Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards 2003

Bingham, Dr Adrian 
(Institute of Contemporary British History, Institute of Historical Research) 
The Changing Approach of the British Popular Press to Sex and Private Life, 1918-1975

Dr Bingham will research the role of the national press in the sexualisation of popular culture between 1918 and 1975. Across this period, the content of popular newspapers altered significantly as editors gradually redefined ‘news’ and explored subjects previously regarded as ‘private’. Sexual images and features became key elements in the struggle for circulation and the press became far more intrusive into the private lives of public figures; these tendencies, moreover, went further in Britain than in most comparable countries. The research aims to investigate changing perceptions of what was deemed ‘acceptable’ in popular newspapers and how editors attempted to negotiate the tension between exploiting ‘sexy’ material and their continued outspoken defence of ‘family values’. It will also examine the endeavours of the numerous critics of popular newspapers — including politicians, religious leaders, women’s groups and many others — to reform or regulate the press, and analyse the effectiveness of the Press Council, the self-regulatory body established in 1953, in addressing these complaints.

Bowdler, Dr Christopher 
(Nuffield College, Oxford) 
Applications of Modern Econometric Methods to the Analysis of Inflation: Forecasting, Transmission Mechanisms and Theories of Inflation Performance

The research that Dr Bowdler plans to undertake consists of three projects. First, new models for forecasting UK inflation will be developed. This is important given that existing models have recently been associated with forecast failure. The new approach will use knowledge of recent developments in the UK economy to construct forecasting variables that are less likely to shift location relative to the predictand, and which may therefore generate better forecasts. Second, cointegrated VAR models will be used to measure international differences in the extent to which real wages accommodate terms of trade shocks. Both the causes and effects of those differences will be investigated in full. Third, dynamic panel data methods will be used in order to test the hypothesis that average inflation performance within a macroeconomic regime is negatively related to trade openness. This will constitute an indirect test of the highly influential ‘time-consistency’ theory of inflation, which has so far proved difficult to test.

Braithwaite, Dr Jason 
(University of Birmingham, School of Psychology) 
Perceptual Organisation and Visual Selection Over Space and Time

Recent studies (including Dr Braithwaite’s own) have shown that under certain circumstances we can be ‘attentionally- blind’ to new and behaviourally important information. The planned series of experiments will evaluate in detail the nature of this phenomenon of ‘attentional blindness’, since it has important implications for not only understanding the mechanisms of human visual attention, but also for understanding the nature of visual consciousness. Specifically, the project will address the nature of the suppressive and inhibitory processes that lead to attentional blindness using search procedures in which stimuli are segmented across time (the ‘preview-based’ visual search procedure, Watson & Humphreys, 1997). The way in which irrelevant items are coded and suppressed can have important implications for the efficient selection of new information. To address this, experiments will examine the effects of: (i) the featural relations between suppressed (irrelevant) and relevant items, in different tasks, (ii) dynamic changes applied to irrelevant information, (iii) grouping manipulations within irrelevant items and between irrelevant and relevant items, and (iv) how both dual inhibitory and facilitatory attentional processes are involved in search performance over time. Collectively the work will lead to further development of a detailed account of the relations between attended and unattended representations in visual perception, and the mechanisms that generate suppression of irrelevant information. This functional account will significantly advance the area concerning visual selection over time and have major implications for understanding not only particular search processes but also visual selective attention more generally.

Briggs, Dr Chris 
(University of Cambridge, Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure) 
English Peasants and the Provision of Civil Justice, c.1270–c.1400

This research project examines the involvement of medieval English peasants in civil litigation, focussing particularly on the extent to which peasants conducted lawsuits in jurisdictions other than the courts of local landlords. The project has two overarching aims. First, it will enhance understanding of peasant society by investigating the character and uses of legal knowledge and experience among villagers. Secondly, it will contribute to the debate concerning the role of ‘consumer demand’ in the dramatic wider changes in the legal system witnessed in this period. The study will concentrate on the ‘personal actions’, most importantly debt and trespass. A methodology for identifying peasants in legal records will be developed. The research will use manorial documents in combination with royal and church court records. To date, a shortage of systematic work bringing together material from different jurisdictions in this way is one reason why much recent writing on peasants’ access to justice has been rather speculative.

Daryn, Dr Gil 
(School of Oriental and African Studies, Department of Anthropology and Sociology) 
From High-Caste to High Politics? The Discourse of Migration, Identity and Conflict among Young Brahmans in Kathmandu, Nepal

Dr Gil Daryn’s research will focus on the complex transition experienced by rural Brahman youth migrating to Kathmandu and the role of youth in general in Nepal’s contemporary political dynamics. The considerable upsurge in migration from rural areas to the urban metropolis of Kathmandu is one of the most significant corollaries of the ongoing ‘People’s War’, which began in 1996. No other ‘group’ appears to hold the ‘keys’ to Nepal’s future more than young educated Brahman migrants, who have come to constitute the country’s administrative and political elite in recent decades, but also form the leadership of the Maoist rebel movement. The significance, personal and social implications of the migration of young Brahmans, vis-à-vis other ethnic groups, and their emerging discourses of identity, power, ethnicity, politics and conflict will be analysed in an attempt to enhance our understanding of modern Nepal.

El-Rouayheb, Dr Khaled 
(University of Cambridge, Faculty of Divinity) 
Logic in the Arabic-Islamic World, 1500–1800

Dr El-Rouayheb will prepare a study on the history of Arabic-Islamic logic in the period between 1500 and 1800. This study will focus on the works of prominent logicians of the period, such as the Moroccan scholar Hasan al-Yusi (d.1690), and the Ottoman scholars Mustafa al-Mustari (d.1708) and Ismail al-Galanbawi (d.1791). Modern historians of Islamic philosophy have hitherto ignored the works of such scholars, apparently convinced that the period represented one of overall intellectual decline. However, the whole idea of the decline of Arabic-Islamic intellectual life after the thirteenth century sorely needs to be tested, especially since the intellectual life of the later ‘post-classical’ period remains largely unstudied. By actually looking at the works of the period and comparing them to those of the so-called ‘classical’ period of Arabic-Islamic civilization, Dr El-Rouayheb’s study should provide the basis for a less prejudiced view of the later course of Arabic-Islamic logic.

Empson, Dr Rebecca 
(University of Cambridge) 
Objects of Memory: Locating Kinship in Mongolia

The aim of the proposed project is twofold. First, Dr Empson will explore the ways in which Buryat Mongols (a Mongolian ethnic group who live on the Mongolian-Russian border) locate a particular view of kinship in certain objects. These objects stand for individual people or relations between kin members. Secondly, she will examine the role of ‘memory’ in Mongol constructs of the person. This will involve research into reincarnation beliefs, whereby deceased kin members are kept ‘alive’ in the living. Dr Empson will study the means by which the memory of a relationship or person is stored and the access people have to that memory, as well as its intended audience. This will allow for examination of how memories are contained and come to shape a sense of continuity in kin groups, even though kin members and the places they inhabit change seasonally.

Evans, Dr Gillian M 
(Brunel University, Department of Social Anthropology) 
Children in Their Places

Dr Evans’ postdoctoral research will investigate, from a developmental perspective, how a sense of place becomes central to a specific idea of the person, community and national belonging. Her aim is to develop a model for anthropological study relevant to so-called multicultural working class communities in England. Many of these places, such as Bermondsey in Southeast London, where Dr Evans conducted eighteen months fieldwork for her doctoral research, are becoming characterised by segregation on council estates between white working class and ethnic minority cultures. Dr Evans proposes an innovative methodological partnership between participant observation and ethnographic tasks conducted with children and young people. Her objective is to understand how adult ideas about the significance of place emerge as transformations of the often quite different preoccupations of childhood. She will analyse ethnographic tasks pertaining to children and young people’s developing sense of the places they occupy — homes, classrooms, local areas and countries.

Giullari, Dr Susanna 
(University of Oxford, Department of Social Policy and Social Work and St Cross College) 
Individualization and the Significance of Elective and Traditional Kinship as Sources of Informal Childcare

Late modernity discourses on ‘family’ change tend to emphasise its individualized and elective character and to overplay the decline of traditional kin ties. Yet the contradictory pulls between more traditional and more autonomous family relationships, which women experience, suggest that the shift to ‘elective affinities’ is far from complete. Dr Giullari’s research aims to investigate patterns of continuity and change in the configuration, quality and role of kin as a source of informal childcare. It does so by contrasting the experiences of women who provide or receive childcare from friends or ‘chosen families’, with those of others who are engaged in more traditional patterns of informal childcare. This cross-national qualitative comparison will explore how experiences of elective/traditional, equal/unequal, and inclusive/exclusive ‘kin’ relationships vary amongst different social groups of women who inhabit different welfare states and family cultures.

Hamling, Dr Tara J 
(University of Sussex, History of Art Subject Group) 
Decorating the 'Godly' Household: a Comparative Analysis of Post-Reformation Decorative Art in England, Scotland and the Netherlands, c1560-c1650

This study engages in the ongoing scholarly debate concerning the effect of the Reformation on the status and nature of art through an investigation of the interrelationship between Protestantism and the decorative arts. It challenges the prevalent assumption that post-Reformation Protestantism was an inherently ‘anti-visual’ culture by analysing in detail the narrative and figurative iconography depicted in works of ‘decorative art’, including painted walls and ceilings, carved fireplace overmantels, figural plasterwork, embroidered textiles, ceramics and silverware. The study compares decorative art produced in three geographical areas, (England, Scotland and the Netherlands) each developing a form of nascent Protestantism following the Reformation. The project will test the hypothesis that decorative art flourished in Protestant countries following the Reformation, serving as a vehicle for the preservation and elaboration of traditional forms of iconography which were adapted and modified to accommodate the changed cultural and religious context.

Hillner, Dr Julia D M 
(University of Manchester, Department of Classics and Ancient History) 
Imprisonment in Late Antiquity: Christian Memory and Social Reality

It is uncontested among legal historians that imprisonment as punishment does not appear in Roman law. While this is certainly true for the so-called classical period, it has gone largely unnoticed that in the sixth century both canon law and secular law begin to introduce the prison sentence as an end in itself.

This project will explore the motives for this transition towards a punitive and corrective function of imprisonment, which Michel Foucault dated to a much later period. Alongside the legal evidence it will take into account the development of a Christian idea of imprisonment, as presented in patristic texts such as the writings of Tertullian and Augustine, preconstantinian martyr acts and postconstantinian devotional martyr narratives, and the archaeological evidence of cults of imprisoned martyrs. The aim will be to establish to what extent existed an interplay between the social memory of the early Christian martyrs as imprisoned heroes on the one hand and late Roman legal developments on the other.

Howard, Dr Sharon 
(University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Department of History and Welsh History) 
Crime, Order and Violence in Seventeenth-Century England and Wales: Denbighshire, Flintshire and Cheshire, c.1590–1715

Dr Howard’s research will explore the attitudes and activities of those who participated in, utilised or clashed with the authority of the law in southern Britain during the seventeenth century, combining quantitative and qualitative research on court records. The research will examine the use of law in ‘disputes and settlements’ as much as its role in discipline and ‘social control’; it will, in particular, explore the dynamics of, and responses to, violence and conflict in the decades leading up to war and revolution and in its aftermath. Further, it aims to contribute to our understanding of the making of modern Britain, to examine regional and national diversity, social and cultural interactions within the British Isles. It will focus on the historically closely linked border region of north-east Wales and Cheshire – normally, though artificially, viewed only from their respective sides of the English-Welsh border – to address both connections and contrasts.

Karn, Dr Nicholas E 
(University of Oxford) 
The Acta of King Henry I of England, 1100–1135

Central to any understanding of many problems and themes in British history in the eleventh and twelfth centuries are royal writs and charters. Dr Karn’s aim is to extend understanding of English administration in the time of King Henry I through study of these documents. A large proportion of them were delivered to shire courts and constituted the principal means of co-ordinating central and local government. The personnel and functioning of the shire courts remain little understood for this period, and it is necessary to investigate such matters as the functions of local justices and the composition of the court. The centre and the counties were two sides of a single judicial and fiscal system and cannot be understood in isolation from each other

Kelly, Dr Matt J 
(Hertford College, Oxford) 
Ambiguous Attitudes: Ireland and the Empire under the Union

Dr Kelly will analyse the Irish attitudes towards the British Empire in the mid-Victorian period. Starting with the Indian rebellion of 1857, he will trace Irish responses to the ‘formalisation’ of empire, exploring how this process affected Irish nationalist identity and attitudes towards the Union. Just how far did the Irish identify with British imperial interests and how coherent were ideas about empire in the competing nationalist discourses of the period? In order to provide answers to these questions, Dr Kelly will focus on the political and cultural debate in Ireland itself rather than on the direct role the Irish played in imperial enterprises. He hopes that these specific interests can also be situated within the wider historiographical debates regarding the specificity of non-English British responses to imperialism and the complexities of popular engagement with empire.

Kingston, Dr Ralph F S 
(University College London, Department of History) 
Geography and its Networks in Early Nineteenth-Century France

This project seeks to investigate the ‘fruitful chaos’ of early nineteenth-century geography, looking at how information networks allowed geographers to minimise their differences and to imagine a scientific corps. In particular, by recognising the key role played by government personnel in such networks from the 1780s to the 1840s, this project will trace the emergence of a symbiotic relationship between state and civil society and the creation of professional codes of behaviour to govern competition between different methodologies and approaches. Taking a roughly chronological approach, Geography and its Networks will trace the development of geographic science from the ‘old regime’ of the 1780s, to the geographical imperatives of the Revolution, to the post-Revolutionary dependence of the state on civil society, and to the emergence of colonialism and the birth of the ‘nation-state’. At all stages, Dr Kingston will explore the richness of the period’s various geographic approaches, rather than discarding those which do not fit ‘modern’ conceptions, explaining their rise and fall by combining the techniques of social, cultural and intellectual history

Lewis, Dr Rhodri 
(Wolfson College, Oxford) 
Artificial Memory and its Uses in Early Modern England (c1500-1700)

The English renaissance saw the relegation of the arts of memory from the central position they held in the medieval period to something that was only of limited rhetorical expediency. However, the late sixteenth century saw the reintegration of Aristotelian philosophy into the particularly rhetorical sort of humanism that had come to characterise English intellectual life, a part of which was the repositioning of memory as a part of faculty psychology. Artificial memory this became something that could enhance the mind’s natural capabilities, not least as a part of the Baconian advancement of learning. Despite the efforts expended on them, however, by the end of the seventeenth century information storage had become exclusively documentary and memory was not seen as something that could or should be perfected, instead becoming the object of psychological investigation. Dr Lewis’s study aims to examine the importance attached to memory within broader patterns of early modern English philosophical, religious and literary thought – in particular with respect to the ability of the human mind to comprehend the natural world – and to identify and position approaches to artificial memory upon this canvas.

Long, Dr Graham M 
(University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, School of Geography, Politics and Sociology) 
Relativism in the Political Philosophy of International Relations

Relativism is often set in opposition to cosmopolitan ideas of global justice – it functions, for example, as a common objection to the idea of universal human rights. Dr Long’s research aims to contribute a distinctive relativist analysis of contemporary questions of global justice. It examines in particular two aspects of the relationship between relativism and world politics. The first concerns the supposed incompatibility of relativism and cosmopolitan ideals. Through a consideration of contemporary theories of universal human rights and justified intervention or ‘just war’, it will be argued that relativism is not the straightforward barrier to global justice that it is often thought to be. Instead, relativism is not only compatible with, but can also underpin, the search for some global principles of justice. However, relativism stresses the difficulty in providing strong justifications for the imposition of moral norms, and the second focus of the research develops and explores the implications of this key relativist claim about the nature of interpersonal moral justification. Dr Long’s analysis will trace its ramifications for both the content of worldwide principles of justice, and the institutions used to realise them.

Marquaille, Dr Céline 
(King’s College London, Department of Classics) 
Hellenistic Cyprus: Royal Power and Political Identity in a Multi-Cultural Society

This new research work will deal with the important historical and historiographical issues of the exercise of power in the Hellenistic period by focussing on the occupation of Cyprus by members of the Ptolemaic dynasty between 321 and 58BC, providing for the first time an exhaustive study of Hellenistic Cyprus. Previous studies on Cyprus have neglected the Hellenistic period because Ptolemaic direct administration is still often synonymous with political apathy and the decline of Cypriot culture. Recent excavations in Amathontus and Salamis, and an exhaustive corps of epigraphic and archaeological evidence will help not only approach the problem of ‘cultural’ decline in Hellenistic times, but also re- instate the extent of cultural and institutional (inter-)changes. Traditional instruments of power (garrisons, direct rule, taxation policy) will be confronted with ideological power structures that reinforced the interaction between ruler and ruled (civic institutions, honours to Ptolemaic officials), in order both to describe the reality of power in a Hellenistic possession and to identify the nature and purpose of the Ptolemaic empire.

McMillan, Dr Alastair 
(Nuffield College, Oxford) 
Electoral Behaviour in India

Electoral politics in India shows distinctive regional patterns of party competition, with a complex interaction between outcomes at the National and State level. Despite the weak federalism of the Indian Constitution, this party-political fractionalization has resulted in an effective electoral federalism, with the power of the centre constrained through the influence of regional parties and State governments. Such electoral diversity has emerged despite the presence of traditionally strong and centrist political parties, and a plurality electoral system associated, through Duverger’s law, with a two-party system. Alistair McMillan’s work explores the relationship between institutional structure and patterns of socio-economic politicization, looking at the development of party competition at the regional level. This brings together three main strands of political analysis: regionalism and multi-level electoral politics; the institutional influence of electoral systems; and the political sociology of party mobilization. It should provide wider understanding of the relationship between patterns of socio-economic identities, regionalism and the nature of political representation.

Mengoni, Dr Luisa 
(University College London) 
Along the Border: Contested Identities in South-Western China During the First Millennium BC

The cultural and social landscape of South-west China during the first millennium BC and its relationship with the civilisations of the central plain, the nomadic cultures of north China and the bronze cultures of South-east Asia still remains a largely unexplored domain. This project focuses on the bronze cultures developed in SW China (NW Sichuan, SW Sichuan and N Yunnan) during the first millennium BC. It will specifically explore the existence and formation of various cultural, social and possibly ethnic groups living in diverse ecological zones (mountains, river valleys, plain) and characterised by different economic and social systems (nomadic, semi-nomadic, agricultural) and distinct mortuary practices (slate tombs, megalithic tombs, shafts, wooden coffins). The research will mainly make use of archaeological data from funerary contexts, like bronze weapons, ornaments, pottery vessels and possibly organic remains. An integrated analysis of their characteristics and use at local level will be used to explore the social complexity and stratification within the communities. The analysis of their spatial distribution will instead aim to detect significant discontinuities or cross-cutting patterns in the mortuary practices of the whole region. These patterns will eventually be connected to dynamics of interaction and exchange between the groups settled along the mountainous areas of western Sichuan and northern Yunnan and the sedentary inhabitants of the Sichuan Plain and river valleys, as well as with the movements and inter-cultural contacts between the various groups living in western Sichuan and northern Yunnan.

Mukherjee, Dr Ankhi 
(Wadham College, Oxford) 
Rewriting Influence: Plagiarism, Translation and Metamorphosis of the Canon

Studying the literary phenomenon of reworking canonical texts in postmodern and/or postcolonial contexts, Dr Ankhi Mukherjee’s research project presents rewriting as central to literary invention, not marginal. The Eurocentric canon, and the dominant modalities in which it is received, afford a site of historical emergence through which both the postmodern novel and contemporary literary criticism can fruitfully attempt to rethink their cultural identity and politics. The ‘crisis’ of the literary canon is celebrated in this work as its opening to interventions (by minorities) and belated tellings that dislodge familiar reading formations. This thesis combines several theoretical foci – poststructuralist, psychoanalytic, postmodernist, postcolonial – to think about contemporary returns to the canon. The body of this work is divided into three parts. Each frames its discussion of late-twentieth century English and Anglophone narratives with proposed critical concepts: ‘imitation/plagiarism’, ‘metamorphosis’, and ‘translation’. Literary examples include feminist appropriations of Charles Dickens’s mobility narratives, Salman Rushdie’s extrapolations of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and postcolonial translations of Shakespeare.

Newson, Dr Paul 
(University of Durham, Department of Archaeology) 
Rural Settlement in the Roman to Islamic Near East: Social and Cultural Change, between the 1st and 8th Centuries AD

The aim of Dr Newson’s project is to highlight the socio-political, economic and agrarian impact of cultural changes within the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire. Applying an integrated approach to landscape archaeology, the project will examine the processes affecting the intense developments and apparent discontinuities of rural settlement in the Roman to early Islamic Near East, between the first and eighth centuries AD. The results of detailed analyses of recent and ongoing surveys within the region will inform debates on the key issues behind settlement change for the Roman Near East. Furthermore, the application of a Geographical Information System (GIS) will provide an intuitive tool to the analysis of a large corpus of data from a detailed landscape regional survey. This cohesive approach will in turn fill major lacunae in our knowledge of the Roman Empire and will be a useful comparative guide for other temporal periods and geographic regions, in particular the Western Roman Empire.

Palfrey, Dr David 
(University of Cambridge, Faculty of History) 
European Intellectual Contexts for British Jurisprudence, 1825-1840

Dr David Palfrey’s research will aim to recover the variety of ways in which general-purpose periodicals presented questions of jurisprudence and legal reform to English ‘public opinion’ around 1832. Political debate over the 1832 Reform Bill crucially invoked jurisprudence, including continental jurisprudence. Yet English law was simultaneously professionalizing, and debates over English legal reform growing increasingly insular: isolated from other intellectual debates within England, as well as from continental jurisprudence. This double sequestration of law arguably helped subsequent English social and philosophical inquiry to appear ‘exceptional’ in European terms. Particular attention will therefore be paid to the place of continental jurisprudence in English debate, by examining the political motivations of English translators of continental jurists, and using the correspondence of English legal reformers to determine their place in pan-European legal reform networks.

Paoli, Dr S 
(University of Cambridge, Department of Italian) 
A Comparative Investigation of the Left-Periphery of the Clause

Recent research both inside and outside the generative tradition has shown that the initial portion of a clause – containing the complementiser (eg words like English that in John hopes that Mary comes tomorrow) and associated material – is considerably more complex in its structure than has previously been thought. Building on her doctoral research, Dr Paoli proposes to investigate further the so-called left periphery, concentrating on a comparative investigation, within the generative grammar framework, of the information encoded therein. More specifically, through the collection and analysis of dialectical data, Dr Paoli wishes to address the question of the relationship between the complementiser and the inflectional domains, which in turn bears on the theoretical issue of the nature of the interface between the two. The merits of her intended research are two-fold: to provide a comprehensive insight into the way the left periphery interacts with the inflectional domain, and, on a more abstract level, to analyse how syntactic representation can capture and encode information relating to both the discourse and the internal structure of the clause.

Paterson, Dr Helena 
(University of Glasgow, Department of Psychology) 
Human Cognition and Representation of Dynamic Social Events

Our every-day world changes constantly, resulting in a dynamic tapestry of events that we must somehow make sense of and interact with. Among the most interesting signals in our dynamic world, are the social signals that allow us to interact with other humans. It seems that the process by which we attribute personality traits, emotions, motivations and intentions is effortless and unconscious. This has lead to some interesting demonstrations whereby non-human animated objects can appear to have the same qualities as humans, which raises the question, how are dynamic social events represented by the human cognition system? The central goal of Dr Helena Paterson’s research is therefore to gain insight into the psychological representation of social dynamic events. While addressing theoretical issues in cognitive science and practical issues as to the application of findings, this research will also address the broader philosophical question of what exactly is a social precept.

Probert, Dr D W 
(University of Birmingham, Department of Medieval History) 
A Study in Social Transition and the Processes of Acculturation and Place-Name Formation in the West Country, c.400 to c.1100

The overall research aim is to examine the processes of cultural, political and linguistic change in an area comprising Devon, Dorset, Somerset, south Gloucestershire and west Wiltshire during the period c.400 to c.1100. A multidisciplinary reassessment of the surviving historical, archaeological, toponymic and landscape evidence will be used to establish a contextual framework for the study. Dr Probert will then focus in more detail on the English penetration, acculturation and assimilation of the region during the sixth to tenth centuries. Of crucial importance to this research will be the philological analysis and evaluation of toponymic evidence, with regard both to the linguistic information that place-names preserve and to what the local patterns of place-name formation, survival or replacement can reveal about the society that gave rise to them. The main research objective is to improve our understanding of the transition and possible continuities between post-Roman British and Anglo-Saxon societies in the region.

Sanson, Dr Helena 
(University of Cambridge, Department of Italian) 
Grammars 'For the Ladies' in the History of Linguistic Thought: Italy and the European Tradition (16th - 19th Century)

Dr Sanson’s research will examine the role and the implications of grammars written for women (‘for the Ladies’, ‘pour les Dames’, ‘per le Dame’, ‘für Frauenzimmer’) between the sixteenth and the nineteenth centuries, with particular reference to the Italian context. Little attention has been paid up to now to the relationship between women and grammar, in spite of the ever-growing interest in different aspects of women’s life in the Western world through the centuries: as for Italy, the subject is virtually unexplored. By studying the history and the formation of these grammars, the project will question the common assumption that the grammatical tradition of Western Europe is essentially a masculine one. The objective is to assess women’s role and contribution – whether as authors or addressees of grammatical texts – in this particular field of linguistic thought and history of printing, throughout a crucially important period in the formation of national languages.

Schröder-Butterfill, Dr Elisabeth 
(University of Oxford, Oxford Institute of Ageing and St Cross College) 
Old-Age Vulnerability and Social Networks in Southeast Asia

The central question for Dr Schröder-Butterfill’s research is: Why are some elderly people in Southeast Asia vulnerable, while others are secure? The answer requires understanding of how social networks function. Elderly people rely on a range of interconnected sources to fulfil their social and material needs, while their contributions to networks also divert resources away from them. People’s reputation influences the support they deserve, and hierarchies of networks shape access to local and national resources. Networks are difficult to study because membership is fluid, exchanges within them heterogeneous, and their reliability often only apparent in a crisis. The research will be longitudinal and comparative and employ ethnographic and demographic methods. Elderly support networks first documented during doctoral research in Java will be followed up and their responsiveness to old-age transitions examined. They will then be compared with networks of Malays and Indians in Malaysia. The aim is to explain what it is about the composition, processes and dynamics of networks that reduces or heightens elderly people’s vulnerability, defined in terms of the risks of destitution, social exclusion, and uncertainty about future support.

Shea, Dr Nicholas 
(Somerville College, Oxford) 
Developmental Adequacy Constraints on Theories of Mental Content

Thoughts have content, but it is an unresolved fundamental problem in philosophy of mind to explain why they have the contents they do. Theorists of content rarely allow that the circumstances of development are amongst the factors which determine content. Although a theory of content must be compatible with the ways in which representation-producing mechanisms are acquired, the latter are thought to be a matter for separate empirical investigation. This research project questions that assumption. It will investigate whether ontogeny places any substantive metaphysical constraints on the content of a mental representation. A positive answer would solve Fodor’s puzzle about the innateness of lexical concepts, and would explain theorists’ tendency to treat the content of representations produced by special-purpose systems as fixed by their individual circumstances of development. More broadly, it offers a framework in which to unify diverse results from experimental and developmental psychology, in the context of a theory formulated at the intersection between philosophy and psychology.

Tapsell, Dr Grant 
(University of Cambridge, Faculty of History and Darwin College) 
Chapters in Politics: The State and the Cathedral Clergy in Later Stuart England, 1660–c1714

This study will examine the cathedrals as integral parts of the church-state regime that dominated English political life from the Restoration until the nineteenth-century. Within the church, cathedral preferments were eagerly sought after and their holders represented a recognized elite. Within the state, deans and canons were important local political players, and polemicists and preachers whose arguments could reach a national audience. Nevertheless, the membership and activity of the cathedral clergy have been largely neglected in modern research into the politics of the Restoration period. Chapters in Politics will aim to place the cathedral clergy’s political life within the visual and aural contexts of their magnificent surroundings. It will also address their engagement with broad political issues, examining both the lingering influence of pre-civil war Laudian ideas and clericalist tendencies, and the novel political polarization of a period that saw the emergence of Whig and Tory politics.

Tomlinson, Dr Emily 
(Royal Holloway University of London, Department of French) 
The Afterlife of Torture: Post-Memory, Politics and Fiction in Algeria and France, 1954–2002

The aim of Dr Tomlinson’s project is to document and elucidate the effects of the widespread human rights abuses which took place during the 1954–1962 Franco-Algerian War as these effects have been manifested in the aesthetic and political cultures of the two countries involved. It extends the scope, and the chronology, of her doctoral research on Algerian history and narrative in the 1950s and 1960s to encompass parallel developments in the literature, film and ideological morphology of metropolitan France, as well as the differing perspectives on torture which have been articulated, subsequently, on both sides of the Mediterranean. The field of inquiry is thus not only the collective and individual memory of violence, but also the ‘post-memory’, the belated or inherited apprehension of events by non- witnesses and non-combatants; and the historical problematic, not only the iniquity of conflict, but also an on-going imaginative investment in the war which has propelled it, in recent years, back into public view.

Walker, Dr Richard 
(London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economics) 
Part 1: Labour Market Policy in a Dixit-Stiglitz/Mortensen-Pissarides Framework; Part 2: The Division of Labour and Economic Development - Taking Adam Smith Seriously

Dr Walker will undertake two distinct projects. The first will investigate the general equilibrium impact of labour market policy in an economy characterised by imperfect competition and matching frictions. This will permit a more sophisticated evaluation of the effects of, say, firing costs by examining their implications for the pricing policy of intermediate-good firms. The second will consider Adam Smith’s dictum that the wealth of nations is determined by the extent of the division of labour. Smith’s pin-factory metaphor has received relatively little attention from neoclassical economists. While models of ‘specialisation’ and growth abound, these typically invoke Marshallian externalities that lay outside the boundaries of the firm; there is no sense in which an individual enterprise is choosing to narrow its range of activities in order to increase productivity. The theoretical and empirical bases for such firm-level diseconomies of scope will be considered, as well as the attendant macroeconomic implications.

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