BA/Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship Awards 1999

Funded by

Dr H.R. Brown
Reader in Philosophy and University Lecturer in Philosophy of Physics, University of Oxford
Philosophy of Space and Time

Dr Harvey Brown intends to spend the year writing the major part of a book on the philosophy of special relativity theory. The central theme of the book will be a detailed defence of the 'dynamical' underpinning of relativistic kinematics, as espoused this century by W. Pauli, J.S. Bell, and to a considerable extent by Einstein himself. The book will represent a quite different interpretation of the meaning of relativity theory from that found in the writings of most current philosophers of physics, based on the 'space-time theory' approach.

Dr P.W. Edbury
Reader in Medieval History, University of Wales, Cardiff
A New Edition of John of Ibelin's Treatise on the Law and Customs of the Kingdom of Jerusalem

Dr Peter Edbury plans to devote the bulk of his energies to preparing a new critical edition of the legal treatises by John of Ibelin, count of Jaffa and Ascalon (d. 1266). John dealt with the law and custom as applied in the High Court of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, and his writings constitute a major source for our knowledge of the law, society and assumptions of the European community settled in the East. It is a long text, and the manner of its transmission presents a number of difficulties. The Senior Research Fellowship will allow time for Dr Edbury's work on it to be brought to completion.

Professor M. Kelly
Professor of French, University of Southampton
1945: The Nationalisation of French Culture

The purpose of Professor Michael Kelly's project is to demonstrate how and why the cultural domain in France was nationalised during the course of 1945. Nationalisation in this context meaning both a degree of direct and indirect state intervention in the cultural sphere, and a broader movement to mobilise a wide range of cultural activities in the reconstruction of French national identity. The resulting book will draw on a wide range of texts, images, debates and events, which will be analysed to show the different ways in which they articulate the relationship between culture and national identity. After outlining the historical situation which gave unusual salience to culture, it will examine the intellectual climate, especially the appearance of the committed intellectual, the emergence of a dominant humanist framework, and the sudden rise to prominence of existentialism, Marxism and Catholic personalism. It will then study the cultural reconstruction, including the material infrastructure of culture, the press, the 'rediscovery' of the war, and the public events which symbolised the reassertion of French national identity.

Professor S.L. Mendus
Professor of Politics, University of York
Pluralism and Modernity

Professor Susan Mendus intends to use the Senior Research Fellowship to complete a book on 'Pluralism and Modernity'. The argument of the book will be that it is possible to justify liberalism at the political level without undermining individuals' commitments to their conceptions of the good. Pace MacIntyre and Taylor, political liberalism can incorporate a moral dimension. Pace the most recent work of Rawls, this need not imply a commitment to a comprehensive conception of the good.

Dr M. Philp
CUF Lecturer in Politics and Fellow and Tutor in Politics, Oriel College, Oxford
On Political Conduct

Dr Mark Philp proposes to use the Senior Research Fellowship to complete a book developing his work on political corruption into an extended essay on the nature of politics, on its ethical weight as a mechanism of allocation and exchange, and on the conduct it demands from political leaders, bureaucrats and citizens in modern democratic states. The book also develops an account of political competence and probity, and of corruption and incompetence. It will be illustrated with historical case studies and empirical material, although the weight of the examples will be drawn from democratic and democratising states in the modern world. The book will draw broadly on literature in ethics, political theory and political sociology.

Professor B.F. Richardson
Professor of Italian Language, University of Leeds
An Edition of Fortunio's Regole grammaticali della volgar lingua

Professor Brian Richardson highlights the need for a modern edition of a text which was a milestone in the process of the standardization of Italian, the Regole grammaticali of Fortunio (1516). This was the first Italian grammar to be printed in the period when writers and editors were searching for a common literary language. The Regole had an immediate influence and, with many further editions appearing in following years, continued to be used for guidance alongside the more prestigious but less easily accessible grammar of Bembo. Although some articles have been published on Fortunio recently, there has been no edition of his grammar since the sixteenth century and there is no full-scale study of his work. This project will remedy this position. Professor Richardson will provide an annotated edition of the text of the grammar together with an introduction discussing Fortunio's cultural context, his sources and methodology, and the extent of his influence.

Professor P. Sillitoe
Professor in Social Anthropology, University of Durham
Local Knowledge and the Political-Economy of Forest Use in Papua New Guinea

Professor Paul Sillitoe will use the Senior Research Fellowship to enable him to pursue an in-depth study of indigenous knowledge pertaining to the use of forest resources in Papua New Guinea. This responds to national demands to investigate possibilities for promoting sustainable exploitation and conservation of the country's rich and unique biodiversity through local landowners' ideologies and resource use strategies. The research will consider both the use of wild forest resources and their manipulation under shifting cultivation. It will be sensitive to the transactionally dominated local political-economy which informs people's attitudes to natural resource use. Also, it will consider contemporary population growth and rapid social change, which are influencing attitudes. The findings will be published in journal articles and subsequently in a book.

Dr D.G.K. Taylor
Lecturer in Theology, University of Birmingham
The Great Syriac Psalter Commentary of Daniel of Salah

Dr David Taylor intends to use the Senior Research Fellowship to work on the production of a critical edition and translation of the commentary on the first fifty psalms by Daniel of Salah, a sixth-century Syrian theologian who produced the earliest commentary in Syriac on the Psalms. The complete work is vast and exercised a profound influence on Christianity in the Middle East and beyond. It has never been edited, and was long thought to survive only in fragments. Dr Taylor has already located and obtained copies of two complete manuscripts of the work, in addition to numerous incomplete volumes.

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