Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards 2007
Aisher, Dr A
Sussex, Social Anthropology (S3)
Towards a New Engagement: Anthropology and Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis in Forest Resource Management in the Eastern Himalayas
The remote Himalayan state of Arunachal Pradesh in the extreme northeast of India is one of thirty-four internationally-recognized 'Global Biodiversity Hotspots', and is one of the least known areas of India. In its mountains uncertainties about spirits reflect both the precariousness of human health and the capricious character of the landscape itself.
In recent years, Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) techniques have emerged within ecological economics to understand and address conflicts in resource management. This research develops a new engagement between anthropology and MCDA, to investigate links between 'uncertainty' and 'sustainability'. It examines how key aspects of tribal cosmology influence local conservation priorities, and pathways for integrating local conservation and development priorities into future forest management policies in Northeast India and beyond.
Anderson, Dr P P
London School of Economics, Modern History (H10)
Pillars of the Repression: Collaborators and the Francoist Military Trials, 1936-1945
This research will explore understudied questions about national levels of participation in the Francoist repression. It will do so by examining collaboration in mass summary military trials conducted in Spain between 1936-1945 and through an in-depth study of trial and prison records. This will provide the first national empirical investigation of the trial process through the Civil War and postwar periods.
Particular attention will be paid to how the trial process changed over time and across Spain. I will analyse the extent to which prosecutors relied on collaborators, such as denouncers and witnesses, varied both in different parts of Spain and over the study period. Similarly, I will trace the extent to which the overall numbers that collaborated, and the degree to which they collaborated, changed over time and varied by region. I will also investigate some of the enduring consequences of this participation across Spain.
Apetrei, Dr S
Oxford, Theology and Religious Studies (H5; H2)
Mystical Theology and Radical Religion in England, 1630-1730
The proposed study will be a new account of the revival in mystical theology in Protestant England and Scotland between 1630 and 1730. I will trace the process by which the mystical thought of the Greek fathers and medieval divines came to dominate certain categories of theological discourse, and began to offer an alternative to the stark positions which had previously been possible: stripped-down Presbyterianism, Anabaptism and crypto-Papist Arminianism.
Using a range of literary sources - correspondence, sermons, theological treatises, devotional manuals and spiritual journals - I will examine the personal networks linking radical and respectable writers influenced by mystical theology, and the ideas which connect them. This perspective on seventeenth-century British religious history will cast light on the intellectual origins of radical groups (especially the Quakers), and on the real correlation between politically opposed models of 'enthusiasm' and 'rationalism'.
Ashley, Dr C Z
University College London, Archaeology (H7)
The Archaeology of Migrations in Africa
Migration is a key mechanism of social renewal and change within sub-Saharan Africa. Indeed, modern humanity's existence is widely attributed to migration(s) 'Out of Africa', whilst intra-continental migration narratives such as the Bantu Migration Hypothesis, are interpretive cornerstones of historical reconstruction. Nevertheless, changing theoretical approaches, and the often politically iniquitous use of migration histories, have bequeathed a charged and problematic legacy to modern archaeological studies of migration. This climate, it is argued, is unfortunate, as migration remains a critical dynamic within Africa, with multi-scalar manifestations and configurations that require renewed and critically aware investigation. The current research will therefore employ an innovative inter-disciplinary approach, founded on original archaeological and ethnoarchaeological research, to examine the impact of such migration events, examining the archaeological signatures of modern and historic population movements, as well as deeper-time episodes. The intention of this work is to develop and enhance global archaeological understanding of migration per se, to advance regional archaeologies of social transformation within Africa, and to provide a chronological context to modern discussion of demographic spread and change.
Attfield, Dr N
Oxford, Music (H11)
Preventing the 'Decline of the West': Conservative Musical Culture in the Weimar Republic
Many historical accounts of Germany's Weimar Republic (1918-33) present the period as a 'golden age' of musical experimentation, in which modernist thinkers became pitted against a reactionary conservative, even proto-Nazi, fringe. This project reconsiders this historiographical landscape by investigating the diversity of the Republic's musical conservatism. While taking account of its extreme fringe (particularly evident in several contemporary journals' polemics), it focusses on a moderate conservative milieu in which musical professionals attempted to revitalize the works of canonic German composers through novel intellectual means - often borrowed from contemporary bodies of non-musical thought.
The articles, books, and compositions of, among others, Ernst Kurth, August Halm, Wilhelm Furtwängler, and Erich Schwebsch - engaging Bach, Bruckner, and Beethoven with mysticism, the Youth Movement, and anthroposophy - will be discussed as paradigms of this trend. Moreover, bearing in mind modernist interest in such topics, the claim will be made that both conservative and modernist thought drew from a single, highly diverse, sphere of influence.
Bakola, Dr E
University College London, Classical Antiquity (H1)
Comic Dialogues: Encounters between Greek Comedy and Other Poetic Forms in the Classical Period (5th and 4th Centuries BC)
This project will offer the first systematic analysis of the complex and dynamic dialogue of Greek comedy with other literary genres. The fragmentary comic corpus of the fifth and the fourth centuries BC is a rich and under-explored resource which can offer a unique insight into the reception and evolution of major literary genres in antiquity, notably tragedy, satyr drama, epic, lyric and iambos, as well as the development of literary criticism. Because comedy constantly reflected on Greek intellectual and cultural life, it played a critical role in the shaping of perceptions of Greek literature and even the creation of the literary canon. This research project will explore comedy's interactions with these genres as a dynamic process across the classical period, seeking especially to identify and elucidate the cultural and intellectual currencies reflected in this process. The resulting monograph will contribute not only to our in-depth knowledge of comedy, but also to our understanding of Greek literary history and the history of ideas.
Bastia, Dr T
Manchester, Sociology (S4)
Emancipatory Migrations? Gender and Ethnicity in Transnational Migration for Work
Feminist scholarship acknowledges that migration provides some opportunities for more equal gender relations but women's gains from their migration projects are limited and contradictory. Most of the research to date focuses on the ways in which migration is gendered. This research has largely concentrated on destination countries and has as yet to successfully integrate issues of class, race and ethnicity. Dr Bastia's research aims at addressing both of these issues by undertaking multi-sited transnational fieldwork across three countries to analyse changes in gender relations at the household and community level that have gone hand in hand with increasing women's migration from Bolivia to Argentina and Spain and the role of ethnicity in this process of change. Research will aim to understand how migration challenges normative assumptions of femininity and masculinity; how these are defined on the basis of migrants' ethnicity; changes in domestic responsibilities and intra-household power relations.
Boretti, Dr V
SOAS, Modern History (H10)
Playing for Keeps: The Toy Culture in China, 1949-1976
Much has been written on politics and society in the People's Republic of China up to the late 1970s, but very little on material culture. And almost nothing is known on playthings' role, significance and experience, although - as cultural objects used to instruct children - they can reveal much about the environment that produced them. Drawing on literary, archival, material and visual evidence, this project aims at filling that gap by exploring the Chinese toy culture between 1949 and 1976, in its aspects of discourse, production, promotion and consumption.
This research seeks to gain insights on (gendered) identity building; conceptions of ideal childhood and personhood; politics as applied to material culture and people's reactions to it. Also, it examines whether and how objects change or are repositioned in varying historical environments - specifically, whether and how the playthings of Communist China's 'revolutionary successors' differed from those of Republican China's 'new citizens'.
Calhoun, Dr S A
Edinburgh, Linguistics (H4; S6)
Gradient Structure in Linguistic Categories? Rethinking the Nature of Intonation
Recently, evidence for connectionist language models has been growing. These pose fundamental challenges to long-held linguistic assumptions about basic constructs like morphemes and phonemes. Rather than a set of discrete constructs with finite features, combined by deterministic rules; they claim every utterance heard is remembered in a gradient, connected structure, combined by probabilistic association.
To date, treatment of intonation in such models has been sparse. However, it offers a promising testing ground. Intonation sits uneasily with standard linguistic classifications. It is morphemic and phonemic, and varies both gradiently and categorically in complex ways. Moreover, this variation signals a huge range of 'meanings', from lexical identity, to discourse structure, to affect.
Dr Calhoun proposes, therefore, to investigate both the phonemic and morphemic nature of intonation using connectionist models. This will contribute not only to ongoing debates about how intonation signals meaning, but to core arguments about our conception of the basic units of language.
Carr, Dr H F
Oxford, Medieval History (H8)
Culture, Society and Geography in the 'Pass-State' of Churraetia, 400-850 AD
Societies of the Alps have often been neglected and subsumed into the history of wider regions. Dr Carr's research will investigate the 'remarkable polity' of the alpine prince-bishopric of early medieval Churraetia. Studying the region through the paradigm of its geographical position and mountainous environment, it will explore the paradox of how its identity developed in what was both an isolated mountain buffer zone and also a busy transportation and communications route connecting northern and southern Europe. Using a range of historical, archaeological and topographical evidence, the project will examine Roman socio-cultural survival, settlement patterns and the administration of authority in a landscape which was both inhospitable and strategically crucial. The study's aim is to illuminate how this 'pass-state' negotiated its distinctive culture and independence in relation to surrounding areas, in particular northern Italy and Bavaria. It will also include expanded comparative studies with similar early medieval mountain regions.
Coggon, Dr J
Manchester, Law (S1)
Making Laws on Public Health: Regulation of Responsibilities and Freedoms
The research will lead to a monograph reviewing the legal bases of public health and the scope of health care law and regulation. It will provide a comprehensive exposition of the legal interests that are at play when laws are made that either benefit or harm the health of populations and/or individuals. Through socio-legal and ethical analysis, a legal definition of health will be developed that can be applied in an analysis of policy measures. This will be applied in the context of regulating broader social interests, and set against competing individual interests. An account will then be drawn, outlining state, societal, and individual responsibilities legitimately connected to the advancement or protection of health. The analysis will be applicable to controversial and contested matters, such as restrictions on the exercise of individual liberties and claims against the state to provide access to better health.
Cohen, Dr R L
Warwick, Sociology (S4)
Does it Matter that it's not Standard? How Work Relations Affect Workers' Everyday Experiences
Dr. Cohen will investigate how workers' employment situations shape their experience of the labour process and their professional autonomy. Primary research will be conducted into working lives in two occupations: car repair mechanics and accountants - male-dominated sectors to contrast with female workers studied in the applicant's doctoral thesis. Each occupation includes workers in a variety of work relations: employees of small and large firms; self-employed small business owners (with and without employees); commission and basic-waged workers; and home-based or peripatetic workers. Employing both qualitative and quantitative analysis, this research will test some key assumptions about non-standard work relations. Of particular concern are the effects non-standard work has on temporality (working hours, flexibility, and schedule predictability); professional networking; worker-client relations; the management of work-life balance; professional autonomy; career development; workers' ability to access social support, manage risk and build professional security; and whether and how these effects are gendered.
Dzelzainis, Dr E J
Birkbeck, University of London English Literature (H6)
Fictions, Feminisms and Malthus, 1798-1916
Dr Dzelzainis's project will investigate the hitherto unexplored impact of T. R. Malthus's Essay on Population (1798) on the emergence of feminism in the long nineteenth century. It will do so by examining the response to Malthus's account of political economy and desire to be found in domestic fictions by women (Maria Edgeworth through to Charlotte Perkins Gilman), whether reacting directly to the Essay or to its reformulation in the work of political and scientific theorists such as J. S. Mill and Charles Darwin. Tracking a feminist genealogy through economic fictions by women, even as political economy was itself shifting categories from moral philosophy to economic science, it will consider the self-positioning of women writers on economics in relation to other culturally subordinate groups and analyse the effect of the emerging discipline of economics on fictional form. Its methodology will combine literary scholarship with economic and intellectual history.
Elder-Vass, Dr D J
Essex, Sociology (S4)
Language, Discourse, Culture: Developing a Realist Ontology of Social Construction
Dr Elder-Vass's doctoral thesis developed a critical realist account of structure and agency, but identified the need for further work on the roles of language, discourse and culture in constructing our categories, identities, and institutions. Although realists have often been hostile to such social constructionist arguments, writers like Bourdieu have sought to combine realism and constructionism in a productive synthesis. This research will aim to show, through an emergentist ontological analysis, that language, discourse and culture are real and causally effective, and hence to provide an ontological foundation for such a synthesis. It will then apply this analysis to evaluate the potential of constructionist arguments, including those offered by Bourdieu (class), Anderson (nations), and Butler (sex/gender). The project will thus aim to demonstrate how realism and constructionism, two of the most significant contemporary trends in social theory, can be brought from mutual hostility to a potentially fruitful dialogue.
Elgenius, Dr G A
Oxford Sociology (S4)
To What Extent Does a Notion of 'Homeland' Matter for Diaspora Communities in Britain? Community Building, Ceremonial Change and Practice in Britain
This project will explore the notion of 'homeland' within the Diaspora communities in Britain and the extent to which this influences identification with Britain. The overall aim is to link understandings of 'homeland' to perceptions of 'Britishness', to circumstances of integration more generally and to ways in which individuals and groups seek to maintain or change their cultural identities in new settings.
The focus is the Polish and the Sikh communities in Britain, their expressions of belonging and identification as communicated through celebrations and commemorations. By comparing the experiences of a Christian (Catholic) community of European origin with and a non-Christian community of non-European origin, we are able to address the impact of ethnicity, religion and 'race' in the identification process. Moreover, through an understanding of ceremonies and rituals, their origins and use, we gain insights into community building and ceremonial change in Britain. The responses of the 'dominant/white culture' and the extent to which Diaspora communities are included in the traditional celebrations/commemorations of Britishness may also be evaluated.
Green, Dr T O R
Birmingham Early Modern History (H9)
Caboverdean and Guinean Diasporas: Africans and New Christians in the South Atlantic, 1500-1700
This research programme will build the first full picture of the diasporas of Africans and New Christians which spread via the Cabo Verde islands into the South Atlantic in the 16th-17th centuries. It builds on substantial new documentary material to provide the first concrete evidence of the importance of the New Christian diaspora in Cabo Verde and Guinea. This in turn emphasizes the importance of the early slave trade in Upper Guinea, and reshapes the understanding of the early trans-Atlantic slave trade.
The research programme contextualizes these important new discoveries through diasporic formation. This connects it to wider recent historiographical movements and helps further to contextualize the African Atlantic. Important theoretical implications develop for ideas concerning the formation of racial concepts on both sides of the Atlantic world. The hope is that the concentration of Atlantic studies on the American sphere is challenged with research which proves the fundamental connectivity of Africa and America in the early modern Atlantic.
Ha, Dr P
Cambridge, Early Modern History (H9)
English Presbyterianism c.1560-1660 and Reformation Reception
[NB: First year joint association with University of Southern California]
Dr Ha's research will examine the continued existence, broader influence and international experiences of English presbyterians in pre-Civil-War England. This research will provide a wider context for the debates over ecclesiology and tensions within English society during the mid-seventeenth century by carving out a space for presbyterianism and examining its contribution to the religious, political and social climate of early modern England. It will also explore how English presbyterianism developed within international and national contexts and had a transnational impact. The second focus of research will bring reformation and reception studies together through an exploration of the Protestant reformations on the continent and in Britain and Ireland.
Hammond, Dr M L
Oxford, Other Languages and Literature (H3)
Sisters and Singing-Girls: The Ancient Woman Poet as Archetype in Modern Arabic Literature and Film
Classical Arabic literature boasts a sizeable corpus of women's poetry dating back to the fifth century, AD, and this legacy has provided ample material for historical novels and screenplays featuring strong female protagonists. This research will explore the social and cultural significance of representations of the classical woman poet in modern Arabic literature and popular culture with special attention to the ways in which her verses and the narratives that frame them have been reinterpreted and re-appropriated in twentieth-century contexts. It will also demonstrate how traditional models of female eloquence-particularly those of (1) the free-born nomadic elegist mourning the death of her tribesmen and (2) the urbanized slave-woman exchanging verses with male companions-were often adapted by modern writers and filmmakers who were working within 'westernized' media and idioms to legitimate 'modernizing' and 'liberating' constructions of womanhood as culturally authentic and deeply-rooted in pre-colonial Arabo-Islamic culture.
Hickson, Dr K
Cambridge Sociology (S4; S2)
The Contribution of the National Health Service to Gains in Quality Adjusted Life Expectancy: Lessons from the Past and Implications for the Future
Despite unprecedented and valuable gains in the health of the population of England and Wales during the twentieth century there have been increasing accusations of inefficient and costly health delivery under the NHS. Dr Hickson's research will provide a substantiated estimate about the contribution of the NHS to the health and welfare of the population (measured as quality adjusted life expectancy, QALE) between 1948 and 2000, by creating a quantitative methodology that can value QALE gains attributable to healthcare. In the process of generating meticulous results about the performance of the NHS and its contribution to the improved health of the population of England and Wales, she will evaluate different approaches to healthcare delivery (in England and the USA over the entire twentieth century) in order to provide justified recommendations about the most efficacious future NHS policy.
Hodkinson, Dr S N
Leeds Human Geography (S3)
The New Enclosures: Council Housing, Finance Capital and Privatisation in Contemporary Britain
This project will investigate the extent to which housing privatisation is part of an historic wave of 'new enclosures' sweeping Britain. It will explore the double hypothesis that, first, housing privatisation is being primarily driven by the particular needs of overaccumulating finance capital; and second, that this dynamic is sparking further 'multiple enclosures' of public assets and services, plus related labour market and welfare reforms, that will spell the end of the post-war welfare state and lead to the displacement of many working class communities through property speculation and gentrification. The project will produce a comprehensive 'financial geography' of housing privatisation in Britain since 1980 that will theorise the interplay between various actors, 'policy mechanisms' and financial forces involved through a re-working of the concept of 'enclosure'. It will employ a critical political economy framework, existing and new data sets, high-level interviews and a series of in-depth case studies of housing developments in Leeds, Manchester and London.
Humphreys, Dr A R C
Oxford, Political Studies (S5)
Confronting the Limits of Explanatory Theory in International Relations
Despite the challenges to positivist epistemology, mainstream scholarship in International Relations continues to employ a model of explanation in which theories identify causal, deductive links between independent and dependent variables. Yet no theory of international relations is deductively adequate: many avowedly explanatory theories can only be applied heuristically. Consequently, the manner in which scholars draw upon and apply theoretical ideas in International Relations is not captured by classical models of explanation.
The output of this research will be a philosophical account of how theoretical ideas are drawn upon and applied in mainstream International Relations and of how scholars' practices deviate from the models used to describe them. This account will support empirical researchers in their use of theoretical ideas and will help to direct International Relations theory toward a closer focus on how theoretical ideas are used in practice.
King, Dr C
Leicester Archaeology (H7)
Voices of Dissent: The Cultural Landscape of Urban Non-Conformity, 1600-1790
Dr King's research will produce an archaeological and topographic analysis of urban nonconformist communities - Protestants dissenting from the established Church - in England and America in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, using the major provincial capitals of Norwich and Bristol as primary case studies. The project will trace the development of a distinctive cultural and political identity for dissenters in the wake of the 1689 Act of Toleration, as expressed through buildings and their contested landscape context, using an interdisciplinary methodology combining archaeological, cartographic and documentary sources. The research will set these cities in a wider context of growing religious pluralism through a survey of nonconformist and immigrant communities in English towns and Boston, one of Britain's chief colonial ports. This will be the first project to consider in-depth studies of religious communities within their wider landscape context to explore the role of religious nonconformity in the increasing fragmentation and complexity of religious and political space in the early modern city.
Laoutaris, Dr C
University College London English Literature (H5)
The Queen's Soldier: The Life and Works of Elizabeth Russell (1528-1609)
Lady Elizabeth Russell was no stranger to controversy. An ardent activist for the Protestant cause, she challenged public disapproval by daring to commandeer the publication of her own work, became England's first female holder of a military custodial post (truly the Queen's Soldier), and took on the commercial might of Shakespeare's theatre and won. Counting among her closest relatives and intimates members of the Elizabethan secret services and the most powerful men in England, Elizabeth Russell threw herself into legal disputes with gusto (making some dangerous enemies in the process) and became involved in the greatest scandal of Queen Elizabeth's reign. After her death her posthumous reputation would be dogged by persistent rumours that she had secretly murdered her own son. Yet despite her extraordinary life and works, Elizabeth Russell's story remains largely untold. This will be the first complete biography of one of the most formidable women in English history.
Luft, Dr D M
Cardiff, Celtic (H5; H8)
Texts out of Time: Medieval Welsh Prose in the Early Modern Period
The Project is a study of how Medieval Welsh prose texts were used by the collectors, scholars, and authors of the early modern period (1550-1900). It will focus on a discrete corpus of writings produced in the medieval period (1200- 1500), including narrative texts both native and translated, wisdom tracts, religious treatises, and medical writings. The study will trace how these texts were transmitted in manuscripts in the early period, and published in journals, pamphlets, and anthologies. It will investigate how these medieval texts were used by early modern scholars in responding to contemporary debates through focusing on a few concrete examples. Lastly, it will examine how these individual' responses the medieval prose texts they used went on to shape modern conceptions of the nature of Medieval Welsh prose, and to influence modern responses to it.
Mahtani, Dr A
Oxford, Philosophy (H12)
Philosophers of logic and language face a problem: classical logic and semantics tell us that all terms have sharp boundaries, but our language is littered with vague terms - such as 'tall', 'bald' and 'heap' - which seem to lack sharp boundaries. These terms are not only vague, but also 'higher-order vague': e.g. just as 'tall' seems to lack a sharp boundary, so the expressions 'definitely tall' and 'definitely not tall' seem to lack sharp boundaries too.
My research will clarify the nature of higher-order vagueness and identify successful responses to this phenomenon. This will narrow the field of tenable theories of vagueness. I will also develop a formal framework for analysing the logic of the 'definitely' operator. Besides providing a valuable extension to classical logic, this framework will answer questions of urgent interest to vagueness theorists.
Moretti, Dr D
Cambridge, Social Anthropology (S3)
Dreamscapes of Relatedness: An Investigation of Dreaming and the 'Moral Holography' of Human Relations with the Environment in Papua New Guinea
As is the case in many historical and contemporary cultures, for the Hamtai-Anga of Papua New Guinea (PNG) dreams represent an essential means of imagining and regulating human relations with the environment. In its turn, human engagement with the land tends to be modelled on the same kind of morality characteristic of human relatedness. Drawing on certain aspects of structuralism and metaphor theory, Dr. Moretti will research Hamtai-Anga dream narratives and specific cases of dream interpretation relating to mining, hunting, subsistence and commercial gardening, and other fields of productive engagement with the land. In so doing, he aims to enhance anthropological interest in Melanesian dream theories and dream experience, develop an original anthropological approach to the study of dreams, and assess the implications that a 'holographic' mode of relating to the land holds for the extraction and conservation of natural resources in PNG and beyond.
Mycock, Dr L J
Manchester, Linguistics (H4)
Correlating Syntax and Prosody in the Analysis of Questions:A Typological Approach
All languages have strategies which enable speakers to ask constituent ('wh'-) questions, but these strategies differ. A tripartite typology of constituent question formation strategies (CQFSs) based on the notion of movement of question phrases is commonly assumed. Initially, movement is an intuitively appealing notion when accounting for languages such as English and Russian in which at least one question word appears to be displaced compared to an equivalent declarative. However, movementcannot apply straightforwardly to in-situ languages like Japanese in which question phrases are not overtly displaced. Moreover, existing analyses of CQFSs focus overwhelmingly on syntax, defining them as variations of the same strategy. This project, by contrast, will (i) provide a typology based on empirically observable, theory-independent variables: whether the focusing of question words and marking of interrogativity is syntactic and/or prosodic, and (ii) account for the cross-linguistic features of and the systematic differences between CQFSs identified.
Nardelli, Dr M
University College London Film Studies (H6)
Screens, Projections and Projectors: Cinema between Sculpture and Movement
My project focuses on the affinity between cinema, sculpture, and the conception of the 'monument.' Cinema shares crucial cultural and aesthetic functions with these two other apparently disparate representational modes. To argue this, I look primarily at experimental film and cinematic gallery installations from two key moments of development in moving-image technology - the 1960s-1970s and the present - and highlight how the works from both these periods draw on earlier moments in cinema history and pre-history. Using original archival research, the project will explore the use of cinema's materials, machines and spectatorial regimes for the creation of sculptural 'experiences,' if not sculptural objects in their own right, and the ways in which such usage may further relate to monumentality. In doing so, the very categories of sculpture and monument will be interrogated, as I consider how they are modified by cinema and its procedures (e.g. cutting, seriality, preservation); not least, indeed, as cinema takes on some of sculpture's monumental and commemorative functions. Furthermore, as cinema's historicity - if not obsolescence - becomes increasingly apparent, is the cinema as such not also becoming a monument?
Parau, Dr E C
London School of Economics, Political Studies (S5)
Making the Judiciary Independent in Eastern Europe: Power Resources, Identities and Institutional Choices
This study aims to explain the emergence and evolution over time and across countries of those domestic institutions which are supposed to insulate the judiciary from political interference, using a framework that combines actor-centred and historical institutionalism. Such a framework befits the personalised, fluid and unpredictable nature of Eastern European transitional politics. The actors involved in bargaining over the creation, building and re-building of insulating institutions will be analysed in terms of interests, but also of 'power resources' and 'identities' - two variables little investigated in institutionalist analyses. The role of path dependency will also be brought to bear upon the actors' institutional choices. Evidence will be drawn from Romania and Moldavia, between the late 1980s and 2007, when Romania acceded to the European Union (EU). The comparative method is intended to spotlight trans-national influences - like those of the EU or Russia - on the design of domestic judicial independence.
Parmar, Dr A
King's College London Law (S1)
Policing Asian Youth in the UK: An Exploration of Policing, Ethnicity and Identities
The history of ethnicity, crime and policing is well documented within sociological and criminological studies. However, less academic attention has been given to understanding offending/non-offending specifically amongst Asian youth, perceptions of it and their experiences with the criminal justice system. Through a socio-legal analytical framework, this research aims to understand the reciprocal relationship between young British Asians and the police in the UK. One aim of this research will be to consider the internal heterogeneity within the category 'Asian' and to understand if this is linked to perceptions of the police. The current socio-political climate has resulted in an increased focus on the interactions between Asian youth and the police, and hence this study aims to examine the dynamics of this relationship. Questions about acts of resistance and compliance in the context of youth crime and deviance will also be explored, alongside consideration of the impact of anti-terror measures and legislation on both Asian communities and aspects of policing.
Phillips, Dr C L
SOAS, Other Languages and Literature (H3)
Islam and Modern Arabic Literature and Poetry
The purpose of this research is to explore the relationship between Islam and Arabic literature and poetry from the late 1960s. In the first half of the twentieth century, Arabic literature and poetry was broadly secular in orientation. It was heavily influenced by European culture and, consequently, was avoided by religious groups and traditional elements in Arab society. However, in the second half of the twentieth century, Arab writers and poets gradually began to engage with religious themes and texts, and religious representatives gradually began to use literary and poetic forms as vehicles for their Islamic messages. The research will seek to explain the emergence of this new relationship between literature and religion in the Arab world from a socio-political perspective and in terms of recent developments in Arabic narrative prose and poetry. It will also explore the dimensions of the relationship through close readings of selected texts.
Pinkerton, Dr A D
Royal Holloway, University of London, Human Geography (S3)
Radio Geopolitics: The BBC World Service and the Cold War in South Asia
Since its inception in 1932 the BBC's World Service (formerly the Empire Service), has been recognised as Britain's 'voice around the world' - an epithet which has aroused both admiration and suspicion from international audiences and foreign governments. In South Asia, in particular, the BBC's public reputation has fluctuated in line with Britain's shifting role in regional and global affairs. At the moment of independence in 1947 the Empire Service was held in high regard by local audiences. This changed dramatically between the 1950s-1970s when Britain and the BBC stood accused of using radio to maintain a neo-colonial presence. In the context of the Cold War, the radio environment emerged as an ethereal battleground for the 'hearts and minds' of South Asia as rival services - including the BBC, Radio Moscow, Voice of America, All India Radio, Radio Pakistan and Radio Ceylon - competed for cultural and political influence. These tensions, played out through what might be thought of as a 'Great Radio Game', will be explored in this project for the purpose of both providing a critical analysis of 'radio geopolitics' and the contested legacy of the BBC World Service, and international radio broadcasting more broadly, in South Asia.
Pucci, Dr L
Manchester, Italian (H6; H11)
Terra Italia: The Rural Subject as Site of National Identity in the Films and Artworks of Strapaese and the Andata Al Popolo
This project proposes a comparative study of the films and artworks associated with Fascist ruralism and those produced within the specifically Communist context of the post-war andata al popolo, the party-promoted practice of artists and intellectuals going to work amongst the people. The cultural movement of Strapaese will be the focus of my examination of the Fascist period. Based in Tuscany and Emilia Romagna, Strapaese sought to bring about a spiritual renewal of Italian society by evoking the idealised landscape and traditional peasant culture of those regions as symbolic of continuity with the past. The rural bias of the artists and filmmakers engaged with the andata al popolo in the late 1940s and early 1950s offers striking parallels with the activities of Strapaese. As such, my study will investigate the complex question of ideological continuity or change between the Fascist and post-war Communist versions of the andata al popolo.
Riches, Dr N G
Reading, Linguistics (H4; S6)
Sentence Repetition as a Clinical Marker in Children with Specific Language Impairment
Children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI) perform poorly on Sentence Repetition (SR) and this task may prove to be an important clinical marker. However, SR is poorly understood, and it is not certain whether high error rates reflect difficulties with short-term memory (STM) or syntactic knowledge. This fellowship will investigate SR in children with SLI to determine their underlying difficulties. By carefully designing new stimuli it will tease apart the relationship between syntactic knowledge and STM. In doing so, it will contribute to current theoretical debates regarding the underlying causes of this disorder. In addition, the fellowship will investigate cognitive processes underlying this task, e.g. to what extent SR depends on successful comprehension/STM abilities. In addition, it will explore new ways to code SR data, using algorithms from information science. It is hoped that the study will identify stimuli with greater diagnostic potential than those currently used.
Riede, Dr F
University College London, Archaeology (H7)
Constructing the Human Niche at the End of the Last Ice Age: An Integrated Quantitative Approach to the Pioneer Late Pleistocene Human Re-Colonisation of Europe
Much recent genetic research suggests that the bulk of the European genetic composition derives from the re-colonisation processes that began as the Ice Age drew to a fitful close 16,000 years ago. Drawing on climatic reconstructions, some archaeologists and geneticists argue that the end of Pleistocene era precipitated a gradual population wave that eventually covered the entirety of Europe. However, such scenarios sideline the historically structured ways in which prehistoric foragers adapt to and subtly modify landscapes during pioneer dispersals. The unavailability of quantified archaeological data on the same scale as that for biological and climatic dynamics (i.e., the population-level), hinders a full evaluation of the degree to which biological/environmental/cultural aspects played causal roles. This project aims to quantify, and hence clarify, this process by assembling a pan-European Late-glacial archaeological database and analysing it together with genetic and climatological data using a demographic approach and tools derived from evolutionary biology.
Simelidis, Dr C
Oxford, Classical Antiquity (H1)
A Critical Edition of the Carmina of St Gregory of Nazianzus (ca. AD 330 - 390)
Dr Simelidis' project is a critical edition of the poems (about 17,000 verses) written by Saint Gregory of Nazianzus (ca. AD 330-390), for the Corpus Christianorum series. Most of Gregory's poems have not yet been critically edited and are only available in the Patrologia Graeca, vols. 37-8, Paris 1858-62. The lack of a reliable text for Gregory's classicizing Christian verse, which is the earliest Greek verse of such a kind that survives in any great amount, impedes serious study and full appreciation. Apart from the edition of the poems, with full testimonia (both ancient sources and later imitations), Dr Simelidis will work on an accompanying monograph ('Studies in the Poetry of Gregory of Nazianzus') with his thoughts about Gregory's poetry in general and textual discussions of individual passages. The project will contribute to the study of Greek literature in Late Antiquity, but Gregory's verse can also often inform our understanding of both Classical and Byzantine texts.
Soto, Dr D
Birmingham, Psychology (S6)
Top-down Control of Visual Attention and Perception from Working Memory
Given the complexities of the visual world and the limitations of our visual system, we need mechanisms that allow to enter awareness the relevant information for our current goals. Working memory enables the maintenance of relevant information 'on line' for short periods of time, whilst visual attention selects the critical information and suppress the irrelevant stimuli. Recent research has shown that object information in working memory (WM) can exert an involuntary influence on visual selection, with the initial deployment of attention biased to those stimuli in the visual array matching the contents of WM (Soto at al, 2005). However, this work does not demonstrate the stage in visual processing affected by the match between a stimulus and WM. In this project, I will investigate whether the contents of WM modulate early perceptual processing and the nature of the representations involved. To this end I will measure the sensitivity of target discrimination, using signal detection theory, to assess the observer's perception when the target matches information in WM vs. when the target appears elsewhere and the memory item matches a distracter. The outcome of the project will be critical to developing a functional account of the interaction between WM and visual awareness.
Tausch, Dr N
Cardiff Psychology (S6)
Contextual and Psychological Predictors of Support for Terrorism: A Multilevel Investigation
Based on social-psychological theories of intergroup conflict, this research will investigate multiple factors likely to predict support for terrorism. A longitudinal study of British Muslims (N=1000) will examine the roles of strength of Muslim and British identity, perceived status and value differences between Muslims and non-Muslims, perceived societal exclusion, intergroup contact, attitudes and emotions toward non-Muslims, and attitudes toward British foreign and domestic policies. To take into account the role of social context, these individual-level perceptions will be linked with context-level data (e.g., extent of segregation and deprivation in census output areas, Islamophobia in the environment) using multilevel modelling. A parallel cross-sectional study (N=500) will be conducted in India in order to validate the theoretical model in a different cultural and political context. The comprehensive model of support for terrorism which will emerge from this research can have important implications for policies aimed at fighting terrorism at its roots.
Tiba, Dr Z G
Cambridge, Economics (S2; S4)
The Changing Nature of Famines: New Theories, Conceptual Developments and the Case of Malawi
Recent food crises in Africa have propelled famine back into the news for the first time since the mid 1980s. In the face of globalisation the nature of famine is changing and historical and contemporary famines are characterised by different causal triggers. The purpose of this research is to challenge commonly accepted views about the causes of famine and to develop a new conceptual framework and fresh analytical tools for the understanding and analysis of contemporary famines in Africa. It aspires to do so by critically assessing the major theoretical frameworks applied to the analysis of famine by using the example of Malawi, who during the twentieth century has experienced only one minor famine in 1949, but after the food crisis of 2002, has experienced several major food crises.
Vorholt, Dr H J
Warburg Institute, University of London, Medieval History (H8; H11)
The Origin and Transmission of the First Medieval Map of Jerusalem
The conquest of Jerusalem by the Crusaders in 1099 was soon followed by a visual appropriation, when maps of the city circulated in the West. The earliest of them comprised in a circular ground-plan information about not only the geography and holy sites of the city but also the unique salvific role of Jerusalem, thus blending the biblical past, the present and the future into one memorable image. This map was copied in various European countries until the fifteenth century. The project will provide an in-depth study of this group of circular Jerusalem maps and their wider cultural significance, exploring their origin in an anonymous Crusader chronicle of the early twelfth century, their place in the history of cartography, the practical factors which determined their wide-spread dissemination and the specific functions that they performed in the course of their transmission.
Williams, Dr D-A
Oxford English Literature (H6)
The Poet and the OED: The Poetics of Word History 1928-
Dr Williams is researching a monograph on the role of 'word history' - a term he uses to incorporate etymology and false etymology, arcane and obsolete meaning, polysemy, and neologism - in contemporary poetry and poetics. Though fundamentally a work of literary theory, the project employs techniques from various fields, including philosophy of language, philology, linguistics, literary criticism, and poetics. The first two chapters will document the relationship between poets and the Oxford English Dictionary, the first investigating the poetic context around the time of its full publication (1928), the second examining points of encounter between poets and the dictionary since. Successive chapters will develop a theory of word history, organised around the following topics: (1) the 'etymological fallacy', (2) word-historical criticism, (3) the word-historical poem, and (4) 'hermetic philology'. A broad range of poets will be treated throughout, with major consideration given to T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, W. H. Auden, Geoffrey Hill, Seamus Heaney, Paul Muldoon, and Anne Carson.
Wonnacott, Dr E A
Oxford Psychology (S6; H4)
Investigating Verb Argument Structure Acquisition Using Artificial Language Learning
Successful language acquisition relies on an ability to generalize, but how do learners avoid acquiring an over-generalized grammar? Using a combination of artificial language learning and computational modeling, my research will establish the precise circumstances which lead to the generalization of verbs to new constructions. My central question is the extent to which learners are sensitive to the statistical properties of the language they hear, and how this interacts with other sources of information such as verb semantics. I will also explore the loci of maturational differences in learning by exploring whether children and adults differ in their tendency to generalize constructions, given the same linguistic input. Finally, I will explore whether the same information used in learning comes to play a role in real-time processing. This program of research provides a precisely controlled domain for exploring a number of interrelated questions at the heart of theoretical linguistics and psycholinguistics.
Wood, Dr P J
Oxford, Medieval History (H8; H3)
The Chronicle of Seert and Christian Political Thought in Late Antique Iraq (c.500-700)
Dr Wood's postdoctoral work examines the effects of Christianisation upon regional identities and the political thought in Sassanian Iraq. He will do this using Syriac saints' lives and local histories, that belonged to a single Aramaic-writing, Christian world that straddled both the Roman and Sassanian Empires. The project will focus upon how Iraqi Christians were increasingly separated from Christians in the Roman world, first by doctrinal quarrels, and secondly by the appropriation of the trappings of Christian universal rule, the traditional preserve of Roman emperors, by Persian shahs.
The critical text that this work will use to examine this process is the Chronicle of Seert. This Arabic chronicle contains embedded within it a series of histories, originally written in Syriac or Greek, chiefly drawn from the fifth-to-seventh century Church of the East. A repository of short summaries of much longer texts composed in Iraq or Syria, the chronicle can be used to sample the transmission of literature from the Roman Empire into the Sassanian world, since many of these texts were written in alternative religious traditions, and the oscillating positions of Christian magnates and churchmen, the Roman emperors and the shahs.
Yacavone, Dr D W
Edinburgh Film Studies (H6)
Film Worlds: On Cinema, Painting and Reflexivity
Dr. Yacavone's research project will centre on the concept of 'film worlds.' Drawing on film theory, phenomenological aesthetics, and the analytic philosophy of art, and positing cinematic works as complex object-experiences, the elaboration of this concept will offer a new and better understanding of cinematic reflexivity and intertextuality - as both operate at the interstices of the viewer's experience of a film and the filmmaker's creative activity. The creation and experience of film worlds will also provide an illuminating context for a multi-dimensional exploration of the presence and use of painting and still photography in narrative cinema, and a reappraisal of how this cross-art interaction has been hitherto theorised.
Resulting in a monograph attempting to expand and supplement the scope of contemporary film studies with the aid of philosophy and art history and theory, the project will engage with a wide variety of films and cinematic styles, with a focus on 'art cinema' broadly defined.
Yates, Dr D
School of Advanced Study, University of London, Philosophy (H12)
Emergence, Downwards Causation and the Completeness of Physics
The 'completeness of physics' is one of the most widely endorsed theses in current philosophy. It is central to recent formulations of the problem of mental causation, and to most extant arguments for physicalism. Those who endorse completeness typically claim it can be induced from the explanatory successes of science, particularly neuroscience.
In previous work, Dr Yates formulates a version of emergentism about the mind, showing it to be (i) internally consistent, and (ii) inconsistent with completeness. Evidence for completeness must also be evidence against this emergentism, but the evidence cited in the literature is consistent with emergentism. Further, the explanatory successes appealed to typically involve only a rudimentary understanding of the relevant science.
Dr Yates will work with neuroscientists at the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit in London, and assess contemporary 'bottom up' approaches to cognitive modelling to determine whether there is any evidence for completeness. The primary aim of the project will be to understand the precise implications of current neuroscience for the metaphysics of mind. As part of this work, Dr Yates will investigate a number of key issues in the metaphysics of causation, which have wider implications for our understanding of intertheoretic relations in science generally.