Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards 2005
Alloway, Dr R G
Edinburgh, English Language and Literature (H6; H10)
The Robert Cadell Diaries
In the course of his work on British publishing archives, Dr Alloway has come across twenty-four diaries of the prominent Edinburgh publisher, Robert Cadell (1788-1849). The aim of the project is to transcribe and fully annotate these diaries. They span the years 1824 to1849 and cover Cadell's career from his waning association with Archibald Constable, the publishing crash of 1826, his incredibly successful publication of the Waverly Novels, to the last days before his death. The value of the diaries should not be underestimated. They detail Cadell's interactions with authors and other members of the trade, as well as his personal life. Because nearly every day is described, they provide a continuous, first-hand account of the nineteenth-century publishing world by one of its most skilled practitioners and will become an unparalleled resource for developing research regarding author/publisher relations, the economics of literary production, publishing trade relations, and biographical information.
Armenteros, Dr C R
Cambridge, Modern History from c.1800 (H10; H9)
French Moral Economics after the Revolution
This project intends to elucidate two mysteries of the French history of ideas: the intellectual fate that the school of idéologie underwent in the wake of the Revolution, and the nature of French moral economics. Scholarly interest in the idéologues stagnated for the better part of the twentieth century. It has revived only recently—and then only feebly. In addition, nothing resembling the by now voluminous studies of the moral origins of Anglo-Saxon capitalist theory (notably Adam Smith) has ever been done on the idéologues, or for that matter on French political economy around 1800. This study focuses on the multiple approaches to the problem of a moral political economy that the last heirs of Voltaire devised from the 1790s to the 1820s. The preliminary results suggest a rich variety of moral economies within idéologie, whose proposals for the ethical regulation of capitalism are of pressing present relevance—and whose philosophical disparity challenges the traditional definition of idéologie itself.
Beresford-Jones, Dr D G
Cambridge, Archaeology (H7)
Pre-Hispanic Prosopis-Human Relationships on the South Coast of Peru: Riparian Forests in the Context of Environmental and Cultural Trajectories of the Lower Ica Valley
Dr Beresford-Jones' research studies environmental changes and their relation with human cultural trajectories on the arid south coast of Peru. Archaeological interpretations of this area often invoke the regional effects of the ENSO (El Niño) phenomenon. His research seeks also to distinguish more gradual, often human-induced changes: in particular the significance of Prosopis riparian woodland deforestation.
In his PhD, Dr Beresford-Jones used multi-proxy data sources in reconstructing geomorphological, ecological and land-use changes in Samaca, one of the riparian oases basins of the lower Río Ica, to address the questions of when and how did change take place in the basin; why did it occur; and how do these changes correlate with cultural changes? His post-doctoral research will expand the scale of this analysis to the adjacent, larger Ullujaya and Callango Basins, both of which demonstrate copious archaeological evidence of substantial past occupation despite their currently almost abandoned condition.
Blanch, Dr S J
Sussex English Language and Literature (H6)
'Lively Words': Wit, Women and Writing (1905-1939)
Dr Blanch's project foregrounds the cultural and critical significance of humour in modernist writing by women in the years 1905-1939. Recent critical attempts to assert the 'seriousness' of women's contributions to literary modernism have strategically overlooked much of the playfulness and pleasure of these texts. This research will seek to reclaim the relationship between wit and women's writing in the period to suggest that it posed an effective challenge to Freud's gendered analysis of the joke as a comic conspiracy on the side of men. From this contextual position, Dr Blanch will advance a series of close textual readings of work by major women modernists Virginia Woolf, Gertrude Stein and Djuna Barnes, before extending the parameters of her study to include a number of their less familiar contemporaries. The central aim of this research is to reveal the comic potential of these writers' 'lively words', and their ability to disrupt, subvert and overturn existing social hierarchies and gendered assumptions.
Borgonovi, Dr F
LSE, Economics and Economic History (S2)
Altruism and Subjective Well-Being: Can Fiscal Policies Strengthen the Link?
Dr. Borgonovi will explore whether engaging in two forms of altruistic activity, voluntary work and donations of money affects individual well-being and whether government action can influence the ability of individuals to fulfill their aspirations. The project is based on data from the United Kingdom and the United States and has three components. The first part will assess to what degree donations of time and money affect individual subjective well-being. The second will examine the performance of two alternative fiscal policies in stimulating the supply of donations. The project will test the assumption that policies lowering the sacrifice required to perform an activity are equivalent (in terms of the effect they have on supply levels) to policies increasing the benefit the activity yields to the recipients' altruistic acts. The final part will evaluate the impact government grants to non-profit organisations have on donations and voluntary work.
Bowsher, Dr C G
Oxford (Nuffield), Economics and Economic History (S2)
Econometrics for Decision Analysis: A Utility-Based Approach to Forecasting and Model Evaluation
There is a pressing need for econometric methods tailored to the use of data for economic decision making. Since models are usually misspecified, the decision maker's problem and preferences have important consequences for econometric inference. Dr Bowsher will adopt a novel, utility-based approach, which fully integrates the economic decision analysis with the approach to econometric forecasting, model estimation and model evaluation. The planned research falls into two main categories: the development of new theory and methods for the econometric solution of decision problems using the framework of Prequential Analysis (Dawid 1984); and the application of these to financial decision problems of practical importance, namely trader order submission and portfolio allocation problems. Theoretical issues to be considered include the properties of extremum estimators maximising the realised utility criterion and the use of this criterion in model comparison. Applied work will focus on sequential problems and the design of simulation algorithms for econometric decision analysis.
Carvounis, Dr A N
Cambridge, Classical Languages (Greek and Latin) (H1)
Studies in Later Greek Hexameter Poetry
After completing a commentary on Quintus of Smyrna, Posthomerica XIV (3rd c. AD) within the first year of the fellowship, Dr Carvounis will examine tradition and innovation in later Greek mythological poetry from the 2nd to the 6th centuries AD. This project will focus in particular on fragmentary poems on papyri and the epyllia of Triphiodorus and Colluthus as well as the epics of Quintus and Nonnus to offer a nuanced and more complete picture of Greek poetic culture in the Roman Empire. The reception of the earlier literary tradition and the use of contemporary educational practices by 'archaising' and 'non-archaising' poets will provide an angle through which to explore different ways of understanding imitation in later Greek mythological poetry. The objective of this project is to contextualise Greek poetry in the Imperial period, which remains a large, understudied and particularly rewarding chapter in the history of Greek literature.
Condry, Dr R F
LSE, Socio-Legal Studies (S1; S4)
Restorative Justice and Familial Shame
Dr Condry's research will explore the role of offenders' relatives in Restorative Justice forums and the processes underlying these events, the theoretical ideas that inform these processes and how these ideas are understood by those on the ground - facilitators and participants. The project will examine how Restorative Justice events 'work', the role of shaming, and how this interlinks with family.
Restorative Justice has grown remarkably in popularity in recent years and an enormous literature has proliferated, but little attention has been paid to the role of offenders' supporters. The research aims to understand that role, using a variety of primarily qualitative methods to map how these events are occurring with offenders in the UK. It will be the first empirical study to take offenders' family members in Restorative Justice as its starting point and to seek to theorise the processes that occur from their perspective. This will be placed in the context of existing discourse about the relationship between the family and the state, family responsibilities and the impact of different responses to crime.
Cornaglia, Dr F
UCL, Economics and Economic History (S2)
An Economic Analysis of Obesity
Obesity is understood to be a problem with severe societal effects. At times where demographic development and ever increasing costs of medical treatment impose a severe strain on health systems, obesity is increasingly identified as an additional cost factor. Questions concerning the causes of obesity, its effects on individual careers and social systems and the interactions between these are certainly complex, and not yet well understood. Dr Cornaglia's research will study the economic aspects of obesity, both at the individual level and the wider society, welfare, and health care systems level. The project will also investigate the life cycle dimension and the dynastic dimension of obesity: the foundation for obese conditions later in life may well be laid at earlier life cycle stages, and obesity may be associated between generations.
Course, Dr M E G
LSE, Social Anthropology (S3)
The Changing Value of Linguistic Forms among the Mapuche of Southern Chile
Dr Course's project will explore the ways in which indigenous Mapuche people of southern Chile utilize different forms of language to different ends. It will do so in the context of increasing bilingualism and integration into the national education system. The different kinds of relationships which constitute Mapuche society could be said to correspond to different forms of language. Whereas some forms of language create and express relations of equality and shared identity, other forms refer to relations of hierarchy and difference. By approaching the various formal and informal contexts in which distinct forms of language are used, the project will seek to understand how language itself may become an objectified form of social practice. The growth of Spanish/Mapudungun bilingualism raises further questions concerning the relative values of different linguistic forms within a single language, and between the different languages themselves. By exploring the role of language in the constitution of social relations, the project seeks to address a lacuna in contemporary anthropological theory.
Crewe, Dr L A [Reckitt Postdoctoral Fellowship in Archaeology]
Manchester, Archaeology (H7)
Negotiating Identity in the Late Bronze Age Mediterranean
The aim of Dr Crewe's research is to examine the processes through which people within a small-scale and isolated society negotiated the impact of integration into a pre-existing sophisticated social network. On Late Bronze Age Cyprus, the resultant borrowing and reinterpretation of ideas, symbols and technologies saw the development of a new identity as expressed through material culture. Focussing on both stylistic and technological attributes of Middle-Late Bronze Age Cypriot and Levantine ceramics, the aim of the project is to move beyond neo-evolutionary paradigms of simple to complex society and, particularly, to provide a different perspective from top-down models of social change engendered by an emphasis on 'luxury' goods in the archaeological record. Focus on such 'everyday' items as utilitarian ceramics, will allow investigation of the participation of the entire population in the creation of identity during a dynamic period of eastern Mediterranean prehistory.
Dent, Dr P R
Courtauld Institute of Art, History of Art (H11)
Sculpture and the Senses in Late Medieval Italy
A rich strand of theoretical writing about sculpture has argued that one of its characteristics as an art form is its ability to stimulate the sense of touch, in contrast to painting, which is primarily concerned with sight. Dr Dent proposes to examine the validity of this idea against a well-defined historical context spanning the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries in Italy. He will be particularly concerned with the strategies that sculptors employed in order to communicate a sense of 'presence'. This analysis will draw on the evidence of saints' lives, devotional works and other literature of the period. The study will also seek to assess the relative impact of late medieval developments in devotional practice, theology, philosophy, optics and medicine on both the status of the senses and the role played by sculptural objects within a religious context.
Dueck, Dr J M
Oxford, Modern History from c.1800 (H10)
Ford, Dr M A
Cambridge, Linguistics (S6; H4)
Building Blocks of Language: Morphology in the Mental Lexicon
The goal of this project is to investigate the uniquely human ability to understand language, more specifically the nature of the representations stored in the mental dictionary or lexicon, how these are organised and how this affects processing. One view of language proposes that morphemes, the smallest meaningful unit of language (help-ful-ness) are the structural elements used in language comprehension and that special processes are required to decompose polymorphemic words into their constituent morphemes. An opposing view disputes the existence of morphemic representations or any processes of morphological decomposition. The debate between these views relates to the wider issue of whether higher cognition is domain specific or domain general, since the existence of morphological decomposition implies that there are processes specific to language comprehension. The proposed research will develop novel studies using electrophysiological brain imaging techniques and powerful statistical techniques to investigate the evidence for morphological representation and decomposition in order to illuminate the fundamental organisation of the language processing system.
Forshaw, Dr P J
Birkbeck College, English Language and Literature (H5)
Imagines Magorum: Ritual Magic in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1650
Faustus and Prospero are two of the most iconic figures of the Renaissance literary imagination, but almost no work has been done on the reality of learned ritual magic in the sixteenth century. This project investigates the persistence of divine and demonic magic in this period and analyses its content and practice. Critical of Yates' contrast between a 'new elegant magic' and the 'old dirty magic' of the Middle Ages, Dr Forshaw shows how the medieval activities of the necromancers she abjures do survive and indeed enjoy a resurgence among Protestant scholars in post-Reformation Europe. This study begins with an examination of the image of the learned magus in contemporary occult literature, considering how practitioners assimilated magic into prevailing scientific, medical and religious belief. It shall develop a typology of magical practice and introduce a discussion of the communicability of occult forms of knowledge, contemplating the interplay between image and text in magical discourse. The project's focus is on the more covert magic of divine and demonic ritual, the practices of theurgy and goetia, which generally only survive in manuscript form.
Haywood, Dr S L
Edinburgh, Psychology (S6)
Individual Differences in Perspective-Taking During Dialogue
People engaged in a conversation rarely have exactly the same knowledge or beliefs about the topic under discussion. So, successful communication sometimes involves producing and interpreting spoken language with reference to our interlocutor's perspective rather than our own. Conversation can be laborious without this kind of perspective-taking, yet not everyone seems to engage in it. What determines whether someone considers their interlocutor's point of view? Dr Haywood will conduct a series of experimental studies to investigate factors underlying behavioural differences in perspective-taking. This research will integrate insights from several different literatures in psychology (including psycholinguistics, social cognition, and differential psychology) to inform a theoretical account of perspective-taking in human communication. Cognitive skills that may underlie the ability to take an interlocutor's perspective into account (such as working memory) will be explored, along with personality variables that could influence a person's inclination to engage in conversational perspective-taking.
Hortala-Vallve, Dr R
Oxford (Nuffield), Economics and Economic History (S2; S5)
Voter Responsiveness to Information in Multi-Issue Situations
Dr Hortala-Vallve's main research interests lie in the area of Political Economy. Using the tools of economic analysis he plans to study how differing relative intensities of preferences across various issues affect agents' voting behaviour. In his PhD thesis, Dr Hortala-Vallve proposed and began an exploration of a mechanism he termed Qualitative Voting, which allows voters to express the intensity of their preferences. In future research, he plans to conduct a formal comparison between Qualitative Voting and the common practice of 'logrolling', exploring the relative performance of these two mechanisms. In addition, he wants to complement the theoretical analysis of Qualitative Voting with a systematic experimental investigation, exploring how subjects react to different informational settings. Whereas the research proposed so far concerns voting behaviour in small groups such as legislative committees, another theme of the postdoctoral research concerns how voters in elections decide whether to vote, and, if so, for whom to vote. He is particularly interested in understanding how voters aggregate information about politicians' stand on diverse issues and how this affects their voting behaviour.
James, Dr F R
Oxford (Christ Church), English Language and Literature (H6; H5)
The 'Open Converse' of Romanticism and Dissent: A Study of Reading, Writing and Critical Practice in Unitarian Literary Communities, 1770-1900
Dr James' project explores Dissenting creativity within the wider context of British Romantic and Victorian literature, focussing on Unitarian communities of readers and writers. She will analyse patterns of reading, writing, and sociability within Unitarian circles of families, friends, and worshippers - to take particular examples, the Aikins, the Johnsons, and the Gaskells - and show how this both reflects, and helps to shape, literary culture from the mid-eighteenth to the close of the nineteenth century. Using private correspondence and reading-journals alongside poetry, sermons, and periodicals, a complex picture of creative response and exchange will be built up. Through close examination of allusion and inter-textual echoes, she intends to uncover conversations which stretch across period and genre boundaries. Her aim is, ultimately, to demonstrate how Unitarian writing, and reading, may be understood as a complex force in the shaping of literary culture and the canon.
Jennings, Dr W J
LSE, Political Studies (S5)
Vox Pop: The Regulation of Government by Public Opinion?
The regulation of risk by government, and the reciprocal regulation of government by public opinion, represent issues of considerable salience for understanding modern governance. Dr William Jennings' research examines the influence of public opinion on government policy ('policy responsiveness') in the U.K. for the period 1979 to 2004. This analyses time series trends and the statistical interactions between government policy and public opinion. Building upon this quantitative analysis of the U.K. 'macro polity', qualitative research assesses the patterns of 'responsiveness' that are identifiable for a selected group of risk regulation policies. The six regulatory regimes that are selected for analysis are: (i) immigration/asylum, (ii) terror risks and homeland security, (iii) the MMR vaccine, (iv) the 'nation's diet', (iv) cloning, and (vi) genetic profiling. The comparative design of research assesses the technical/scientific parameters of policy as potential explanatory variables that determine responsiveness to public opinion.
Jones, Dr M J
Cambridge, Linguistics (H4)
The Role of Segmental Contrasts in Constraining Speech Timing Patterns
What are the basic organisational units in speech? Users of alphabetic writing systems tend to expect them to be linearly-ordered invariant units (segments), but evidence from phonetics, phonology and psycholinguistics for the primacy of segments is less conclusive. The latter half of the 20th century saw the segment broken up into smaller recurring composite units, such as articulatory movements, and recent work on the spatiotemporal organisation of such movements within syllables has shown the cohesiveness of the segment to be subordinate to a syllabic template of articulatory timing. This research project will use data from the temporal organisation of segments in English and other languages to argue that, very often, the segment (and the wider pattern of language-specific segmental contrasts it enters into) is the primary determinant of spatiotemporal patterns, and is indispensable as an explanatory unit.
Khan, Dr Y
Royal Holloway, Modern History from c.1800 (H10; S5)
The Secular State: Policies and Practices in North India, 1946-1964
There has been a significant debate in India in recent years about the place of secularism in contemporary Indian state policy. However this has not been grounded in empirical historical research. The years 1947-1964 were India's secular heyday under the leadership of Prime Minister Nehru and the Congress party. Minorities had their rights in the state guaranteed and communal violence between Hindus and Muslims was infrequent. Dr Khan will explore how this secular policy was negotiated and implemented at local and regional levels. This project will analyse how secularism was established in the postcolonial state by examining local experiences of Congress rule and will investigate the subtle and highly contested manner in which Muslims and other minorities were included in the project of nation building.
Kitson, Dr P M
Cambridge, Demography (S2; S4)
The Economic Context of Family Formation in England, c.1550-1851
Dr Kitson's research seeks to investigate how the economic contexts of individuals influenced patterns of family formation in England between the mid-sixteenth and mid-nineteenth centuries. During this period, England experienced massive population growth and economic change. Demographic change was principally associated with increasing nuptiality and thus the creation of new households. Meanwhile, the household lost many of its economically productive facets as it became primarily a unit of reproduction and consumption. However, little direct empirical research has been conducted into how the behaviour of historical actors leading to the formation of households were related to their livelihoods, how it was influenced by the changing strategies by which households supported themselves, or on the extent of regional variation during this period. By performing a series of case studies of communities with distinctive local economies, it will be possible to address these issues, and to assess the extent to which demographic experiences varied between and within different communities.
Lerman, Dr H
Warwick, Philosophy (H12)
Experience, Concepts and World
How should we account for our ability to think about the mind-independent objects surrounding us and their mind-independent properties? Intuitively, this ability is due to our perceptual experience of objects and properties. However, doubts have been raised as to whether it is possible to provide a philosophical account which preserves this intuition. The aim of this project is to show how perceptual experience can play a central role in an explanation of our ability to think about mind-independent objects and properties. The key idea is that we can clarify how experience provides us with this ability by describing: (i) the perceptual mechanisms which underlie our experiences, (ii) our primitive conception of objects, properties and our ability to experience them, and (iii) the relation between (i) and (ii). In her doctoral thesis Hemdat Lerman develops this idea in regard to objects; in the current project she will focus on properties.
Macaskill, Dr G
St Andrews, Theology and Religious Studies (H2)
A Critical Edition of 2(Slavonic) Enoch
2 Enoch is an apocalypse of uncertain origin, preserved now only in Slavonic manuscripts but possibly derived from Jewish traditions from the dawn of the Common Era. Study of this pseudepigraphon has been hampered by the weaknesses of Vaillant's critical edition (Le Livre des Secrets d'Henoch, Paris: Institut d'Etudes Slaves, 1952). This project will provide the academic community with a full critical edition of 2 Enoch, intended to replace this inadequate work and to enable future scholarship on this important text to the based upon a reliable knowledge of the textual variants. The proposed edition will follow the chapter division proposed by F. Andersen in his important English translation of 2 Enoch(thus allowing scholars to interact more easily with the underlying texts), and will lay out exemplars of the two primary recensions on facing pages. Exhaustive notes on all significant textual variants will be provided and it is anticipated that, in addition to enabling readers to make judgements on transmission history, this will allow a proper evaluation of linguistic features of the text.
Mainer, Dr S
Stirling, English Language and Literature (H5)
Literary Translation in Late Medieval and Early Modern Scotland
The main objective of this project is to investigate how literary translations contributed to the rise of the vernacular and to the establishment of a national culture in late medieval and early modern Scotland. I shall study Gilbert Hay's prose works, The Buke of the Ordre of Knychthede and The Buke of the Gouernaunce of Princis, the anonymous romance Clariodus, Gavin Douglas' Eneados and John Stewart of Baldynneis's Roland Furious. One of my key research questions is to elucidate the impact of humanism on the concept of literary translation in Scotland and Europe by examining how an emergent tradition of Scottish literary translation compares to the Italian, French and English traditions. This comparison will also suggest why Scotland played a central role in the Northern Renaissance after its peripheral literary position during most of the Middle Ages. The conclusion will reassess the importance of literary translation within the cultural flourishing of late medieval and early modern Scotland.
Marten, Dr L
East Anglia, Medieval History (H8)
The Value of Rebellion: A New Interpretation of the Domesday Survey and the Impact of Post-1066 Rebellion upon English and Norman Landholders
Traditionally, the parameters for exploring the political, social and economic changes brought about by the Norman Conquest have been dictated by the recording of information in Domesday for two dates: 1066 and 1086. What has been overlooked is the recording of information in many entries for a third point in time. This research will build upon a regional study to show that a systematic analysis of the occurrence of this 'third value' can reveal much about the political and tenurial changes that occurred in the crucial twenty years covered by Domesday. In particular, this research helps to provide evidence for the disruption caused by the revolts and rebellions in the decade following the Norman victory at Hastings, helping to provide a contextual framework for these events. Initial findings from this research also suggest that the tenurial confusion engendered by rebellion may have been a key part of the impetus behind the purpose of the Domesday Survey itself.
McCallion, Dr P J
St Andrew's, Philosophy (H12)
The Prospects for a Neo-Fregean Philosophy of Mathematics
Dr McCallion will examine the prospects for a neo-Fregean philosophy of mathematics. What are the possibilities for the extension of neo-Fregeanism to mathematical theories other than arithmetic; in particular, to the theories of the real and complex numbers? What is the proper characterisation and justification of Frege's Applications Constraint (roughly, the claim that the applications of a mathematical theory should be incorporated into an account of its content)? He will look at whether the abstractionist should conceive of properties as individuated intensionally, or extensionally. If properties are individuated intensionally, it is to be expected that an abstractionist treatment of real analysis must, in the end, be constructivist. He will also investigate the abstractionist problems of Plenitude and Proliferation, and the crucial issue of the proper interpretation of higher-order logic.
McDaniel, Dr I R
Cambridge, Modern History from c.1800 (S5; H10)
The Origins and Development of the Idea of Caesarism in European Political Thought, c.1780-1900
Dr McDaniel's research will provide a comprehensive analytical and historical account of the idea of 'Caesarism' in European political theory. Commencing with a reconstruction of late Enlightenment reflections on the Napoleonic Empire, the project will consider a series of linked nineteenth-century debates on the origins, character, and consequences of the more-or-less militaristic, centralising, and imperial states that emerged in Europe after 1815. For its defenders, Caesarism was understood as a condition of national military and economic success in an inherently competitive international environment; for its opponents, it signified a militaristic, demagogic, and authoritarian state-form that underlined dangers latent in large-scale industrial society. This study will reconstruct the intellectual history of Caesarism as a shared European preoccupation, while paying close attention to the political contexts in which the term was deployed, and to the philosophical, legal, and historiographical resources upon which participants in these debates drew. Since the idea of Caesarism links questions of domestic political legitimacy to the practical exigencies of national security, the wider ambition of this project is to achieve insights into long-standing tensions between the democratic and imperial dimensions of modern states.
Meagher, Dr K M B K
Oxford (St Antony's) Sociology (S4)
Unravelling the Social Fabric: Social Networks, Informal Economies and Institutional Change in Africa
Dr Meagher's research examines the role of social networks in economic development and institutional change in contemporary Africa. The central research question is why informal economic networks in African societies tend to produce social disorder rather than development, leading to an unravelling rather than a strengthening of the social fabric. Drawing on fieldwork in two different regions of Nigeria, the project investigates the regulatory capacities and wider institutional impact of particularly dynamic informal manufacturing networks from different sides of Nigeria's main ethnic and religious divides. The methodology involves a comparative network ethnography, which traces the social and economic organization of the study networks and their wider linkages with society, the state and the global environment. The aim of the research is to enhance our understanding of informal institutional process in contemporary African societies, challenging the essentialist and anecdotal character of much of the contemporary literature on the subject.
Noble, Dr G
Glasgow, Archaeology (H7)
A Life Amongst the Trees: Perceptions of the Landscape and Environment in the Neolithic of Northwest Europe
Neolithic life in northwest Europe (4500-2500 BC) was a life spent amongst woodland. After the end of the last Ice Age woodland spread across the whole of the landscape, reaching its maximum extent just prior to the beginning of the Neolithic. Palynologists can provide increasingly detailed reconstructions of the prehistoric woodland environments, yet their work has had little impact on archaeological studies of prehistoric landscapes and cosmologies. Dense woodlands are very distinct environments that dramatically affect human perception. The powerful influence of the woodland in Neolithic life may explain why timber formed an important medium for the construction of elaborate monuments during this period. An understanding of what it means to live amongst woodland is essential if we are to more fully understand the Neolithic of Northwest Europe. Incorporating environmental, anthropological and archaeological approaches to the study of landscape, combined with field studies of present day woodlands, this study aims to formulate new approaches to the study of prehistoric landscapes.
Plummer, Dr M L
London (School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), Sociology (S4)
Lifestyles, Sexual Behaviour and HIV/STI Risk of a Young Rural African Population
Young people in sub-Saharan Africa are at great risk of infection with HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), but little research has explored their lifestyles and the effectiveness of HIV/STI interventions targeting them, particularly in rural areas. Dr. Plummer's work will examine the lifestyles, sexual behaviour and risk of HIV/STI of adolescents in rural Mwanza, Tanzania. Research will primarily draw upon three years of participant observation data, but will additionally include substantive and methodological analysis of data from in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, simulated patients exercises, and biological and interview surveys that were part of an adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH) trial. Analysis topics will include risk factors associated with HIV/STI; pregnancy prevention and termination beliefs and practices; sexual coercion and violence; process evaluation of school and health centre interventions; and recommendations for future ASRH interventions.
Rubio Fernández, Dr P
UCL, Linguistics (H4)
Inferential Processes in Lexical Interpretation: A Psycho-Pragmatic Study of Healthy, Autistic and Schizophrenic Participants
This project aims to investigate inferential processes in literal and figurative word interpretation. The object of this experimental study will be emergent properties, that is, conceptual properties that have to be inferred in context rather than being associated to the prime (e.g. 'When John fell into the lake, his friends threw him a basketball' - 'Floats'). In order to test the activation of emergent properties in literal and figurative language processing, Dr. Rubio will carry out a series of cross-modal lexical priming experiments using different types of sentential contexts. These priming experiments will also be replicated with autistic and schizophrenic participants in order to do a comparative study between healthy and cognitively dysfunctional populations, which could shed light on cognitive-pragmatic models of concept construction. Overall, this research will combine theoretical and experimental work on word interpretation, the results cross-fertilising several research paradigms, including psycholinguistics, pragmatics and cognitive neuropsychology.
Ruddick, Dr A C
Cambridge (Pembroke), Medieval History (H8)
Kingship and Church in English National Identity in the Later Middle Ages
The subject of national sentiment in late-medieval England has advanced little on the Victorian celebration of nationhood, and many modern theorists argue that the very concept is anachronistic and ideologically suspect. Dr Ruddick's comprehensive study of medieval English identity aims to redress the balance. A particular focus will be official rhetoric in government documents, a greatly under-used source in this field, thus locating medieval English identity in its political and constitutional context, rather than the cultural one in which it is usually considered. This will involve a study of the vocabulary used in different spheres of English public life, both secular and ecclesiastical, and its relationship to more literary sources, to explore whether there was a single 'public' view of what England was. Particular attention will be given to the roles of the king of England and the English church in the creation, propagation and representation of national identity, to produce a wide-ranging and analytical study of the vital, but, as yet, unexplored role of national identity in late-medieval English political culture.
Tyrrell, Dr M
Aberdeen, Social Anthropology (S3)
Potential Threats to the Future of Inuit Beluga Whale Hunting in the Canadian Arctic: Quotas and Contaminants
This research concerns the potential threats to beluga whale hunting and consumption faced by Inuit in the Canadian Arctic. Hunting, sharing and consumption of beluga whales are central to Inuit economic, social and cultural life. However, due to hunting restrictions and organic contaminants in the fatty tissue of beluga whales, attitudes towards whales are changing, resulting in changes in social relationships that form a central aspect of the beluga hunting and sharing complex. Dr Tyrrell will examine these changing social relationships and human-animal relationships in the context of two Arctic communities - one on the northwest coast of Hudson Bay and the other on Baffin Island. The research will increase our understanding of northern marine hunting communities and the changing relationships between hunters and marine animals. It will also have wider comparative implications for marine conservation and the future of indigenous peoples.
Van Dixhoorn, Dr C B
Cambridge, Early Modern History to c.1800 (H9; H2)
The Minutes and Papers of the Westminster Assembly (1643-1652)
The Westminster Assembly was at once a large parliamentary committee and the last of the great post-Reformation synods. For more than 350 years most of the original manuscript minutes of the Westminster Assembly have remained unpublished, leaving much of the history of this gathering in obscurity. The minutes contain 530,000 words and span the years 1643 to 1652, covering the Assembly's formal debates (1643-49) and the proceedings of the 'rump' committee which continued to ordain ministers after the gathering completed its major tasks. These important documents record the speeches of the Parliamentarians and theologians of the synod during its plenary sessions, as well as the Assembly's inner workings and resolutions - they explain the creative confessional process from behind the scenes. In this British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship Dr Van Dixhoorn intends to produce in five volumes a critical edition of the Assembly's minutes and its recently discovered papers, chiefly consisting in petitions and letters to Parliament and foreign churches.
von Hellermann, Dr P F
Sussex, Social Anthropology (S3)
Anthropological Perspectives on the State: Land, Logging and 'Corruption' in Southern Nigeria
Dr von Hellermann will investigate the practices and discourses around logging regulation and land allocation in Southern Nigeria, as a lens on 'corruption'. Whilst 'corruption' in Africa has been theorised in various ways, there exist few concrete case studies of 'corrupt' practices. This research is based on the premise that, rather than a generic phenomenon, 'corruption' needs to be understood in relation to the specific governmental policy or system that is being 'corrupted', and in its local historical context. Furthermore, discourses around 'corruption', which abound in Nigeria, may be seen as political crisis narratives, instrumentalised variously by different people. The project will explore these themes through a comparative study of two policies concerned with balancing environmental and developmental goals, namely logging regulation and land allocation, in Ondo, Edo and Cross River States. All three states are key logging areas, and agricultural plantations are being established in each, yet practices, and the discourses around them, are not the same.
Washbrook, Dr S
Oxford, Modern History from c.1800 (H10)
Exports, Ethnicity and Labour: State Formation and Market Development in Latin America, 1820-1945
During the period of research Dr Washbrook plans to compare the social and political impacts of export development in southern Mexico with other regions of Latin America, including Guatemala, Peru, Ecuador and Venezuela, in order to explore the relationship between ethnicity and labour markets in the region during the period c.1820-c.1945. Although there is a growing literature on ethnicity and national identity in Latin America and an increasingly detailed economic history of the region, the literature often separates economic and cultural phenomena and fails to adequately address either the material base of cultural politics or the significance of cultural politics in influencing economic policies and outcomes. By comparing labour institutions and practices throughout the Latin American republics Dr Washbrook would aim to bridge those literatures and to throw new light on the inter-related questions of race and ethnicity, national identity, state formation and the political economy of economic development in Latin America before 1945. The research would thereby aim to further our understanding of the term 'modernization' and of the meaning and impact of globalization in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Winkels, Dr A
East Anglia, Human Geography (S3)
Migrant Livelihood Vulnerability and Globalisation: A Longitudinal Study of Coffee-Farming Migrants in Vietnam
Dr Winkels explores the linkages between migration and development by focusing on the vulnerability of migrants in an increasingly globalised world economy. Her study of migrant coffee farmers in Vietnam over a five-year period (2000/1-2005/6) provides valuable insights into the vulnerability of migrants in a rapidly changing social and economic context. Migration activities are never free from risks and the rapid population growth at Vietnam's highland frontier has been fuelled by coffee farming migrants creating numerous new challenges. The collapse of international coffee prices, widespread environmental degradation, and social conflict between migrants and local inhabitants means that many migrants find themselves in worse off conditions than before migrating. This longitudinal study of migrant livelihoods provides an important contribution to understanding the risks migrants and their families are exposed to and the various coping mechanisms they employ in response. It also examines the role of migration activities in creating these risks and vulnerabilities.