BA/Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowships 2023

Funded by

Dr Sundari Anitha


Violence and abuse in romantic relationships: Understanding the experiences of women and girls in India

University of Lincoln


The recent surge of research, feminist activism and policy attention to the issue of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in India has scarcely addressed domestic violence and abuse (DVA) within romantic relationships, in a context where such relationships are becoming more commonplace yet attract gendered risks and penalties for women. This timely and original research will address this gap by producing new evidence on women’s and girls’ experiences of DVA within romantic relationships by drawing upon life/relationship history interviews with 25-30 young women, focus groups with 48-64 young women and participant observation of 4 student/community activist groups in Delhi and Bhopal. Findings will primarily benefit (potential) victims/survivors of violence and abuse in romantic relationships, educational institutions, community organisations and activist groups seeking to address issues of SGBV. This study will draw upon and contribute to conceptual debates on gender and violence/DVA; childhood and youth studies; and sociology of relationships.

Professor Diamond Ashiagbor


Reconceptualising Labour Law: Race, Legal Form and the Legacies of Colonialism

University of Kent


Race and the legacies of colonialism are central to modern economic life and to working life, but are absent from labour law scholarship. Learning from the colonial past of work to understand its present, this project radically reconceptualises labour law, placing race at the centre of the labour contract. It identifies ways in which race, racism and the legacies of colonialism are implicated in the emergence of paid work, in the forms of law regulating transitions from slavery to indenture to ‘free’ labour, in the construction of the postwar welfare state, and in the law regulating modern labour markets.

Dr Anna Barton


The Collected Poems of Mary Elizabeth Coleridge: The Scholarly Edition After Recovery Feminism

University of Sheffield


This project builds on new archival research already in hand to produce the first scholarly edition of the poetry of Mary Elizabeth Coleridge. This edition will make a twofold intervention into the field of Victorian women’s writing. First, it will assert the significance of this late-Victorian poet, whose work constitutes a vital chapter in the development of literary Modernism out of late-Victorian publishing networks. Second, it will employ innovative editing techniques designed to respond to feminism’s search for an approach to women’s writing not driven by a paradigm of rescue and recovery. Bringing together unpublished archival sources, the edition will trace the journey of Coleridge’s poetry from manuscript to publication, making legible the editorial interventions of a network of friends and editors. The edition will be essential for future research into Coleridge and will model an approach that understands composition as an ongoing process in which the editor can participate.

Dr Annette Davison


Gushing!: Oil Films and Audiovisuality

University of Edinburgh


It has become impossible to disentangle our lived worlds from oil and oil-based products. Based within the emerging field of energy humanities, this project contributes to ongoing attempts to understand the role of cultural objects in the normalization of the idea that society is unavoidably dependent on fossil fuels. Audiovisual media has been complicit in these narratives but can also enable access to alternative imagined futures.

Although the study of oil in and through literature is now well established (e.g., petrofiction), less attention has been paid to audiovisual media. This project is innovative in focusing attention on its sound worlds, drawing attention to the non-verbal and affective qualities that filmmakers and oil companies utilise in their accounts of the past and possible futures of oil. Expanding the repertoire to include fiction and non-fiction films, television series, sponsored films, and advertising, enables identification and evaluation of recurring and novel cultural tropes.

Professor Sally Foster


Authenticity's child: contemporary meanings and future destinies for the 'Stone of Scone'

University of Stirling


The 2023 coronation of Charles III in Westminster Abbey and the 2024 relocation of the medieval Stone of Scone/Destiny to Perth’s new museum will rekindle high-profile debates about where this national icon ‘belongs’, what stories to tell about it and how. There is an unparalleled opportunity to explore for the first time the Stone’s contemporary authenticity and social value in real time while it moves between multiple contexts. The Stone is the supreme example of an object defined across time and space by how diverse communities negotiate its (in)authenticity and contest its meanings. Completing an ambitious longitudinal study, the Fellow will write up ethnographic and archival fieldwork conducted in London, Perth, Edinburgh and Scone. With a critical focus on ‘movement’, the findings will help to transform the Stone’s future meanings, destinies and contribute to theoretical and methodological debates in heritage and museum studies about authenticity and object itinerary / biography.

Dr Jessica Hughes


Our Lady of the Ruins: Religion and Memory in the Valley of Pompeii

Open University


This fellowship would enable me to complete a groundbreaking monograph on 'Religion and Memory in the Valley of Pompeii', currently in the final stages of review at Oxford University Press. My book is unique amongst studies of Pompeii, since it addresses not only the archaeological site, but also the huge Catholic shrine that was built in the 19th century just 200 metres from the Roman amphitheatre. This shrine is little-known outside Catholic circles, despite the fact that it is now a Papal Basilica which welcomes the same number of annual visitors as the excavations (c.2 million). My book contextualises these two world heritage sites within their wider geological and historical landscape, and analyses the evolving relationship between them. In doing so, it offers an entirely new way of understanding our most comprehensively-preserved classical site, and opens up a transformative new approach to the study of place, time and religious devotion.

Professor Sabine Hyland


Knotted Survivors: Endangered Khipu Traditions of the Peruvian Andes

University of St Andrews


This project will document and help preserve endangered Andean khipu (knotted cord writing) traditions by conducting research, completing an academic monograph, and repatriating previously collected khipus.  As the Endangered Writing Network (Classics, University of Cambridge) has demonstrated, writing systems and associated cultural patterns are endangered across the globe.  In the Andes, it was thought that khipus died out soon after the Spanish conquest of the Incas in the 1500s.  In the 20th century, however, anthropologists discovered khipu use in remote villages; I have encountered additional communities where khipus continue to play a vital role.

The proposal focuses on: (1) researching contemporary funerary khipu traditions in Huanuco, Peru; (2) returning khipus collected in the 1960s to their communities of origin; and (3) presenting my research on modern khipus, including new advances in understanding phonetic khipus, in my book. These activities will help to protect this unique Andean heritage.

Professor Helen Parr


Out of the shadows: A social history of death in British military campaigns after 1945

Keele University


How has Britain commemorated its military campaigns after the era of total war? This innovative project focuses on the social impacts of Britain’s military world role by exploring a fundamental but neglected war experience: the memory of death. After 1945, Britain was almost continually engaged in conflict, but the numbers of dead were comparatively small. The project asks how experiences of and attitudes towards military death changed as society transformed from the stoicism and reticence of the world wars, towards a more individualised, emotionally expressive culture. It focuses on two specific examples: the imperial insurgency in Malaya, 1948-60 and the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. By conducting oral history with relatives of service personnel killed, and drawing on new archival material, the project develops an intimate history of military death, tracing the evolution of the emotions of loss, and asking how commemoration influenced ideas of British national identity.

Professor Scott Nicholas Redford


The Archaeology of the Crusades: Excavations at Medieval Kinet, Turkey

School of Oriental and African Studies


What do migrations look like in the archaeological record? In the late 11th-13th centuries CE, hundreds of thousands of northern and western Europeans traveled to the eastern Mediterranean, many settling there. This migration is known today as the Crusades.  Archaeology of the Crusades in the eastern Mediterranean has focused on settlement in cities and sites holy to Christianity. Conventional good practice in archaeology: stratigraphic excavation, documentation and analysis of finds, including bones and seeds, is vanishingly rare. Archaeology can answer questions not posed by texts, giving information about trade, economy, and the interaction of peoples. The site of Kinet, located at the northern border of Crusader domains, was excavated, documented, and analysed for over two decades. This project will complete work on a monograph of medieval, Crusader era levels at the site, thus presenting the best and most fully documented site from Crusader lands, presenting them in a new light.

Professor Ricardo Soares de Oliveira


Africa Offshore: The Global Offshore Economy and the Reshaping of African Politics

University of Oxford


The globalization of finance has powerfully reshaped African economies and their worldwide linkages. A pivotal dimension of this – the rise of an international offshore system of tax havens and deregulated economies – is largely absent in the study of the politics and international relations of present-day Africa. This project is the first to investigate it in a global and comparative context, building on the applicant’s research in African states, fieldwork in financial centres in the West and in Asia, and knowledge of finance, commodity trading, and professional services. The resultant book will provide a ground-breaking perspective on African political economy, capturing a key dynamic for the continent and illuminating ongoing developments in global capitalism. The project will appeal to a wider public in addition to engaging its target audiences of scholars of international relations/international political economy and African politics, and UK and international policymakers.

Professor Richard John Williams


Re-imagining Urban Expressways of the 1960s and 1970s: a Global Study

University of Edinburgh


A global study of the contemporary re-imagination of modern urban expressways, with a book as the main output. The study focuses on examples of expressways built though inner cities c. 1960-1975 and which have since been redesigned or repurposed. Interventions are varied and local. Projects range from expensive structural caps with parks, to tunnels, to various forms of cultural appropriation, to demolition and even rewilding. The project explores seven key sites in Glasgow, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, New York City, São Paulo, and Seoul, each representing a local approach to a global question. It draws on the applicant’s extensive knowledge of the history of modernist urbanism, and it is interdisciplinary, building on work in architecture, art history and visual culture, as well as human geography and other areas of the social sciences. It will produce a historical survey, as well as intervene in debates on the future of automobile-oriented urbanism.

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