The aim of Dr Sharon J Arbuthnot’s research is to investigate the working practices of medieval Irish compilers, and to establish to what extent the construction of a compiled tract was a straightforward ‘cut and paste’ procedure and what role creative editing and even new composition played in the process. By tracing the sources of two major compilations, Dindshenchas Érenn and Cóir Anmann, this study will enable various suggestions to be advanced on what texts were available to the compilers, how they managed large amounts of ‘raw’ material, and whether they deliberately embellished source material for their own purposes.
Dr Joanne Berry’s research aims to address the issue of consumption in the Roman economy and its wider social implications. The project will undertake the first comprehensive comparison of the artefactual evidence from a range of urban centres and villa sites in Italy in order to assess whether particular goods or artefacts are more commonly found in particular areas, sites, and chronological periods. This comparison will serve as the basis for a broader study of demand and supply in the Roman world, and will be used to address the question of whether particular goods were chosen simply because they were available, or whether considerations such as fashion and local competition played a decisive role.
Dr Louise Beynon’s research will focus on urban poverty in contemporary China. The number of urban poor is growing rapidly as a result of social and economic reform, causing economic hardships and social tensions within the cities, and the social marginalisation of previously privileged urban groups. She will analyse the effects of increasing inequality between rich and poor in the cities, with a particular stress on urban women’s poverty and employment, and on relations between the urban poor and rural migrants in the cities.
The aim of Dr Alexander Bitis’ research project is to examine Russia’s administration of the Caucasus from the time of its permanent military occupation of the region (with the annexation of Georgia in 1801) to the final defeat of the rebellious native tribes in the 1860s. The project will explore the problems encountered by Russian civilian and military institutions in their attempt to conquer and administer a volatile multi-ethnic region. It is a case study in Russian empire-building, highlighting the important role played by the Russian army in this process.
The aim of Dr Hero Boothroyd Brooks’ project is to extend her study of the History and of the Theory of Painting Conservation, and to explore the possibility of relating the two areas of research. The research into the History of English Easel-Painting Conservation will be based on the study of written sources from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries, and will be concerned with the development of practice, and of conservation as a profession. Research into the Theory of Painting Conservation will be based on the study of texts of conservation theory and of aesthetics, as well as on direct consideration of conservation practice. This part of the research will be concerned both to give further attention to existing issues in conservation theory, which has tended to concentrate on cleaning and retouching, and to identify issues involved in other aspects of conservation practice. Finally, the historical and theoretical perspectives on Painting Conservation will be considered in relation to each other.
The aims of Dr Matthew Butler’s research are to provide a regional Church history in Mexico from 1910–1940 and above all to assess the impact of the Mexican Revolution on popular religious practice. Where existing accounts reproduce stereotypical views of Mexican religious culture, this research will use new archival sources to recreate the emotional, social and spiritual worlds of ordinary laymen and women at a time of political crisis; it will also examine the nature of priestly endeavour and authority over the laity; and it will seek to identify and explain changes in popular religious observance and belief. In so doing, the research will provide an original contribution to Mexico’s religious history which is of interest in its own right, and will also shed new light on wider questions of revolutionary participation and cultural change in a developing society.
Dr Sorcha Carey will explore the theme of ars/natura in Roman culture in its wider social and political contexts, focussing on representations of Nature in Roman art, artificial imitations of Nature, and the display of art in natural settings. Her research will examine how the Romans represented Nature in both the public and private spheres, what is ‘natural’ about images of Nature in Roman art, and how those images relate to Nature as a moral construct within Roman society.
The aim of Dr Christopher Dingle’s research is to subject the seven Tomes of Olivier Messiaen’s Traité de rythme, de couleur et d’ornithologie to scholarly scrutiny for the first time. It will compare the Traitéwith earlier writings with a view to charting developments within Messiaen’s perception of his own music. In the process, it will seek to ascertain the limits of Messiaen’s self-analyses and, where appropriate, to suggest alternative interpretations. The emphasis will be on two often overlooked aspects of his technique: harmony and form, and will test the thesis that Messiaen’s analyses actually obscure fundamental traits within his music.
The focus of Dr Thomas Dixon’s research project will be the creation of the ethical concept of ‘altruism’ by Auguste Comte and its adoption by British and American philosophers during the nineteenth century (eg Herbert Spencer, George Eliot, G H Lewes). More broadly, the project will reassess the historical roots of evolutionary psychology and, especially, evolutionary ethics. It will compare this young tradition of scientific ethics with the religious systems of morality with which nineteenth-century positivists and scientists were in conversation and conflict (the positivists’ terms ‘altruism’ displaced more established Christian concepts such as agape, love of neighbour, and benevolence. This proposed project is motivated by a broader ambition, which also lay behind Dr Dixon’s doctoral research into the ‘emotions’, to examine the ways in which scientific discourse can be and has been proposed as an alternative to Christianity in areas such as mind and morality, which had previously been religious preserves.
Doyle, Dr S (University of Cambridge, Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure, and Sidney Sussex College)
The History of Sexually-Transmitted Diseases in the Interlacustrine Region of East Africa, 1860–1980
Dr Shane Doyle’s proposed research will be the first comparative history of sexually-transmitted diseases in Africa. Sexually-transmitted diseases have played an immense role in shaping the demography of modern Africa, in influencing the development of medical services, and in the formation of medical attitudes towards the African patient and African attitudes towards western biomedicine. This project will consider changes in disease prevalence and treatment, the social context of sexually-transmitted diseases, and their changing demographic impact.
This research programme builds on earlier work conducted by Dr Niall Finneran at Aksum, Ethiopia between 1995 and 1997. A broad archaeological landscape study of differing areas of northern Ethiopia is proposed. Utilising archaeological landscape survey, ethnoarchaeological work and historical study, this project seeks to elucidate the broad patterns of soico-economic trajectories within these highland landscapes from the earliest farmers, through the dominance of the Aksumite Empire in the first seven centuries AD up to medieval and modern times. This multi-disciplinary study focuses especially on a detailed study of Ethiopian monastic communities within their landscape contexts, and seeks at every level to enhance local strategies for conservation and cultural heritage management in consultation with indigenous scholars and administrators.
The aim of Dr Richard Fowler’s research is to explore the interrelated themes of royal ideology and ethnic identity in the western regions of the Parthian empire in the first two centuries AD. By combining ancient documents with the evidence of material culture, in particular sculpture and coins, he intends to examine the public image of monarchs and other elites within the Parthian penumbra, and to show how this was shaped by discourses of ethnicity. The project demands a broad array of scholarly techniques: philological, art-historical and numismatic. It is intended to break new ground in presenting an account which does justice to the highly elaborate and subtle web of influences which makes up elite public image in the borderlands between the Parthian empire and Rome.
Gunning, Dr J (University of Oxford, Middle East Centre and St Antony’s College)
Islamism and the Ballot Box: Theory and Praxis of Governance, Political Process and Body Politic in Hizballah’s Political Philosophy
The aim of Dr Sriya Iyer’s research is to explore the relationship between religion, inequality and fertility, in order to understand the consequences of religion for economic and social policies in India. The project will examine the micro-economic determinants of inequalities in education, health, fertility and resource-allocation among rural Hindu, Muslim and Christian households in Southern India. The project will also investigate the impact of changes in attitudes or ‘ideational change’ on fertility behaviour in South India over the period 1991–2001. This part of the study will focus on the influence of the media in promoting such ‘ideational change’ and will examine whether this has affected the role of religion in demographic decision-making.
Dr Duncan Kelly’s research aims to compare the ‘science of politics’ in nineteenth century Germany and Britain. That is, to explore an understanding of politics as a ‘practical science’ of the state. Exploring these ideas in their respective contexts will then allow for a detailed assessment of how both German and British political thought adapted ancient sources under modern conditions, and also provide a critical assessment of the impact of such ‘traditions’ on Max Weber’s political thought. The project is, at one level, intended to deepen understanding of the formative context of Weber’s political thought, and builds on Dr Kelly’s earlier doctoral thesis. It further aims to explore whether there was, in fact, a general understanding of a ‘science of politics’ in this period, or whether national traditions are wholly distinct.
Castilian culture of the latter half of the thirteenth century is routinely associated with the patronage of a single King: Alfonso X of Castile and Leon (1252-1284). Yet while Alfonso was an important patron, Dr Kirstin Kennedy’s thesis argued that claims about his personal involvement in the works he commissioned have exaggerated his role in the literary and intellectual culture of the period, failing to take into account contemporary fashions in flattery and royal image-making. These claims have also obscured evidence for cultural activity in these kingdoms not associated with the King. The aim of this project, therefore, is to examine literary, documentary and codicological evidence from the period to gain a broader understanding of the culture of thirteenth-century Castile, and to show it was not indissolubly linked to a single man.
Dr Ruth Livesey’s research will trace the relationship between nineteenth-century theories of the aesthetic and the work of British women socialists from 1880 to 1914. Drawing on the writings of John Ruskin, Walter Pater and William Morris (among others) the project will explore the highly contested field of aesthetics during this period, and the negotiation of these intellectual frameworks by the socialist activists and prolific writers, Isabella Ford (1855–1924), Clementina Black (1853–1922) and Margaret Harkness (1854’19??). The study will examine contemporary beliefs concerning the alliance of aesthetics and politics and the role of beauty in social progress, providing a timely assessment of the significance of gender in such accounts, and will reintegrate the literary and artistic engagements of these three women with their socialist activities.
The aim of Dr Chris Loveluck’s research is to investigate the inter-relationship of settlement, social and economic hierarchies in Carolingian Europe between AD 700 and 1000. This will proceed through the integrated archaeological analysis of structural, artefact, and (where available) published biological remains, from settlement and cemetery deposits in two detailed study regions – namely parts of Flanders and the Meuse/Maas valley. Profiles of the consumption and production of resources, both material and symbolic, will be produced and compared between rural and nascent urban settlements in order to establish the social and economic relationships between different elements within settlement hierarchies. It is hoped that the results of this study will provide an essential archaeological contribution to an understanding of the development of societies, to put alongside related historical research, for this key period when the social and political foundations of modern Europe were laid.
Dr Francesco Manzini’s research aims to trace the development of a reactionary Catholic literature, first theorised by the theosophists of the early nineteenth century (particularly Joseph de Maistre). Submission to a higher spiritual authority is predicated on a conception of Providence which asserts the justice of expiatory human sacrifice, whether imposed by God according to the doctrine of solidarity, or else voluntarily accepted according to the doctrine of reversibility (the process whereby the voluntary sufferings of the innocent serve to redeem the sins of the guilty), Both these doctrines rely on the concept of mystical substitution, most notably invoked in the literary works of Xavier de Maistre (Joseph’s brother), Honoré de Balzac, Stendhal, Charles Baudelaire, Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly, Léon Bloy and Joris-Karl Huysmans. These literary representations focus on the expiatory function of illness, explained in divine rather than physiological terms.
Population Quality and Development in the Chinese Countryside
Dr Rachel Murphy’s project will examine the role of the local state in co-ordinating a range of education and development programs in the Chinese countryside. These programs are aimed at improving rural livelihoods and promoting demographic transition to a population characterised by quality rather than quantity. The research will involve field participant observation and will be guided by the literature on the developmental welfare state.
Papagianni, Dr D (University of Southampton, Department of Archaeology)
The Middle Paleolithic Settlement of Southeastern Europe and the Methodological Challenges presented by European Palaeolithic Open-Air Sites
The aim of Dr Dimitra Papagianni’s research is to examine Middle Palaeolithic site distribution patterns and landscape adaptations in southeastern Europe. She intends to combine in-depth primary research in a small part of the study area (northwestern Greece) with a re-examination and synthesis of the existing primary evidence on the issue from the whole region of southeastern Europe. Dr Papagianni will also address specifically the theoretical and methodological problems in the study of archaeological evidence with coarse time resolution, such as Palaeolithic open-air sites. The underlying principle of this work is that behavioural differences between Neanderthals and early modern humans might be best manifested not in the effectiveness of their adaptations as such, but in their flexibility and ability to respond to the fast changing climatic conditions of the last Ice Age.
The aim of Dr David Pratten’s research is to contribute to the understanding of global cultural and economic forces on local relations. His research will investigate discourses on the politics of accumulation and intergenerational conflict in south eastern Nigeria. Responses by southern Nigeria’s youth to political and economic inequalities are captured in a popular idiom, the ‘get rich quick syndrome’, which expresses the youths’ aspirations to gain immediate wealth and to subvert political hierarchies. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in Ibibo-speaking communities, this research will examine the configuration of generational categories, strategies of protest and patronage, and discourses of witchcraft which inform perceptions of enrichment and empowerment.
Dr Jasper Reid’s research aims to shed light on the origins of the various immaterialist theories that were independently proposed at the beginning of the eighteenth century by figures such as George Berkeley, Arthur Collier and Jonathan Edwards, by investigating the seventeenth century philosophical discussions that both facilitated and prompted the rejection of mind-independent material substance. Relevant topics include theories of absolute space, theories of ideas and the revival of Platonism.
The aim of Dr Lisa Sampson’s project is to explore the theatrical activities of the celebrated academies of Vicenza and Parma, respectively the Olimpici and Innominati, during the period 1550–1700. Various types of academic dramatic productions, both written and staged, will be investigated in terms of the organisations’ self-promotional strategies, their membership and patronage networks, and the political and cultural context within which they operated. Through the examination of a number of scarcely known dramatic and theoretical texts and other contextual material, this study will reassess prevailing ideas about the gradual involution of academic drama during this period as a reaction to the rise of professional theatre in Italy.
Scurr, Dr R (University of Cambridge, Department of Social and Political Science and King’s College)
The Emergence of the Social Sciences in France (1789–1795): The Impact of the Revolution of 1789 on the Heritage of the Enlightenment
Dr Ruth Scurr’s research is intended to establish the intellectual and institutional contours of the development of the social sciences in France from the outbreak of the Revolution until the establishment of the new Institut National des Sciences et Arts. It will develop the argument of her doctoral thesis that the relation between the social division of labour and new systems of political representation was of central importance to those (such as Sieyès, Condorcet and R’derer) who were seeking to understand the development of human society scientifically during the early revolutionary period. It will draw on a wide variety of printed and archival sources that have never previously been considered together, integrating intellectual history and political analysis, and addressing the need for a more precise historical understanding of the formation of modern democracy and the institution of representative government.
Dr Kate Sealey Rahman’s research aims to provide both a major study of a central figure in Russian drama ‘ Alexsandr Ostrovskii ’ and to complement existing research on Russian theatre and the relationship between Russian and British literature. The study falls into two principal parts. Part One will investigate the influence of Britain on Ostrovskii’s drama, through an analysis of the influence of British literature on his work, and an examination of Ostrovskii’s visit to Britain. Part Two aims to shed light on the reasons behind Ostrovskii’s obscurity in the West, through a detailed survey of his works in performance on the British stage. The survey will include descriptions of performances, actors and reviews, together with analysis of direction and style, and quality of translation. It aims to determine whether the style of and critical responses to performances have been influential in shaping critical reaction to Ostrovskii’s work and the frequency of performance in Britain. The study also aims to provide some new translations of Ostrovskii’s drama to offer for performance on the British stage.
The aim of Dr Simon Sherwin’s research is to examine the phenomenon of ‘visitor gods’ in Mesopotamia, where deities are either found in the temples of others, or visit others. It is intended to provide exhaustive documentation of the phenomenon from the third to the first millennium BC and to assess the underlying reasons for its occurrence. This will be a mainly text-based project, although where archaeological discoveries can shed light on the situation they will also be utilised.
The possible role of private schools in creating and sustaining educational and social class inequalities in Britain has been the focus of much debate, yet private schools are under-researched in comparison to state schools. Dr Alice Sullivan’s research will focus on the question of whether there are genuine private school effects on academic attainment and staying-on rates, controlling for relevant background variables, and will attempt to assess the mechanisms behind any such effects.
Dr Linda van Bergen’s project involves a diachronic study of the changes in word order affecting pronominals in English. She will track the development of pronouns and syntactic changes affecting their behaviour from the Old English to the late Modern English period, focussing on those changes that have led to a decrease in difference between pronominal and nominal behaviour. Such differences were striking in the Old English period, whereas now only subtle differences remain. The aim is to provide a better insight into when, how and why such a development took place. The research will be founded on extensive data work on all periods concerned.
Winter, Dr N (University of Manchester, Department of English and American Studies)
‘Scripture Women’: A Critical Study of Rose Thurgood’s ‘A Lecture of Repentance’ and Cicely Johnson’s ‘Fanatical Reveries’
Dr Naomi Winter’s research will focus upon the autobiographies of two women, Rose Thurgood’s &lrsquo;A Lecture of Repentance’ (1636–37) and Cicely Johnson’s ‘Fanatical Reveries’ (c. 1636’37), both of which are held in manuscript in the John Rylands Library, Manchester. Although these texts are among the earliest autobiographies in English, they have received very little critical attention. One objective of the research is therefore to make the works available to a wider audience, by means of a critical edition. The research will also, however, make the texts a starting point for a wider investigation into early modern identity and self-representation. While particularly emphasising the currently underrated significance of a specific religious identity to the inscription of the self in early modern life writing, the research will also investigate the intersection of religious discourses with those of gender and ‘class’ through which the women also negotiated their textual identities.