Newton International Fellowship Awards 2011

Funded by

Funding Source: Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Core and Core +.

2011 Newton International Fellowships

Dr Dario Calomino, University of Verona

Dr Andrew Burnett, The British Museum

Roman Provincial Coinage VI-Part 2: from Severus Alexander to Maximinus Thrax (AD 222-238)

NF111111                                                                           Two years


Roman Provincial Coinage is the largest international collaborative project in Roman Numismatics. It involves the cataloguing of all the coins issued by the provincial mints of the Roman Empire from the death of Caesar to Diocletian (44 BC-AD 295). The project is promoted and coordinated by the British Museum (London) and the Bibliothèque Nationale (Paris); other Museums involved include ones in Oxford, Cambridge, Berlin, München, Wien, Copenhagen and New York. The candidate aims to work on the publication of Volume VI-Part 2, covering the coinages of Severus Alexander and Maximinus Thrax (AD 222-238), by researching and cataloguing the main numismatic collections of the world, including hitherto untapped collections in Italy. Roman Provincial Coinage VI will offer much new information about the monetary economy and the political, social and cultural life of most of the empires cities. It will be a fundamental resource both for historians and archaeologists.

Dr Jan Matonoha, Institute of Czech Literature, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague

Professor Susan Reid, University of Sheffield

Dispositives of Silence and Injuring Identities. Between East and West – Czech Literature Case Study

NF110196                                                                           Two years


The project aims to provide in-depth analysis of subtle epistemic and discursive pre-conditions that dis/enable social cultural agendas, such as gender debates in Central Eastern Europe, to emerge, become articulated and disseminated across the frontiers of epistemic communities. Examining the ways silence in cultural and social spheres comes about, the project identifies 3 counterintuitive aspects of silencing. First, silence is not a simple lack of communication but a discursive phenomenon emerging within particular discursive configuration. Secondly, work of silencing is informed by the very subjects who themselves suffer from the silence they help to generate. Thirdly, those subjects who participate in perpetuating the logic of their own oppression do so not only unwillingly (as a concept of disembodied discursive forces would suggest) but in a passionate manner through emotional identifications with the very types of subjectivities that are injuring for them.

Dr Ioanna Rapti, University of Provence

Professor Judith Herrin, King's College London 

Identities & interactions through the Crusades: Shaping power & sharing culture in Armenian Cilicia

NF110974                                                                           Two years


I propose an interdisciplinary study of Armenian Cilicia (11th-14th centuries), a key area in the Eastern Mediterranean. Such an approach has been inhibited by the topics liminal situation within the humanities, the complexity of the sources (various languages and perspectives) and the inaccessibility of the archaeological data. I intend to develop a series of inter-connected resources: 1. A cluster of online research tools to analyse and present evidence on historical geography, prosopography and topography 2. Preparatory work for two print publications on: I. The architecture, and II. The history of Cilicia in the Mediterranean and Anatolian context. I would organise two colloquia, bringing together a range of scholars; the aim would be to build a network, which could continue to advance work in this area. The digital components of the project would learn from, and contribute to, major projects already underway at KCL (PBW, Sigidoc, RMMA).

Dr Eva Guillorel, Université Laval, Québec, Canada

Dr David Hopkin, University of Oxford and Hertford College, Oxford

Song and Social Protest in Early Modern Europe: Acts of Rebellion, Performance of Memory

NF110416                                                                           Two years


This project takes cultural approach to the history and memory of protests and rebellions in early modern Europe by considering an unusual set of historical sources: songs. Folksongs relating popular revolts, conspiracies against royal or seigniorial authority or rebellions led by outlaws and guerillas will be studied and compared to contemporary written archives. Songs may propose an alternative history of the events, and also an alternative historiography as song texts were refracted in different contexts. The purpose is not only to offer a more complete account, but also to observe the significance of popular mistakes, such as the relocation of heroes and events in time. This evolving reconstruction of history from a demotic viewpoint informs us about the aspirations of both past and present societies. A comparative and interdisciplinary approach between France and the British Isles will be developed, with comparisons with other European and American song cultures.

Dr Beatrice Penati, JSPS (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science)

Professor Peter Gatrell, University of Manchester

The economy of Central Asia in the Tsarist and early Soviet period: a reappraisal.

NF110144                                                                           Two years


This project questions some commonly-held assumptions about the economy of modern Central Asia in particular, the apparently exploitative nature of Russian and early Soviet rule (ca. 1860-1930). It tackles the following questions: first, if we look at the economy and at economic policies, was Russian/Soviet rule comparable to that of other imperial and colonial powers overseas? Second, what was the contribution of Central Asia to the general economy of the Russian empire and the USSR? Was it commensurate with the flows of investments, transfers, and general expenditures from the centre to the region? Finally, was Russian/Soviet rule extractive, if compared to the local GDP? To answer these questions, I need to produce an array of data series pertaining to basic, but still neglected, aspects: prices, wages, demography, land, etc. It is also necessary to discuss the institutional framework of Central Asian economy before and after 1917.

Dr Eduardo Aubert, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales

Professor Susan Rankin, University of Cambridge

Forging Communication: Musical Notation in Early Medieval Society

NF110653                                                                           Two years


Building on the idea of semiology conceived as the study of the life of signs within social life, this project will study the origins of Western musical notation in Carolingian Europe through 3 sets of questions: the fundamental motivations for its creation, the resources that were put together to bring it into existence and the ongoing transformation of the new medium in the hands of scribes. This is a subject that has occupied musicologists since the mid-nineteenth century: the goal of this project is to reconsider it within the framework of a historical anthropology of early notation, seeking to understand the invention and transformation of a semiotic system as a fundamental aspect in promoting and shaping social interactions. Correspondingly, each set of questions will be addressed through a case-study conceived according to the anthropological notion of a thick description, for which far-reaching conclusions can be drawn from small, but densely interwoven, facts.' (Geertz)

Dr Damian Skinner, Victoria University of Wellington

Professor Nicholas Thomas, University of Cambridge

Art and decolonisation in settler societies

NF110710                                                                           Two years


This project looks at the relationship between art and decolonisation in the settler societies of Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Art has been highly visible within processes of decolonisation, in part because it is so powerful in constructing new ideals of nation, culture and identity. This is true both for indigenous peoples (asserting sovereignty against the European settlers), and for the settlers, who are colonisers (of the indigenous peoples) and colonised (by Britain, the imperial metropolitan centre). Twentieth century art movements like modernism offered changing (and conflicting) positions from which indigenous and settler artists could operate. This project explores how different populations have asserted, co-opted and rejected different artistic positions within the ongoing political and cultural struggles that characterise settler societies, and how art historical concepts and methods need to be reconsidered to address these cross-cultural contexts.

Dr Thomas Breda, Paris School of economics - Ecole Normale Supérieure

Professor Alan Manning, London School of Economics

Unions, Bargaining and wages in France and the United Kingdom.

NF110615                                                                           Two years


My research project concerns the specific situation of union representatives in firms. The interaction between them and their employer can be understood using the theory of games. On the one hand, the employer can try to buy out the representative by offering advantages in exchange for the social peace or at least a less tough bargaining. On the other hand, the employer might also try to discourage unions by making their representatives lives particularly difficult. The final outcome depends on the union representative initial willingness to be bought out, and on how she is monitored by her co-workers. I have observed with French data that union representatives are paid 10% less than their co-workers. However, there exist no equivalent studies of UK shop stewards. I plan to extend my study of union representatives wages to the UK and to undertake a comparative work between the two countries industrial relations systems to explain the potential differences in empirical results.

Dr Sidharthan Maunaguru, International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Professor Jonathan Spencer, University of Edinburgh

Religious institutions and ethnic conflict: Tamil temples in Britain and Sri Lanka

NF110719                                                                           Two years


The research looks at Hindu temples and the role they play in the local and national politics of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka and in the UK. The war in Sri Lanka forced a number of Tamils to move out of the country to Britain, resulting in the formation of a significant Tamil diaspora. It also saw the building of many Hindu temples in the UK. These temples not only became places of religious worship but also hubs for the expression of the political views of Tamils in the UK. However, in Sri Lanka, the temples have carved out for themselves a space which is 'outside' Tamil nationalist politics, even at the height of the conflict. This duality of the Hindu temple, as seen in the UK and in Sri Lanka, raises the question: How does a Hindu temple become a place of expression for Tamil nationalist politics in one setting and resist the same in another setting? This proposed research is designed to understand this question and explore factors that could help answer it.

Dr Antonio Olmedo Reinoso, University of Granada (Spain)

Professor Stephen J. Ball, Institute of Education, University of London

Philanthropy, Business and Education: market-based solutions to educational problems

NF110415                                                                           Two years


We are experiencing a global paradigmatic change in the relationships between government(s), education, philanthropy and business. This project analyses some important aspects of this change and their consequences for educational access and opportunity. First, it focuses on mapping the newly emerging landscape of global education policy, with a particular focus on developments in sub-Saharan Africa (Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya) and India. Through these networks I will explore the roles, actions, motivations, discourses and resources of the different actors involved and their exchanges and transactions Second, it explores some specific examples of practice and innovation developed within those networks, as the Clinton Global Initiative and Enterprising Schools, following their trajectory from the origins of the idea, through the negotiations of partnerships and finances, to the practical problems on the ground.

Dr Alisher Khamidov, School of Advanced International Studies/Johns Hopkins University

Dr Nicholas Megoran, Newcastle University

Explaining variation in Muslim protests in the UK and Kyrgyzstan

NF110073                                                                            Two years


Muslim communities are reasserting themselves in the public life of 'secular' states worldwide: both in traditionally Muslim-majority areas of the world with secular constitutions (such as former Soviet Central Asia), and in regions where Muslims have, through recent migration, come to constitute minorities (such as North Western Europe or North America). In all these regions, the phenomenon of visible Muslim protests in public space and their regional variation has been growing. Various global theories for these dynamics are offered. This research challenges these theories by using a unique comparative study of Muslim protests in Kyrgyzstan and the UK to highlight the importance of local politics and civil society. In so doing, it will make a major contribution to re-theorising Muslim-state relations worldwide. Intended outcomes include one academic monograph, three journal articles and two policy reports.

Dr Olga Onuch, CERES, University of Toronto

Professor Timothy Power, University of Oxford

Understanding Processes and Actor Decisions Related to the Mass-Mobilisation Outcome.

NF110623                                                                            Two years


Research conducted during my Newton Fellowship will cover two important aspects of inter-regional comparative democratization theory: that of mass-participation in protests and the dynamics of presidentialism in new democracies. Both, complimentary projects elucidate how agency and institutions together frame actors decisions and thus, influence political outcomes. First, in my own research I will test the theoretical findings of my doctoral thesis of Ukrainian mass-protest, by expanding the case selection and by completing two formal models. The result of which will be two journal articles submitted to European Political Science and Comparative Political Studies. Second, I will contribute to the research of my co-applicant by conducting Ukraine case based research for Prof. Paul Chaisty’s and Prof. Timothy Power’s project on Coalitional Presidentialism in Africa, Latin America, and Postcommunist Europe: Dynamics of Executive-Legislative Relations in New Democracies.

Dr Nicola Binetti, Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza"

Professor Vincent Walsh, UCL

Timekeeping in a dynamic agent: how our displacements shape our representation of time

NF111112                                                                           Two years


The experience of time frames a great portion of our cognition and behavior. We use time to estimate when events occur, how long they take to unfold, and when to respond. The vast majority of experimental approaches have primarily focused on assessing how different stimulus properties "shape" timing estimates in stationary observers. In this project I adopt a paradigm shift on the study of timing, where time is studied from the highly relevant (and mostly neglected) perspective of an active-displaced agent (i.e. how body movement "shapes" time). In previous studies I observed how body displacements map our metric of time, thus affecting subjective units of time which define when a response should be produced, and when a sensory event should occur. Here, through the use of behavioral, fMRI and EEG methods, I propose a series of studies aimed at providing a thorough understanding of this phenomenon and the advantages that derive from it in our everyday lives.

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