature. To study the impact of fertility trajectories - e.g. partnerships, number of children, birth intervals length - on health, the project will harmonize three different datasets: ELSA (UK), HRS (USA), and SHARE (Europe). This will help to reconstruct fertility trajectories, consider all the events occurring in a specific time period, and perform cross-national comparisons. Crucially, the study will shed light on the mechanisms through which health inequalities form over the life course.

 

Dr Victoria Van Hyning                                                                                       pf150032

University of Oxford

'Court to Convent: Early Modern English Catholic Women’s Autobiography'

This project will reveal how Catholic women articulated selfhood in the period when it was illegal to practice Catholicism, 1535 to 1829. Autobiographies by English Catholic women have been neglected: scholars have assumed they had little to say or did not write at all. These assumptions have been partly overturned, but the breadth of Catholic women’s autobiographical expression, and their subversions of gender and genre roles to intervene in public debates, remain to be explored. This project will recover lost writers by harnessing new archival research, as well as crowdsourced manuscript transcriptions generated by volunteers on ‘Shakespeare’s World’, a crowdsourcing project designed by the team at Zooniverse (University of Oxford), the world-leading academic crowdsourcing organization, and paleography experts at the Folger Shakespeare Library (Washington, D.C.). The crowdsourced data will offer new opportunities for quantitate analysis, and democratize access to early modern archives.

 

Dr Peter Webb                                                                                                     pf150079

School of Oriental and African Studies

The Origin of Arabs: Ethnogenesis and Myth-making in Early Islam

The Arabs and their history have long endured much misunderstanding. Contrary to widespread assumptions about the great antiquity of Arab origins, Arab communities actually date to the early Islamic period. The familiar impressions that Arabs originally lived as pre-Islamic Bedouin astride camels in the desert are in fact a colourful myth, an ‘imaginary community’ which Muslims created through a classic set of stories to forget the fact that consciousness of Arab identity only coalesced in the Islamic-era, and to understand the place of Islam in the sweep of world history. This project critically reviews the construction of Arab history and myth, interrogating the vast corpus of medieval Arabic literature about Arab identity and history via narratological, mythopoeic and aesthetic theories. The project pioneers new approaches to better grasp how disparate groups of Arabians and others became ‘Arabs’ in early Islam, and it will uncover how Muslims forged notions of their origins and identities by converting memories of pre-Islam into Islamic origin myths.

 

Dr Flora Willson                                                                                                   pf150112

King's College London

Operatic Networks: London, Paris and Beyond c.1893

This project addresses the international networks of production and consumption that characterised opera in the final decade of the nineteenth century. It explores opera’s global mobility via the relationship between London and Paris, the art-form’s once-unchallenged “world cities”. By the early 1890s, however, their pre-eminence had been brought into question by a gradual shift in institutional hierarchies and the rise of New York and other non-European cities as serious operatic centres. Through a series of explicitly networked, near-synchronous case studies, the project will build an argument for considering late-nineteenth-century opera as an art form that offers important new perspectives on the pre-history of today’s increasingly globalised culture. Ultimately, this project seeks to explore how opera not only reacted to new technological developments but also itself constituted a vital medium of international communication and exchange – and thus how it played a far more significant role in the construction of “modernity” at the fin de siècle than cultural historians have previously suggested.

 

Dr Johanna Tyra Zetterstrom-Sharp                                                                 pf150102

University of Cambridge

The Scramble (out of) Africa: objects of loss and resistance from the late British Empire

This research takes a new perspective in understanding the scramble out of Africa in the lead up to the end of the British Empire; an event that is currently being marked by 50th anniversary of independence celebrations across the continent. Previous research has tackled this from the perspective of political history, focusing on a series of poorly informed and hastily instituted policies in response to the shifting post-World War II political and economic climate. This project will seek to populate this past with the people affected by it, focusing on the individual experiences of this turbulent period through the things exchanged, gifted, purchased, seized, confiscated and brought back to Britain. These problematic objects of asymmetry, aspiration, loss and resistance enable us to explore the smaller details of transformation, as relationships changed and lives were altered beyond recognition. The research seeks to make these fascinating stories and the important insights they offer into post-colonial Africa and twentieth century Britain publicly available through exhibition.

 

 

Dr Nahid Zokaei                                                                                                   pf150057

University of Oxford

Hold that thought: Dynamic prioritisation in working memory

Our ability to hold information in mind, working memory (WM), is essential to many cognitive functions. Contemporary research suggests WM is much more flexible and dynamic than originally conceived. Items are prioritised and updated continuously based on changing goals and expectations. Emerging models propose that the state of information in WM is determined by an interaction between attention and long-term memory. One of these states has attention focused on an item, rendering it more prioritized, while the remaining items, although still retrievable, are considered to be in a different state. The aims of the proposed projects are: (1) to establish the existence of these representational states and their associated neural correlates, and (2) to provide a more complete phenotypic description of WM deficits in normal ageing and disease (specifically Alzheimer's disease) in light of this new framework of WM.

 

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