International Fellowships 2023
PI: Dr Jusmeet Sihra
UK Sponsor: Professor Manali Desai
UK Host Institution: University of Cambridge
Title: “Residential Segregation of Ex-Untouchables in Urban India: The Role of State Institutions”
Award Value: £368,213.39
Abstract: How have the state institutions promoted caste-based segregation in urban India? Segregation always involves some form of institutionally organized human intentionality (Nightingale 2012), most often backed by the state institutions, public policies, housing market (Massey and Denton 1993; Wacquant 2008), or through legislation (Higginbotham, Higginbotham, and Ngcobo 1990). Despite no known history of laws enforcing caste-based segregation in India and caste having no visible phenotypical markers of identification, segregation of ex-untouchables* is endemic in Indian cities (Bharathi et al. 2021).
Findings from previous research, which offered the first micro street view of ex-untouchable segregation from below, raise critical questions about the role of state institutions in supporting caste-based segregation. For instance, ex-untouchable neighbourhoods are systematically named after their castes, located farthest away from the main roads or even ‘redlined’. This project will investigate the role of state institutional actors to present a view of segregation from above.
The project has developed five axes of research: (1) exploring historical migration and settlement patterns of ex-untouchables; (2) examining the modus operandi of the institution that names neighbourhoods; (3) studying land revenue records that register the subcastes of property owners; (4) mapping the institutional presence of the state in ex-untouchable neighbourhoods and (5) exploring the role of real estate companies to understand the collusion of the state with the private sector. Fieldwork for this research will take place in Ajmer, India using a mixed-methods framework: archival research in state offices, ethnographic research in three neighbourhoods of Koli, Raigar and Kanjar ex-untouchable castes, and sixty semi-structured interviews of state officials and ghetto residents. This research will lead to a book length project contributing to theories of the state by producing an ethnography of how the state actually works on the ground and how the everyday bureaucratic machinery operates in “casteist” ways to promote segregation. The findings will help push the state into becoming more of a remedial institution rather than a generative one in controlling the pernicious effects of segregation.
PI: Dr Marcel Garbos
UK Sponsor: Professor Robert Ian Frost
UK Host Institution: University of Aberdeen
Title: “Federalism and the fate of Europe’s borderlands: the transnational search for alternatives to empire and ethnic nationalism in Eastern Europe,1880s-1960s”
Award Value: £335,419
Abstract: This project aims to integrate neglected Eastern European federalist movements into the burgeoning, recent literature on federalism and multi-level political systems in what has been called the “post-sovereignty age.” It researches federalist movements from across the western and Eurasian borderlands of Russia, whose intellectual centre lay in the lands of the former Polish-Lithuanian Union, partitioned out of existence between 1772 and 1795. These lands emerged from the 1880s as a laboratory for federalist ideas that sought alternative models to the Russian Empire, and then the Soviet Union, which soon abandoned its brief federalist experiment in the early 1920s to adopt Stalinist centralism. While historians have studied how Wilsonian liberalism, Bolshevism, and the Austro-German idea of Mitteleuropa clashed with local nationalist aspirations across this contested territory between 1914 and 1922, this project considers how a neglected multiethnic alliance of federalists sought novel schemes of political and economic cooperation that challenged imperial hierarchies of power and preserved the idea of national self-determination without succumbing to the insularity of the nation-state. It reconstructs the dense networks in which rich strains of federalist ideas were formed in interwar Poland within an intellectual and institutional infrastructure of universities, exile colonies, publishing enterprises, and government ministries that attracted federalist emigrés from across Russia’s borderlands. Although interwar Poland is conventionally presented as an archetypal ethnonationalist state riven by national antagonisms, this flourishing federalist milieu, whose intellectual leaders had once dreamed of decentralizing the Russian Empire turned toward a more separatist vision of a confederal alliance of its borderlands against the Bolsheviks. Focusing in particular on the comparison with federalist thought and critiques of empire in the United Kingdom, in which the many Eastern European emigrés living there in this period took a close interest, the project will situate Eastern European federalist ideas and networks within a global context and ask how Eastern European federalism differed from, interacted with, and contributed to, debates on federalism and multi-level polities in an age in which empires were reimagining themselves and decolonization emerged as a political force. Its main aim is to demonstrate that current debates concerning self-determination, federalism, political union, and internationalism have deeper roots in the classic age of nationalism than has been appreciated. Finally, the project will research how subsequently many individuals nurtured in this tradition, exercised a profound influence on the development of Anglophone Sovietology during the early Cold War.
PI: Dr Mariam Kamunyu
UK Sponsor: Professor Ambreena Manji
UK Host Institution: Cardiff University
Title: “Theorising African Feminist Judgments”
Award Value: £357,544.48
Abstract: The proposed research seeks to undertake a theoretical and contemporary exposition on African Feminist Judgments with a human rights focus. A feminist judgment project (FJP) sets out to re-imagine a judgment utilising a feminist critique where a judgment fails to result in substantive equality or entrenches discrimination, where it amounts to a retrogression of women’s status in the law or where it invisibilises women and their lived experiences. A FJP can offer alternative conceptions and pathways to equality that incorporate feminist perspectives. This re-imagining can take place through a re-writing of the judgment, a commentary on the judgment, or it could take on creative and artistic expression. There is now an established corpus of FJPs offering alternative feminist approaches to judging. The impact of FJPs on legal academia in the UK and the utilisation of new legal methodologies was welcomed in the REF2021 Law Sub-panel Report as innovative and indicative of the vitality and sustainability of law as a discipline.
If research on ‘feminist judging’ is well established, so is scholarship on ‘African feminism(s)’. There is however very minimal scholarship on African feminist judging. Existing scholarship on gender judging in Africa tends to focus on the inclusion of women in the judiciary (in parallel with the study of gender diversity in parliaments). The innovation of the proposed research is to undertake theoretical and conceptual research on African feminist judgments. This will involve conceptualising what a feminist re-imagining of African judgments could entail, while learning and distinguishing from the theories underpinning FJPs in other jurisdictions.
Theorisation of feminist judgment writing that has been undertaken in the Global North is an important starting point, but this project seeks to ask what role feminist judgments might play in the African context in all its diversity (including sources of law, legal traditions and history). It is important to develop comparative understandings that can offer a useful theoretical underpinning for existing and future African FJPs. These new understandings would consider the continent’s rich normative framework on women’s rights and existing jurisprudential gains for women’s status in the law.
The overarching aim of the research project is twofold. The first, to engage with feminist legal scholarship and to diversify and strengthen feminist judgment discourse from a comparative perspective. The second is to influence judicial thinking and practice. The project will have an impact beyond the academy, on litigators, human rights practitioners, and judges."
PI: Dr Ayesha Omar
UK Sponsor: Professor Stephen Chan
UK Host Institution: School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Title: “Liberal Engagements of Black Intellectual History in South Africa”
Award Value: £361,425.91
Abstract: This project challenges the popular narrative that black intellectual history in South Africa was ubiquitous in its treatment of liberal ideas. While liberalism in contemporary post-apartheid South Africa has a vexing, and complicated place and its utility for a black, economically disenfranchised majority is frequently contested, the 1996 adoption of South Africa’s democratic constitution outlining a very clear framework for a liberal democracy came as a surprise to many who equated black African nationalism with socialist and Marxist strands. The triumph for liberalism was evidenced in the path chosen by Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress which relinquished its attachment to socialist principles in favour of a liberal-democratic polity. While liberalism’s institutional reach was broad, and its history long, it often represented a ‘thin universalist creed’ that was fragile and limited' (Dubow, 2014, p.169). As Dubow suggests, it was filled with ‘idealism, ambiguities, and self-regarding complacency’ (2014, p.169). South Africa also had a weak liberal intellectual tradition without ever producing a radical variant (Glaser, 2018, p.254). Its weaknesses were clear to many black intellectuals concerned with its proximity to whiteness and its lack of potential for radical, social, and egalitarian change. Yet despite liberalism’s lack of radical appeal some of the most interesting and fascinating interlocutors of liberal ideas and critics are within the tradition of black intellectual history itself. This dimension of liberalism in South Africa has been largely underwritten, neglected, or ignored. This research project attempts to utilize archival sources and texts to foreground liberal engagements and critiques of black intellectual history in South Africa. It seeks to work in several archives in the UK and in South Africa. These include the Bodleian Archive of the Anti-Apartheid Movement at the University of Oxford, The Mayibuye Archives at the University of the Western Cape and the Liberation Archives at Fort Hare University in South Africa. By exploring these archives further, the project is concerned with retrieving and developing an account of the liberal engagements of six fascinating thinkers in the South African black intellectual history tradition, Selby Msimane, Jordan Ngubane, Nelson Mandela, Robert Sobukwe, Sam C. Nolutshungu, Pallo Jordan and Bernard Mgubane. The purpose of this project is twofold: (1) the development of the discipline of black intellectual history itself, along a distinct and productive methodological path, (2) to reinvigorate the complexity of these debates in the context of contemporary political discourse.
PI: Dr Jacob Lollar
UK Sponsor: Dr Alberto Rigolio
UK Host Institution: Durham University
Title: “Syriac Manuscripts and the Construction of Culture: Para-biblica in the Late Antique and Medieval Middle East”
Award Value: £345,419.34
Abstract: This project explores the use and function of “para-biblical” narratives within Syriac cultures. These texts were some of the earliest ones written and/or translated in Syriac-reading communities. They thus served particular functions within these communities. Although such narratives have been identified and studied by modern scholars, their function within the communities that produced them have typically not been investigated. This project aims to correct this oversight by offering a closer analysis to the particular materials which preserve them. The manuscripts themselves provide previously unrecognized insights into the functions of ""para-biblica."" Not only were these stories entertaining, useful for liturgy, and important for the cult of saints, they were used by Syriac cultures to tell their history––and to re-write that history to suit the needs of new audiences. My project groundbreakingly shows that Syriac writers wrote competing versions of para-biblical narratives to (re-) shape the societies around them.
The project’s approach relies on methods of the ""New Philology"" (NP), which focuses attention on the material context in which the narratives were embodied. In contrast to traditional methods of modern text editions and analysis, which extract a text from its manuscript context, leaving the manuscript as merely a conduit of some external reality, NP focuses on the material artifact (the manuscript), acknowledging that the material forms part of the meaning and function of the text. Put another way, NP analyses the transmission of (ancient) narratives through the material embodiment in which they have been preserved. A shift from analysis that privileges authors and/or an individual text to one that privileges readers and literary activities (e.g., commentary, copying, and mirror reading), offers a glimpse into the functionality of narratives within distinct contexts.
Syriac ""para-biblica"" are an ideal data set for the methodological approach of NP. The oldest extant Syriac manuscripts are full of this literature. Although this has been acknowledged since the mid-nineteenth century, few scholars have paid attention to the material contexts of the narratives. Even fewer scholars have discussed what these contexts reveal about the function of such narratives. This project will focus on the material embodiment of Syriac ""para-biblica"" and revolutionizing our understanding of the importance and function of this literature for Syriac-reading cultures. Moreover, the evolution of these texts in their material contexts reveals how the ideological agendas of scribes worked to (re) shape Syriac cultures across time, space, and ecclesiastical borders."
PI: Dr Viva Sacco
UK Sponsor: Dr Corisande Fenwick
UK Host Institution: University College London
Title: “The Islamic Glaze Revolution: artisans and consumers in the medieval central Mediterranean”
Award Value: £367,942
Abstract: In the early Middle Ages, Sicily and Ifrīqiya underwent a technological pottery revolution: new glazed and lustre technologies, forms and decorations were introduced by local artisans and consumed by local inhabitants. This project aims to compare for the first time systematically the consumption and production of glazed pottery of these two regions, through a chaîne opératoire approach and the use of high-resolution scientific analysis (petrography, SEM-EDS, thin section). The goal is to verify similarities and differences and, consequently, to identify artisans’ choices and the consumption habits of the population. First, this project will conduct the first major analysis of new forms and decorations by analysing the new tableware forms and decorations using the latest archaeological techniques. Second, it will examine the use of glazed wares on a regional scale (rural and urban sites) as well as compare the trends in Sicily and Ifrīqiya. Finally, the project will analyse the modalities and the rhythms of the transfer of techniques and how they adapted to local pre-existing ceramic production. The results will shed light on the changes in the consumption and production of pottery in Sicily and Ifrīqiya, as well as technology transfer and the circulation of artisans in the medieval Mediterranean.
PI: Dr Jer Steeger
UK Sponsor: Professor Richard Pettigrew
UK Host Institution: University of Bristol
Title: “Credence and chance in a pluralist approach to quantum theories”
Award Value: £362,973.31
Abstract: Quantum mechanics generally makes predictions about the world using probabilities, and philosophers of physics have given nuanced defences of an intuitive and popular way of understanding those probabilities: namely, via dualism, the view that some are objective, and others are subjective. However, these philosophers often sharply disagree on how to interpret quantum mechanics—and they tend to assume the correctness of their interpretation when they argue from dualism. My previous work argues that they need not do so in at least one case. It shows how one popular symmetry-based defence given within the many-worlds interpretation of the theory also applies to a single-world, pilot-wave interpretation. This argument shows a sense in which dualism is robust: it is well-motivated across different philosophical attitudes towards one of our best physical theories. That robustness, in turn, strengthens a pluralist approach toward interpretations of quantum mechanics by providing a common understanding of probability among agents who might still sharply disagree about the nature of the reality that quantum theory describes.
Pluralism about the interpretation of quantum mechanics is an attractive view. Each existing interpretation has unique virtues that seem conducive to truth, and it is far from clear that a single consistent approach can maintain all of these virtues. However, one rarely sees formal methods put to work to develop and defend a pluralist approach. This project seeks to fill that gap by investigating how much additional common ground different interpretations might share regarding probability. The more common ground, the stronger pluralism gets.
As such, this project aims to test dualism's robustness across interpretations in two keyways. First, it seeks to unify the symmetry-based defences with another popular class of defences based on initial distributions over the space of possible particle configurations. Second, it aims to extend both sorts of defence to Generalized Probabilistic Theories (GPTs), a popular operational framework meant to house all interpretations of quantum theory (including both the many-worlds and pilot-wave approaches mentioned above) in addition to possible future theories with different empirical predictions. It also aims to extend an entirely subjective interpretation of probabilities to this class of theories to assess its relationship to the dualist's alternative. The result will be a robust quay from which agents can embark on a shared exploration of probability in quantum theory and beyond, irrespective of individual ontological commitments.
PI: Dr Ye Xu
UK Sponsor: Professor Hannah Jane Thompson
UK Host Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Title: “The emergence of sensation. An epistemological, ideological, and artistic archaeology in French literature from 1850 to 1900”
Award Value: £331,745.49
Abstract: This project aims to restore the epistemological, ideological and artistic context essential to the emergence of sensation in French literature in the second half of the 19th century. The literary critics of this time converged to indicate a literary tendency to underline, intensify, enrich, and even poetise sensory experiences, which they presented as a characteristic novelty in literature. By considering the links that unite literature with scientific knowledge, ethical ideas, philosophical thoughts, and artistic trends from 1850 to 1900, we ask a question essential for understanding this period: what constitutes the epistemological, ideological and artistic conditions that allow the development of a tendency towards "sensationism" in literature, as well as the profusion of discourses aimed at revealing, analysing and judging it? Contextualizing the emergence of sensation will allow us to broaden our study to the level of the Zeitgeist: how did this intellectual and artistic paradigm become established within the literature of this period? This project will excavate, from the abundant representations and discussions of sensation, the impacts of physiological, psychological, medical, and sociological knowledge, as well as the repercussions of ideological attitudes or even of philosophical thoughts in the dialogues between literature and knowledge. This work may even extend to the boundaries of literature and arts to examine the inspirations that writers found in music and painting to imagine and realize an aesthetic of sensationism in literature.
PI: Dr Silviya Nitsova
UK Sponsor: Professor Olga Onuch
UK Host Institution: University of Manchester
Title: “Divide and Rule: Oligarchic Political Networks and Patronalism in Ukraine”
Award Value: £331,285.08
Abstract: Extremely wealthy businesspeople seeking to shape politics to their own interests is commonplace around the world. Yet, the mechanisms through which oligarchic political influence works and the impact it has remain poorly understood. This project aims to unpack this influence in the context of Ukraine, which is an excellent case of a developing democracy and important in itself for international security today. Specifically, my project looks at oligarchic influence from an elite and a societal perspective.
First, the project argues that oligarchs influence decision-making processes through networks of loyal individuals that they promote to positions in government institutions. Relying on an innovative measurement methodology and unique quantitative and qualitative data, my project aims to systematically uncover and analyse such oligarchic networks of influence within Ukraine’s executive branch. It further seeks to assess the impact of the Russo-Ukrainian war on these networks and what this means for the place of oligarchs in Ukraine’s system of crony capitalism and postwar economic recovery. Combined with research on oligarchic networks within the Ukrainian legislature, the present project aims to provide the most comprehensive and robust empirical evidence on oligarchic political networks and their effects on politics in the context of a developing democracy to date.
Second, the project argues that society shapes oligarchic influence, especially in times of severe crisis such as war. Relying on social media and survey data, my project aims to examine what shapes public attitudes towards oligarchs in Ukraine and assess their implications for oligarchs’ position in Ukraine’s postwar political and economic development. Beyond its contribution to explaining the Ukrainian case, the proposed research aims to contribute to the scholarly understanding of oligarchic political influence, patronalism, public support for the superrich, and oligarch survival in developing democracies more broadly.
PI: Dr Ayan Guha
UK Sponsor: Professor Raminder Kaur
UK Host Institution: University of Sussex
Title: “Caste and Hindu Nationalism: Investigating Ideologies and Political Praxis with Reference to the Matua-Namasudra Community in India”
Award Value: £335,551
Abstract: The proposed research critically engages with Hindu nationalism and its protagonists’ approach towards caste and Dalit (lower caste ex-untouchables) identity in India. It will consider two constitutive elements of Hindu nationalist approach: ideological as embodied in writings and speeches, and political as expressed by ground level practices. The objective behind investigation of these two aspects is to discover how far contemporary realpolitik reflects the priorities of Hindu nationalism as formulated from the late nineteenth century with respect to the caste question.
This study will first investigate the intellectual genealogy of Hindu nationalism on caste by analysing the original writings of its proponents. Thereafter, it will conduct an ethnographic inquiry of the political tactics employed by Hindu nationalism for Dalit mobilisation.
The relevance of this theme lies in the recent rise of Hindu nationalism. The pan-India success of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since 2014 has necessitated a rethink of two taken for granted assumptions; first, the higher castes constitute BJP's main support base and second, BJP is primarily a North Indian party. A scholarly imperative is now being felt to re-engage with Hindutva’s negotiation with caste and tribal identities in regions where it is making inroads. Scholarship on Hindutva and Dalit Studies is also marked by the absence of a focused and comprehensive study on the correlation between Hindu nationalist ideology and its contemporary political praxis with respect to the question of caste.
The project shall employ discourse analysis (which decodes underlying meaning of written and verbal materials in relation to their social context) to decipher the ideological position of Hindu nationalism on caste and to trace its evolution by ascertaining continuity and change in Hindu nationalist position. Writings of key Hindu nationalist figures and literature (journals, magazines, pamphlets) of various Hindu nationalist organizations will be examined.
The project shall also undertake field research among the Namasudras, West Bengal’s second largest Dalit group belonging mainly to anti-Brahmanical (opposed to higher caste domination) Matua sect in Thakurnagar, their pilgrimage site. Notwithstanding their anti-Brahmanical tradition, they have become BJP’s (considered Brahmanical) important support base, confounding scholars. Therefore, a study of this community can provide valuable insights about contemporary Hindutva’s Dalit outreach strategy in areas beyond its traditional stronghold. Discourse analysis and ethnography will lead to significant new insights as to how Hindu nationalism has been transformed over the last century, and how it is entering into unprecedented areas to change Indian politics.
PI: Dr Mikel Arlegi
UK Sponsor: Dr Emma Pomeroy
UK Host Institution: University of Cambridge
Title: “Did human erect posture shape the cranio-cervical complex?”
Award Value: £400,941.75
Abstract: The human cranio-cervical complex is a unique feature that distinguishes us from non-human apes, characterized by the position of the head on a vertical neck, a short face, a rounded cranial vault, and a strong lordotic cervical curvature. These differences are thought to be related to selective functional pressures related to posture and locomotion, specifically erect posture and bipedalism versus quadrupedalism and knuckle-walking/below-branch suspension. However, the extent to which the head and neck evolved together in the human lineage, and how selective pressures and adaptations influenced this divergence, remains unclear.
To advance our understanding of this subject in human evolution, this project aims to perform a holistic, stepwise series of combined approaches, including morphological integration, biomechanics, and phylogenetic analysis. The project will investigate the extent to which the human cranio-cervical complex is a unitary system that evolved under shared functional demands or if it is modular, with different components evolving in response to different demands.
The project will utilize cutting-edge techniques, a large skeletal sample of extant anthropoids, and the two most complete and well-preserved hominin cranio-cervical complexes: a Middle Pleistocene hominin from Sima de los Huesos and the Shanidar Z Neandertal housed at the University of Cambridge. This research will provide valuable insights into the evolutionary history of our species, revealing how selective pressures and adaptations to upright posture and locomotion influenced the divergence of the human cranio-cervical complex.
PI: Dr Dustin Klinger
UK Sponsor: Dr Anthony David Street
UK Host Institution: University of Cambridge
Title: “Language and Meaning in Post-Classical Islamic Intellectual History (1300-1500CE)”
Award Value: £377,145.60
Abstract: For a variety of historical reasons, our knowledge of philosophy written in Arabic in the 14th and 15th century remains shockingly sparse. Not only is this period understudied both in the West and in Arabic-speaking countries, but many of even the pivotal philosophical texts are only accessible in manuscripts stored in libraries across the Islamicate world. The project’s previous research has brought to light that, leading up to this period, there was a remarkable turn to treating questions of what we would call "philosophy of language" not only in the more strictly philosophical tradition that emerged from the Graeco-Arabic translation movement, but also across many disciplines of the Islamic scientific canon. Situated in the growing field of global philosophy, my book project for the fellowship will focus on the varieties of theoretical approaches to meaning across scientific disciplines in the Islamicate world of this period as a way of charting this "linguistic turn", and thus showing the vivacity of philosophical production in Arabic. The project contributes to decolonising the history of philosophy, improving our understanding of Islamic intellectual and social history before the Gunpowder Empires, and offers for the first-time access to non-Western historical resources on theories of meaning that will be of interest to linguists and philosophers of language.
PI: Dr Lucia Berro Pizzarossa
UK Sponsor: Professor Fiona de Londras
UK Host Institution: University of Birmingham
Title: “The Role of Self-Managed Abortion in Reimagining Abortion Law and Regulation: A Socio-legal Perspective”
Award Value: £365,278.33
Abstract: Since the 1980’s people have used medicines to terminate their pregnancies outside of formal healthcare settings. This strategy, begun at the margins of health systems in Brazil, has since developed and diffused de-medicalized practices globally through a newly visible local and transnational constellation of actors.
As an effective, low-risk abortion method, SMA challenges existing perceptions of ‘safe’ abortion and approaches to abortion regulation. As an inexpensive and accessible healthcare intervention, SMA can reduce inequalities and contribute to improved sexual and reproductive rights worldwide. As a disruptive and easy-to-use reproductive technology, SMA supports reproductive agency, shifting power away from institutionalized medical systems and into the hands of pregnant people.
While the field of public health has expanded knowledge about this novel social practice, legal scholars have paid less attention. Motivated by the insight that SMA fundamentally challenges paradigmatic approaches to abortion law and regulation and that abortion law and regulation continue to shape SMA practices and activism, I will use the BA International Fellowship to remedy that inattention.
The project aims to uncover the entangled relationships between SMA and abortion law and regulation and, by so doing, to set the agenda for legal scholarship’s engagement with SMA. Applying a socio-legal approach that mixes qualitative and doctrinal legal analysis, the project will explore how abortion law and regulation impact SMA practices; how SMA practices affect abortion law and regulation; how SMA practices have impacted international human rights law and global health governance.
This project builds on existing feminist work that challenges medico-legal models to suggest a new understanding of abortion care that confounds the paradigms on which existing legal frameworks are built.
This project will enable an empirically based articulation of a model of abortion access that seeks to disrupt structures of inequity, challenges traditional definitions of abortion providers and the inadequate binary of illegal/unsafe abortion and shifts the care model to meeting women “where they are”. Through a combination of academic outputs (a book and four articles) and dissemination materials (website, blogposts, webinars), it will not only identify shortcomings in existing approaches but contribute to developing evidence on the potential of SMA to prompt a paradigm shift. As an intellectually ambitious project grounded in the practices and understandings of the constellation of actors that support SMA, it will make a foundational contribution to the nascent legal literature on SMA.
PI: Dr Livnat Decleve
UK Sponsor: Professor Tobias Kelly
UK Host Institution: University of Edinburgh
Title: “Political Imagination and Political Emotions in Israel/Palestine”
Award Value: £327,360.15
Abstract: The proposed Fellowship studies Jewish left-wing activists who work to develop alternatives to the ongoing conflict in Israel-Palestine. It will look into the importance of emotions to political imagination and focus on the intersection between gender, ethnicity, class, citizenship, and emotions and their effect on the political imagination of new alternatives.
The research will thus focus on questions such as: How do activists perceive the work of developing alternative solutions? How do intersectionality and positionality – namely, the particular combination of gender, ethnicity, class, and citizenship – affect activists' political imaginary (such as their hopes for the future or anticipated risks for them, their communities, and families)? What emotions are associated with this work of imagination, and how are those emotions being addressed?
To answer the above research questions, the Fellowship will entail fieldwork and in-person interviews with three groups:
- Decolonization network – based in Israel/Palestine.
- Mizrahi Left – based in Israel/Palestine and the United States.
- Extended Study Group - based in Berlin, Germany.
These three groups were chosen because their members are working on radical political alternatives that are not state-centred and therefore involve imagining political structures that are not yet in existence. Moreover, each group is characterized by other predominant positionality and standpoints. The comparison between the groups can yield important insights into how intersectionality and positionality affect political emotions and imagination.
Despite these differences, all three groups promote non-violent political action and comprise Jewish feminist members. The reason for studying Jewish dissidents stems from the understanding that the violence of the settler-colonial project is embedded in the subjectivity of the settlers; this proposed research seeks to underline the corporal and emotional aspects of imagining alternatives.
The reason for focusing on feminist activists is that they work to develop alternative claims and actions to the prominent Jewish left-wing organizations mainly led by Ashkenazi men, dominated by hegemonic ethos and values.
This Fellowship will have significance for understanding emotions as part of political imagination. By focusing on feminist initiatives, considering marginalized political stances, and comparing groups with different standpoints, this study will contribute significantly to the understanding of the way socio-political structures are being challenged and envisioned from 'below' and provide an understanding of the way individuals working in small groups, can break out collective boundaries and bring about change.
PI: Dr Ziwen Wang
UK Sponsor: Professor Martin David Maiden
UK Host Institution: University of Oxford
Title: “How number shapes gender over time: number morphology and individuation in the diachrony of genus alternans across Romance”
Award Value: £339,461.10
Abstract: This project deals with the problematic and controversial phenomenon of genus alternans in the diachrony of Romance languages, a nominal inflectional pattern such that nouns select masculine agreement in the singular but feminine agreement in the plural. Synchronically, it is robustly attested across Eastern Romance but typologically very rare in Indo-European. The rise and fall of genus alternans have been discussed in Romance diachronic linguistics almost exclusively from a comparative perspective or with reference to the history of individual languages. Although it is traditionally claimed that genus alternans was preserved only in Eastern Romance and was lost in Western Romance, new typological evidence discovered by Loporcaro (2018) and myself show that it also survived into the older stages of Raeto-Romance, Gallo-Romance and Ibero-Romance, thus suggesting that the preservation of genus alternans is an early development common to all Romance languages instead of a language-specific phenomenon. Given that we still lack an in-depth analysis of the reasons underlying the preservation and depletion of this pattern in the history of Romance languages, this project aims at providing a psycholinguistically and semantically based account of the diachrony of genus alternans from Latin to Romance, unifying pre-existing intra-linguistic accounts of this phenomenon under a Pan-Romance perspective. The research objectives are: (a) to provide a psycholinguistic analysis of the role of number morphology processing in the preservation of genus alternans, (b) to offer a semantic analysis of the influence of individuation in the preservation of genus alternans, and (c) to account for the fate of Latin neuter plural pronouns in Romance based on the semantic notion of individuation.