Newton International Fellowship Awards 2016

Funded by

Funding source: Newton Fund, under the responsibility of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The Newton Fund was launched in 2014 and originally consisted of £75 million each year for five years. In the 2015 UK Spending Review, it was agreed to extend and expand the Fund. The Newton Fund was extended from 2019 to 2021 and expanded by doubling the £75 million investment to £150 million by 2021, leading to a £735 million UK investment to 2021, with partner countries providing matched resources within the Fund. These awards are funded by the Newton Fund, which is part of the UK's Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment.

Dr Kumru Berfin Emre Cetin - Turkey

Alevi Television and the Making of the Transnational Alevi Identity

NF160379            London School of Economics & Political Science                  £98,000.00

The research will explore the links established through Alevi television between Alevi communities who live in different countries. Alevis are an oppressed community in Turkey and a minority group in Germany and the UK. Alevi television helps these Alevi communities to represent their culture and identity and to connect with other Alevis in different countries. As well as analysing the particular television programmes, I shall interview Alevi television viewers who live in London to find out the ways in which they connect to the Alevi community in Turkey and elsewhere through watching television. I shall also interview Alevi television channel workers, such as producers and managers, in order to understand how Alevi television programmes are able to appeal to Alevis in different countries. My research will be able to show the various ways in which diasporic television, community organisations and local governments can collaborate for a better cultural engagement of diasporas.

Dr Emre Eren Korkmaz - Turkey

Participation of Turkish Migrants to the Public Sphere via Trade Unions in Selected European States

NF160819            University of Oxford                       £96,833.96

Research aims to explore the dynamics of the relations among natives and immigrants by focusing on the workplace-level relations. As immigrants pass the first stage by receiving residence and work permits, they join to the ranks of the working people. Research proposes that the role of trade unions is crucial for their integration as they are one of the first organizations that immigrants are recruited together with native workers and they may decide and act together via using democratic mechanisms. Such public sphere provided by trade unions coincides with the transnational social space of immigrants which enables immigrants to experience both countries and intensify solidarity among immigrants in their daily lives. Research aims to explore the over 50-year long experiences of Turkish immigration to the Western Europe and their involvement process to the local working classes in a comparative perspective to develop policy recommendations for the current mass migration.

Dr Guilherme Heurich - Brazil

Rethinking Words and Referents: Quoting, Capturing and Forgetting in Araweté Verbal Art

NF160779            University College London                            £98,433.00

This research will explore how people use the same words to refer to very different things, by analyzing songs created by the Araweté, an indigenous group that lives in the Amazon forest. For them, humans are not the only ones that are able to think and act as subjects, because spirits and gods can also speak, sing, have families and build villages. Briefly, spirits and gods are also people. During rituals, their healing specialists bring these beings to sing, and thus it is possible to hear them, even though their language is a slightly different to the Araweté language. What they say shows that they understand reality in a very different way, since from their perspective, for example, we all look like wild boars. This proposal aims to compare the language and the point of view of spirits and gods with our own, western, way of seeing reality and the language that we use to describe it.

Dr Noemi Levy-Aksu - Turkey

Legalizing the State of Emergency in the Late Ottoman Empire

NF161095            Birkbeck College, University of London                   £93,000.00

Today the state of emergency is the cornerstone of anti-terrorism policy; but the suspension of fundamental rights in the name of security was already a governmental tool adopted by a number of countries 150 years ago. Relying on the critical analysis of a wide range of archival sources, my research explores how it was legalized and implemented in the Ottoman Empire in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. What was the role of the state of emergency in the transformation of the Ottoman political sphere? How did it affect the populations who experienced the curfew, suspension of freedoms and courts-martial? I am interested in understanding how a transnational conception of sovereignty and rights merged with the Islamic political and legal tradition even before the Turkish nation was born. I will also unravel how emergency measures turned certain territories into zones of permanent exception, a crucial aspect of the Kurdish question to this day. The outcome will be a book on the topic.

Dr Lwanga Elizabeth Nanziri - South Africa

The Dynamics of Financial Inclusion and Welfare in Emerging and Developing Economies

NF161251            University of Oxford                       £87,030.00

It is believed that providing formal financial services such as banking services can improve the lives of the poor. This project will investigate whether indeed this is true in South Africa and Zambia. These countries introduced formal financial services to their citizens, the majority of whom were using informal or home-made financial services. It will be interesting to see the difference in the welfare of those individuals who decided to use and those who did not use the formal financial services. It will also be interesting to compare whether the welfare changes happen as soon as they start using the formal services, or if they take a while. The results of this project would assist both the financial services providers and governments on how best to make finance accessible to people and to develop strategies to move people from using informal to using formal financial services, to reduce poverty.

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

Dr Matthew Carroll - Australia

A Typology of Distributed Exponence: Mapping the Limits of Information Distribution within the Word

NF160104            University of Surrey        £85,800.00

Most languages mark some grammatical meaning within the internal structure of words. The simplest systems for the marking of grammatical meaning are incremental in nature, i.e. each meaning is represented by a single unique form, although this is not the only option available to languages. Distributed exponence (D.E.) is a complex method in which the marking of grammatical meaning is distributed across the internal structure of words so that single meanings are built up from smaller pieces. D.E. represents an extreme example of what is possible in human language regarding the mapping of function to form yet has been neglected in cross-linguistic studies of this type. A study of how far this phenomenon may extend across a careful sample of the world’s languages promises to provide insights to limits of human language. A greater understanding of these limits is particularly relevant in addressing questions regarding how languages may evolve over time and the limits of human cognition.

Dr Guillemette Crouzet - Italy

Crude Empire: British Oil Imperialism and the Making of the Modern Middle East (c.1901 - 1935)

NF160302            University of Warwick    £99,000.00

This project examines an important but little-known part of the history of the British empire. Public discussion about the British empire tends to describe this as just one story. But in fact there were many different stories, and it is important to understand how the British empire changed over time. The focus here is on the British presence in the Middle East in the years before and after the First World War. Here, the British empire was less about controlling land, and more about access to a specific resource, oil. This became known as ‘black gold’, and for good reason. The British government and businesses saw that oil was increasingly essential for economic and military power. This project follows the ways they tried to gain control over oil. It also asks how this process changed the region’s environment, societies, and borders. The results of this history were long-lasting, and indeed are still felt in the region today.

Dr Kunlong Chen - China

Metallurgy in Bronze Age China: Regional Production and Trans-cultural Networks

NF160456            University College London            £99,000.00

Ritual vessels and a plethora of other bronze artefacts dating to the Shang civilization are among the most recognisable heritage artefacts from China. They represent cutting-edge technology developed some 3000 years ago in connection with the emergence of the earliest states. This project will engage archaeological expertise with modern scientific methods from materials science and geochemistry to investigate the manufacture, style, origin and trade of bronze artefacts in several regions of China, tracing the history of the technology and its changing relationships with power structures. It will foster the appreciation of these bronzes not only as works of art, but also as material expressions of a history of multi-cultural connections and human-environment interactions in which modern Chinese society is rooted. The project will help consolidate the role of China as a leader in archaeological science and bring Chinese heritage to the attention of international scholars.

Dr Arianna Gullo - Italy

Epigrams of Julian the Egyptian: An Edition and a Commentary

NF160553            University of Durham     £96,000.00

The 6th-c. AD poet Julian the Egyptian is one of the most important contributors to Agathias' "Cycle", the most relevant late antique collection of Greek epigrams. Julian's epigrams, however, have received much less attention, both as individual poems and as exponents of a period of revival for epigrammatic poetry in general. My project aims to produce an edition with commentary and English translation of his poems, which are especially apt to be read by a lay audience thanks to their manageable size and attractive subjects. It would reach out to the wide public greatly contributing to reveal the very roots of such an active genre like epigram, later inherited and largely developed by European culture. It is quite clear that the place of classical culture is shifting in our society. Whereas Julian's name will be unfamiliar for the bigger audience, it is thus evident that his work, well-translated and presented in an accessible way, can be a subject of interest also for non-specialists.

Dr Kolja Lindner - Germany

European Regimes of Integration: Democracy and Difference in France, Germany and Great Britain

NF160646            University of Warwick    £22,548.39

The minority question is at the heart of current political debates in Western Europe as illustrated by headscarf controversies in France, ‘Leitkultur’ discourses in Germany, and struggles surrounding representations of Muslim communities in Great Britain. The role of the state is ambivalent in this respect to say the least. It seeks to treat all citizens equally, abstracting from their language, religion and customs. At the same time, many state actions address these issues, especially when dealing with minorities. I explore this tension by analysing how members of minorities receive language training in state schools, how their religion is officially treated and how their customs are taken into account by public services. By comparing France, Germany and Great Britain, I discern which ethnicity policies are most appropriate for democracies. This should bring more lucidity and consistency to the official treatment of minorities and help to avoid discrimination.

Dr Cecilia Tarruell - Italy

The Spanish Empire, a Land of Reception? Migrations from Islam to Christendom, 16th-17th Centuries

NF160666            University of Oxford       £79,887.93

This project explores the phenomenon of the migration and circulation of people across the Mediterranean during the 16th and 17th centuries. This period was characterized by ongoing warfare and daily violence which shaped the relations between powers on both shores of the Mediterranean. These tensions, however, acted as a stimulus for exchange and enabled the movement of people between Christian and Islamic lands, both through forced and voluntary mobility. Specifically, this project focuses on the voluntary arrival and settlement within the Spanish Empire of Muslim, Jewish and Christian populations coming from Islamic lands, most of whom converted to Catholicism as part of the process of migration. This project, which helps us understand the long-term dynamics of human traffic across the Mediterranean, gains contemporary relevance in the light of present-day challenges such as the ongoing refugee crisis and debate about the regulation of migrant flows.

Dr Hongbo Yu - China

Social Value Representation in Subclinical Psychopathy: Neurocognitive Profiles and Intervention

NF160700            University of Oxford       £66,046.95          

How can cold-blooded serial killers torture and kill other human beings without any hesitation or discomfort? In fact, these criminals are more likely to be diagnosed with psychopathy, a personality disorder characterized by enduring antisocial behaviour, diminished empathy and remorse, and boldness. Psychology and neuroscience have demonstrated that individuals with psychopathy exhibited abnormal emotional and neural responses to others’ suffering. However, such finding does not tell us how such individuals actually make their moral decisions, i.e., weighing other’s suffering against their own gains, and vice versa. The proposed project will combine a newly developed moral decision-making paradigm, computational modeling and neuroimaging to (1) quantitatively document the distinctive neurocognitive profiles of moral decision-making in people with psychopathic traits and (2) develop practical interventions to alleviate the deficits of such individuals in moral decision-making.

Dr Tarek Younis - Canada

The Impact of Anti-radicalisation Policies on British Muslims and NHS Healthcare Professionals

NF161271            University College London            £98,997.02

The UK government, in hopes of preventing incidents such as the 7/7 attacks in London, has established policies among NHS professionals to report radicalized individuals to authorities. The British Muslim community has been met with suspicion ever since such policies were introduced. There is a possibility that such policies may negatively affect their access to healthcare. The proposed research will focus on experiences of NHS health practitioners as well as Muslims, examining how such policies are understood by those providing aid as much as those receiving it. It is anticipated that such policies have a negative impact on Muslims’ access to healthcare. By immersing ourselves within communities of Muslims and health professionals, we will deliver a broad outline of the impact these policies have. Our findings will generate testable hypotheses for future research and develop practical means of bridging potential gaps found between the Muslim community and the healthcare sector.

Dr Franziska Sielker - Germany

Power in Planning: Stakeholders’ Choice of Power Channels in EU Sector Policies

NF161284            University of Cambridge                                £96,963.00

The project aims to contribute to more transparency on the ways EU policies are implemented in the fields of infrastructure planning or the common use of the sea. I observed an increasing importance of these EU’s sectoral policies for national planning in my work on large-scale EU cooperation, e.g. leading to national commitments to develop high-speed railways. Policy makers, civil servants, NGOs or interest associations use their regulative or financial power, bargain on deals or advertise their goals to influence the processes. I was intrigued by the varying ways stakeholders choose to operate and question why some are more effective than others. In this project, I explore how stakeholders operate and exercise power in two significant cases of EU sectoral policy implementation, the North Sea Maritime Planning and the Alpine Brenner Transport axis. As a result of this research, stakeholders will be enabled to make better-informed and more effective choices on their exercise of power.

Dr Marika Rullo - Italy

When in Rome: The Impact of Group Dynamics and Social Norms on Tax Behaviour

NF161378            University of Kent at Canterbury               £111,500.01

Schools, hospitals and public services all depend on money generated by general taxation. Almost everyone benefits from these services at some point in their lives. Yet we still do not know why some people deliberately evade paying taxes, and why others (who do pay taxes) tolerate or even condone tax-evaders. To answer these important questions, this project examines two countries – Italy and the UK, which have massively different levels of tax evasion. We use a psychological theory (‘Subjective Group Dynamics) to predict when, whether and why people tolerate tax evasion. We survey people in the two countries to assess their attitudes, then conduct a series of experiments to see how people’s group loyalty, sense of obligation to others, their values and moral perspective determine their choices and decisions about tax evasion. The results of these studies will reveal new psychological techniques that can help to persuade and encourage people to pay their taxes, for the benefit of all.

Dr Ligeia Lugli - United States of America

Lexis and Tradition: Variation in the Vocabulary of Sanskrit Mahayana Literature

NF161436            King's College London                    £81,225.00

The vocabulary of natural languages changes over time. New words are introduced, and old ones acquire new meanings. Specialised languages and technical terminologies, by contrast, are relatively stable. Buddhist Sanskrit vocabulary displays very little change over the centuries. Does this mean that it consists mostly of technical terminology? Or does its apparent stability conceal conceptual change and derive from the constraints of religious discourse, such as the need to disguise conceptual novelty in traditional wording patterns? These questions are essential to properly understand and translate Buddhist texts. The proposed study addresses them by investigating variation in the vocabulary of Buddhist scholastic literature across time, schools and text types, with a view to unravel to mechanisms that govern the meaning and use of words in the Buddhist traditional discourse through the ages.

Dr Cinzia Greco - Italy

Metastatic Breast Cancer: Towards a Chronic Condition?

NF161448            University of Manchester             £75,300.00

Metastatic breast cancer (MBC) is the phase of the disease when the cancer spreads to other parts of the body, when it becomes deadly. My research aims to explore how MBC is represented at three levels: publications in medical journals, the clinical experience of medical professionals and the experience of patients. By analysing medical journals and interviewing medical professionals and MBC patients in the Manchester area, I will investigate how the condition is perceived and experienced. Since the 1990s, as patients survived longer, some medical authors suggested that MBC was turning into a chronic condition. My research will explore this transition and analyse what perceiving MBC as chronic meant for medical practice and the experience of patients.

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