Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards 2011
Arroyo-Kalin, Dr Manuel
University College London, Institute of Archaeology
Archaeology / Colonial and world archaeology
A Landscape Provocation: towards a Human History of pre-Columbian Amazonia
The project seeks to develop a time-deep human history of Amazonia, one that assesses contemporary industrial society’s impact on the world’s largest rainforest yet also recognises the role of pre-Columbian human communities as past landscape engineers. To this end, the fellow will re-analyse archaeological sources from the nine Amazonian countries in order to discuss causation between landscape modification, sustained population growth, and the emergence of social complexity. In addition, he will organise in London an international scholarly symposium that examines the contribution of the late Donald D. Lathrap to Amazonian archaeology.
Atkinson, Dr Will
University of Bristol, School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Sociology / Social Divisions and Inequalities
Mapping the British Social Space: Rethinking Class Analysis for the Twenty-First Century
The core objective of the research is to produce a map of the contemporary British class structure that takes account of recent advances in theoretical understanding and statistical methods and to derive from it a new, replicable system of measuring social class for future quantitative analysis. The second objective will then be to apply this measure of class to several empirical topics to gauge its descriptive and explanatory powler vis-à-vis existing schemes. Both tasks will be achieved through secondary data analysis. Specifically, the statistical technique of correspondence analysis will be applied to existing governmental and academic datasets. Finally, alongside, and intersecting with, these empirical tasks will be an engagement with several conceptual questions in order to put the project, and future research using the classification system, on firm theoretical grounding.
Burnett, Dr Stephanie
University of Oxford, Department of Experimental Psychology
Psychology/Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology
Relationship between social cognition, emotional mental imagery and social anxiety traits in adolescence
Early adolescence is marked by psychological maturation and changes in social environment. Social anxiety disorder (SAD), a clinical condition with peak incidence in early adolescence, is characterised by distressing anxiety regarding social situations. An outstanding research question, which I propose to investigate, is whether disrupted adolescent social cognitive functioning is associated with increased social anxiety (SA) traits. To accomplish this goal, I will test hypotheses using a novel combination of mental imagery, cognitive psychology, computational neuroscience and game theory paradigms. Research will test relationships between 1) SA traits and mental state attribution, 2) SA traits and negative emotional imagery of social situations, and 3) SA traits and the efficacy of a cognitive bias modification intervention. Participants will be adults and adolescents selected for high vs. low SA traits. This will allow examination of age and symptom group differences, and their interaction. Findings could have applications for fostering resilience in youth at risk for SAD.
Butler, Dr Katherine
University of Oxford, Faculty of Music
Music / History & Criticism of Music: Baroque/Classical
Musical Myths and Ideas of Music in England 1500-1700
This project will examine the stories that informed beliefs about music in a time of rapid social change. Myths provided explanatory stories for music’s power, origins and social conventions. These were cited as authorities in debates over the morality of music or changes in musical techniques. Using diverse sources – ranging from musical treatises, scientific discussions and conduct books, to drama and song – will reveal how musical myths were understood in both popular and elite cultures. Additionally, the project will show how myths were reinterpreted or reinvented in newly-created tales as attitudes shifted. The period 1500-1700 traverses the social, intellectual and artistic upheavals identified as crucial to the birth of modernity, as well as the transition musicologists perceive between the so-called Renaissance and Baroque. A thorough examination of musical myths will revise our view of the changes in music’s meanings and reception. Combining musicological, historical and anthropological approaches, this project offers new methods of understanding English music of 1500-1700.
Carter, Dr Patrick
University of Bristol, Department of Economics
Dynamic Aid Allocation
How should donors allocate foreign aid amongst economies that are experiencing structural change (from agriculture to industry, rural to urban) and undergoing demographic transition? The aim is to contribute ideas and insights, including quantitative results, into the process by which donors take aid allocation decisions. Basic questions include whether and how the sectoral balance (agriculture/industry) and rates of population growth should affect aid allocation, and how donors should respond to observed change in these characteristics over time. There is also scope to explore alternative uses of aid (should donors try to use aid to accelerate structural change?) and to clarify the relationship between aid and variables such as the fertility rate or food prices. These theoretical insights may change the way we interpret data and generate new empirical results. Economic research has already had a strong influence on aid allocation, but this is still a relatively immature area of study and there is scope for further research to have a major practical impact.
Cornish, Dr Hannah
University of Edinburgh, Department of Linguistics and English Language
Linguistics / Language Evolution
From simple to complex language: extending the iterated learning framework
All human languages are culturally transmitted. Interestingly, this fact helps explain why languages are organised and structured the way they are. We can study the effects of cultural interaction in the laboratory, by creating miniature languages with different structural properties and seeing how these change over time when passed on to new 'generations' of learners. However, what we typically see in these experiments is a reduction of overall complexity in the system, and not an increase. This is puzzling: cultural evolution explains structure as a result of systems adapting to be simpler to learn, and yet when we examine any evolving system (cultural or biological) what surprises us most are the cumulative increases in complexity they exhibit. How can we reconcile these two views? This project will help us understand why the languages we speak are both learnable and complex by looking at what we use language for: expressing concepts.
Deacon, Dr Gregory
University of Oxford, African Studies Centre, School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies
The Complex Role of Varied Categories of Pentecostalism: Testing Accepted Wisdom Through the Lens of Civil Society and Elections in Kenya
Kenya has ostensibly been a democracy since 1992. However, its parliamentary elections in 2007 were highly controversial and followed by extreme violence. The churches, including Pentecostal churches, have apologised for not doing more to encourage a peaceful, participative process. This research looks at what the churches did before, during and after that election and whether their current actions and teachings are encouraging government accountability and fostering a vibrant civil society of informed individuals. In particular this work assesses the potential of Pentecostal churches to produce a notably different process in the next elections in 2012.
Devlin, Dr Eoin Lorcan
University of Cambridge, Faculty of History
History / Early Modern History
Anglo-European cultural exchange and inter-confessional sociability, 1648-1715
This research will examine the social interactions of English visitors to continental Europe in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, exploring how cosmopolitan men and women engaged with people of different nationalities and religious convictions in the aftermath of the Thirty Years War. Examining printed texts, personal papers and cultural artefacts, it will investigate how inter-confessional, international sociability was conducted in opposition to popular xenophobia and anti-Catholic sentiment. The research will concentrate on English attitudes to baroque culture, an aesthetic form and cultural movement constructed as part of the counter-reformation Catholic response to Protestantism. The Protestant English elite came to embrace the baroque and re-worked its ideological significance in art, architecture, literature and music. The research will question how and why this ideological shift occurred, drawing connections between this adaptive cultural exchange and the increasingly intense and sophisticated social relationships between members of the Anglo-European elite in a period of changing assumptions about national identities and confessional cultures.
Dresvina, Dr Juliana
King's College London, Department of English Language and Literature
Medieval Studies / Medieval History - Medieval Studies
Late-medieval mystical experiences from psycho-historical perspective
A study of psychohistory of late medieval Christian mysticism, based on the evidence from both Western and Eastern traditions, will enquire how much such 'unusual' spiritual experiences as mystical ones are defined by contemporary religious tradition and socio-cultural stereotypes and also explore the extent to which medieval conceptions of religious experience are to be differentiated from their modern equivalents (if at all). The study is methodologically innovative in that it combines theoretical psychology and literary analysis in a way that opens up the possibility of entering the psychological world of mystics without reducing them to the effects of basic psychoanalysis or treating their writings as a purely literary result of their cultural milieu, as has previously been seen. This can be achieved by employing newer methods of socio-cultural or cultural psychology, which has successfully used cognitive ethnographic methods where experimental approach was not possible. The aim is to create a fuller interpretation of mysticism not limited to separate disciplinary trends.
Dubbelboer, Dr Marieke
University of Bristol, School of Modern Languages Department of French
Sleeping with the enemy? French writers and the press 1890-1920.
This research will investigate the close bonds between literature and journalism in late-nineteenth-century and early-twentieth-century France and aims to demonstrate how the work and positions of writers in society were affected by those bonds. It will be the first research of this kind for this period. I hypothesize that the relationship with the press affected the way writers presented themselves in society, both aesthetically and politically. Around 1900, when the French press enjoyed an enormous boom, writers were often attached to or employed by mainstream newspapers and magazines. Some writers also founded their own papers and magazines. The main question is how this connection between literature and journalism shaped the work of literary authors working in journalism. How did these bonds influence the aesthetics as well as the contents and politics of their literary texts? And how did, conversely, their literary aesthetics affect their journalism, their views and public commitment to social and political issues?
Fletcher, Dr Guy
University of Edinburgh, Department of Philosophy, School of Philosophy, Psychology, and Language Sciences
Disagreement, Motivation, and Hybrid Theories in Metaethics
This research will examine hybrid theories in metaethics (the study of moral thought and language). A long-standing assumption in metaethics is that moral thought and language is either purely cognitive or purely non-cognitive (or affective). But this is questionable. For whilst such pure theories can explain some elements of moral thought and language they cannot accommodate others. This has led to the development of hybrid theories, which take moral thought and language to have cognitive and non-cognitive aspects.
Gagliardone, Dr Iginio
University of Oxford, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies
Shifting ideas of freedom of expression, development and state security: the role of China in Africa
Through the lens of China in Africa, this project studies the transformations in the relationship between the Internet and the state. China’s economic success, impressive growth of Internet users and relative stability have promoted an example of how the Internet can be deployed within the larger political and economic strategies of developing states, moving beyond the democratization paradigm promoted in the West. Through a case study comparison of four countries in Africa where China has recently increased its involvement in the communications sector, this project investigates whether and how the ideas of state stability, development and community that characterize the Chinese model are influencing and legitimizing the development of a less open model of the Internet. It draws on a constructivist framework to analyse how new ideas, technologies and norms integrate with existing ones and which factors influence their adoption or rejection.
Gallaher, Dr Brandon
University of Oxford, Faculty of Theology
Primacy, Papacy and the Challenge of Secularism in Modern Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Ecclesiology
I study Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox theologies of episcopal primacy and the papacy in their confrontation with secularism and secular power during the last 100 years. In contrast to previous scholarship that has opposed theology and social theory, the project places into constructive dialogue theologians writing on sacred power and secularism with contemporary sociologists and political theorists writing on the role of religion in secularized societies. The social sciences help illumine the shifting conceptions of ecclesial authority and the role of culture in reaction to the secular. I attempt to revise homogenizing perspectives of previous scholarship by investigating Catholic and Orthodox re-conceptions of primacy and the papacy vis-à-vis secularism according to their own theological and cultural terms. In the end, I hope to give a nuanced account of how a) sacred and secular power can exist in a creative tension; and b) shed light on the nature of the new Europe, where religious authority still exercises a crucial role.
George, Dr Robert
University of Oxford, Faculty of Law
The Realities of Relocation: Analysing Disputes Over Post-Separation Family Migration in the English Trial Courts
Relocation cases are legal disputes between separated parents which arise when one proposes to move to a new locality with their child and the other objects. Relocation disputes are increasingly common and are becoming a topic of international concern, but in England almost nothing is known about the everyday reality of these cases: who the individuals are, where they are going and why, and how cases fare in the trial courts. While appeal court cases lead England to be characterised as ‘pro-relocation’, there are presently no data to indicate whether this trend reflects the reality of the majority of cases, which do not reach the appeal court. This research adds to the information about formally reported relocation cases by analysing data about relocation trials from two sources. One will be transcripts of judgments over a twelve month period from a sample of trial courts; the other will be qualitative interviews with litigants involved in relocation disputes. These sources give detailed information about individual relocation cases, and the trends of outcomes in the trial courts.
Grande, Mr James
King's College London, Department of English Language and Literature
Memory, Dissent and Radical Culture, 1820-1880
Dissenting culture has emerged over recent years as a major context for the literary, political and intellectual history of the Romantic period. However, there has been very little study on the reception of this culture in the mid-nineteenth century. This project will seek to uncover how a particular form of Romanticism, characterised by its religious dissent, intellectual eclecticism, radical politics and searing prose, was taken up by writers between 1820 and 1880. It will focus on the overlap between early- and mid-nineteenth century networks of writers, looking at the way that Paine, Godwin, Wollstonecraft and Hazlitt were remembered. If the 1828 Repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts marked the end of a chapter in the history of dissent, it will ask if the distinctive historical narratives of dissent survived. It will aim for the first full study of the influence of Romantic dissent on Dickens, Gaskell, Martineau and Carlyle and study the role that the traditions of dissent, closely tied to revolution and republicanism, played in nineteenth-century radicalism.
Green, Dr Thomas Matthew
University of Edinburgh, Centre for Legal History, School of Law, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
The Commissary Courts and Scottish Ecclesiastical Polity, 1559 – 1649
The suppression of the courts of the Catholic Church in Scotland from 1559 occasioned a crisis in the Scottish legal system. The crisis was initially addressed through the appointment of the Commissaries of Edinburgh in 1564, together with inferior Commissaries in the localities, who collectively administered large portions of what had been the spiritual jurisdiction of the Scottish Catholic episcopate, being concerned chiefly with marital relations and the patrimony of the medieval Church. Yet these new courts were outwith the jurisdiction and structures of the Reformed Kirk, a fact which resulted in a prolonged period of adjustment and conflict between the Commissaries and the Church of Scotland. The proposed research will study: the origins and early stages of this jurisdictional dislocation; the attempt to resolve it in 1609 by subjecting the Commissary Courts to the reformed Scottish episcopate, thereby integrating them into the structures of the Reformed Kirk; the consequences of the rise of Presbyterianism and the first abolition of the reformed Scottish episcopate from 1638.
Haines, Mr Timothy Daniel
Royal Holloway, University of London, Department of History
Rivers divided: the Partition of South Asia and water politics in India and Pakistan
Water today is one of the world’s most precious resources. In the Indus Basin, an arid region split between India and Pakistan, rival governments at provincial and national levels have long vied to control and exploit the Indus. As well as providing the water for almost all agriculture, household use and power generation in the region, the Indus and its tributaries have helped to define the nature of state authority and political culture. After India and Pakistan rose from the ashes of the British Raj in 1947, they developed river-diversion schemes at a furious pace, spurred by political and economic need. At the same time, ‘development’ emerged as a strong but anti-democratic force for modernization. This project asks how dividing the river system between two countries affected South Asia politically, socially and environmentally. It will examine tensions both between India and Pakistan, and within them, during the phase of major river-diversion project construction after decolonization, circa 1947-1980.
Hawes, Dr Greta
University of Bristol, Department of Classics and Ancient History
A Traveller’s Tales: Myth and Storytelling in Pausanias’ Periegesis.
In his Periegesis (Guide to Greece), Pausanias takes us on a journey through Greece of the second century AD. More than merely a travel guide to ancient Greece, this text provides a uniquely insightful portrait of Greek culture and ethnicity. It has long been valued as a documentary resource for Greek myth, preserving unusual variants and unique glimpses of indigenous attitudes towards these stories. This project offers the first wide-ranging study of Pausanias as a storyteller and of his text as a repository for myths. It addresses issues related to the relationship between oral and written transmission of knowledge and traces the ways in which stories give significance to the physical landscape and bolster as sense of communal and national identity. More broadly, it will provide a better understanding of the place of myth in ancient travel writing and in Greek culture of the Imperial period.
Haworth, Dr Claire
King's College London, Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry (SGDP) Centre, at the Institute of Psychiatry
Positive Genetics: The Nature and Nurture of Wellbeing in Adolescence
The UK ranks in the bottom third of industrialised countries for childhood wellbeing, and improving wellbeing is a key governmental objective. However, we know very little about why some people are happier or more satisfied with their lives than others.
Dr Haworth will investigate wellbeing using a genetically sensitive twin design to uncover the influences of nature (genes) and nurture (environments) on differences in wellbeing during adolescence. Dr Haworth will also conduct an innovative genetically sensitive intervention study to investigate why some people respond better to wellbeing interventions than others. This research brings genetics and positive psychology together to understand why some people are happier than others, why wellbeing predicts physical and mental health, and how environmental interventions produce lasting improvements in wellbeing.
Hill, Dr Katherine
University of Oxford, History Faculty
The Developing Culture of Lutheranism: Publishing, Theology and Literature in the later Sixteenth Century
This project will examine how a coherent but broad Lutheran culture was created in the second half of the sixteenth century, a culture which Lutheran pastors and writers attempted to transmit across a range of genres to a wide public. Some recent studies have examined aspects of this culture, but we lack a coherent analysis of how it hung together, in what ways it transmitted the memory of the Reformation, and if it was successful. This Lutheran culture ranged from hymns, through moralistic and humorous Devil books, to books on diverse subjects such as hunting, local history, and mining. By focusing on a group of Lutheran writers, who contributed to this culture through different media, this project presents an exciting opportunity to explore the ways in which a wider market for Lutheran culture was created. This study will explore the memorialisation and diffusion of the Lutheran Reformation in the sixteenth century in theology and literature, images and music, addressing a deficiency in Germany's cultural history.
Hill, Dr Nathan
School of Oriental and African Studies, Faculty of Languages and Cultures, Department of Linguistics
Pre-history of the Sino-Tibetan languages: the sound laws relating Old Burmese, Old Chinese, and Old Tibetan
The history of the languages of Europe is understood stretching back thousands of years before the appearance of written records. This feat is achieved by the discovery of sound laws through the comparison of attested languages, e.g. Latin p- corresponds to English f- (pes, foot; primus, first; plenus, full). Using such laws one can reconstruct not only the prehistoric language that gave rise to all of the Indo-European languages, but also explore the religion, society, and material culture of the speakers of this language.
Hodgson, Dr Kate
University of Liverpool, School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies
Haiti and the international politics of anti-slavery
The founding of Haiti as the world’s first black post-colonial and post-slavery nation state is a vital part of the story of international slavery and the global struggle for emancipation. But Haiti’s significance to the anti-slavery movement does not end with the overthrow of colonial slavery. This project will go beyond 1804 to examine Haiti’s continued national politics of opposition to slavery and colonial rule within an international context which had normalised both. The resulting isolation to which Haiti was subject has been documented, but little attention has been given to attempts by Haitians to engage on their own terms with the developing global politics of abolition. Haitian abolitionists participated in international debates over the slave trade and slavery, published books, attended conferences, supported anti-slavery organisations, and encouraged their government to pursue anti-slavery policies. This project will examine how engaging with abolitionism became a way to promote national interests abroad and to strengthen Haiti’s own post-colonial national identity.
Hoehn, Dr Sabine
University of Edinburgh, School of Social and Political Studies Centre of African Studies
Enacting Justice: The International Criminal Court and Kenya’s post-election violence
A key debate in the political analysis of international justice concerns the relation between universal jurisdiction and state sovereignty. Often sovereignty and justice are presented in abstract terms, suggesting that they have a clear and unchanging meaning. In contrast the research treats sovereignty and justice as contested notions whose meanings are negotiated in courts. Using ethnographic methods the research investigates how justice and sovereignty are created at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Examining the ICC’s investigation of the 2007 violence in Kenya, the research will lead to a monograph and two articles. The book's first part locates the analysis of international justice as social process in theoretical debates about state sovereignty in Africa.Based on an already secured internship with the ICC, the book’s second part and the first article explore how justice and sovereignty are discussed during the Court’s investigations.The book’s third part and the second article discuss how the ICC’s work relates to UK policy makers' ideas about African sovereignty.
Johnson, Dr Matthew
University of York, Department of Politics
Promoting Wellbeing and Challenging Harmful Cultural Practices: An Examination of the Roles of Intervention, Toleration and Recognition in Perfectionist Politics
Which considerations should enter into our overall assessment of whether we should intervene to enhance someone’s wellbeing and how much weight should be allocated to each? In Dr Johnson’s book, A Theory of Cultural Evaluation, to be published by Palgrave in 2012, he seeks to advance objective, universal criteria by which to assess the value of cultural practices to human wellbeing. Evaluating cultures implies a form of perfectionism: if we know what will enhance a person’s wellbeing, there is a prima facie reason to intervene. However, perfectionist arguments against intervention, combined with failed interventions, suggest that there may be reasons for restraint. In this project, Dr Johnson shall employ analytical political philosophy and empirical case-studies on the effects of different interventions to explore the implications of applying a theory of cultural evaluation. He shall examine: the relationship between perfectionism, intervention, toleration and recognition; the value of autonomy and recognition to wellbeing; the options for dealing with harmful practices, and the importance of type of culture and context to the effect of public policy on wellbeing.
Kershaw, Dr Jane
Oxford University, Institute of Archaeology
The Bullion Economy of Viking England
Despite written evidence for large-scale Viking raiding in England, little is known about the scale and impact of subsequent settlement. This project aims to address this gap in our knowledge through an original study of the Viking bullion economy, in which weighed silver was used as a means of exchange, rather than coin. While previous work on Viking bullion has been dominated by evidence from hoards, this project uses new and untapped archaeological data from settlement and single finds to provide a different perspective. It will, for the first time, identify the sources of Viking bullion, assess its scale and distribution within England and chart its development over time. The English evidence will be considered within the context of recent excavations in Ireland, Wales and Scandinavia, in the first comparative regional survey of Viking-Age economic zones and relationships. The results will affect not only our understanding of the Viking economy, but also broader historical questions concerning the impact of Viking settlement and assimilation into Anglo-Saxon society.
Langellotti, Dr Micaela
Kings College London, Classics and Ancient History
Village economy and society: early Roman Tebtunis
This research project aims to construct the first detailed village study for the Roman Empire. The village is Tebtunis, in the Fayum, and the main evidence is the archive of Kronion, who ran the local 'notarial office'. This archive of almost 200 published documents includes three registers which list the basic details of over 1,300 contracts and other documents drafted in AD 42 and 45-6. This remarkable sample of the economic activities in the village which involved contracts will enable study of the socio-economic stratification of village society, the economic role of women, the availability and use of credit, and so on. We can learn more about the socio-economic dynamics of Tebtunis than we can of any other village of the Roman Empire.
Lombardo, Dr Michael
University of Cambridge, Autism Research Centre in the Department of Psychiatry
Decoding self-referential and social-cognitive mental states from the brain
'Know thyself...' This ancient Greek aphorism has inspired much scholarly inquiry over the centuries. The history surrounding this topic is indicative of its paramount importance in the fabric of our society for understanding aspects that are central to being human. In recent decades psychologists have demonstrated that the self is a multidimensional construct and all of our experiences and behaviors are motivated, organized and interpreted around it. We are embedded in a social world replete with other multidimensional selves and are often egocentric in how we interpret and predict the behavior and mental states of others. However, despite the decades of psychological research, several simple, yet fundamental questions are still unanswered. These questions centre on how psychological representations of the self and others arise from the underlying neural representations stored in the brain. I intend to answer how complex representations of self and other are represented as neural information and how such representations are atypical in individuals with autism.
MacDonald, Dr Iain Gerard
University of Glasgow, School of Humanities; Department of History
The Custom of Hospitality in the Scottish Highlands: its purposes, survival and extinction from circa 1400 to circa 1800
This is an examination of the existence, mechanism and development of the customary practice of hospitality in Gaelic Scotland from the emergence of the Highland-Lowland divide in the Later Middle Ages, through to the disintegration of clan society after Culloden, and the survival of the practice documented in the emerging Highland tours of Samuel Johnson and the like in the later eighteenth century. By establishing a typology of the diverse forms of ‘hospitality’ in Highland society - incorporating noble feasting, Christian charity to the poor and traveller, exactions for military service, and payment of rent in kind – the research offers new perspectives for understanding how this custom shaped key events such as the Glencoe Massacre of 1692 and the shelter and protection given to the fugitive Charles Edward Stuart in 1746. It will assess the extent to which hospitality was embedded in Scottish Gaelic society, and its crucial role in underpinning the economic lordship and military capacity of the clan chiefs.
Machielsen, Dr Johannes Maria
University of Oxford, Faculty of History
Demons in a World of Learning
The role universities played in the story of the European witch-hunt has been unduly neglected. Their importance for the course of the witch-hunt cannot be overestimated. Magic was already condemned by the University of Paris in 1398 and the first major witchcraft text, the Malleus Maleficarum, was published with the approval of the University of Cologne. University professors lectured on the dangers of witchcraft, students discussed in masters dissertations whether witches were able to fly or cry and occassionally sought to dabble in witchcraft too. Even the founders of the Royal Society were interested in witchcraft as an object of scientific study. This project studies how universities acted as a public sphere, in which the case for the reality of witchcraft was made and legitimated. In the process it also hopes to shed new light on universities as institutions, whose fortunes also rose and fell during the early modern period.
Marszalec, Dr Daniel
University of Oxford, Department of Economics
Understanding bidding in multi-unit and multi-dimensional auctions
Auctions have recently gained prominence as tools for selling, buying or allocating goods. As they are used to tackle ever more complex problems, their structure grows more intricate, and analytical solutions are not always available. This project offers policymakers and practitioners with practical insights into multi-unit and multi-dimensional auctions using theoretical, empirical and experimental methods. I combine theoretical modeling with empirical data to investigate discriminatory auctions with ‘top-up rules’, a mechanism often used for selling government bonds, and hitherto ignored. I will also conduct experiments to compare four combinatorial auctions with complementarities to see which of them generates efficient and revenue-maximising allocations under a variety of conditions – the results provide guidance on auction design for scarce licences, e.g. mobile spectrum or airport landing slots. The second strand of experimental research evaluates a multi-dimensional ‘product-mix’ auction, which can be used to endogenously price risk-premiums in government-run liquidity auctions.
Mehdizadeh, Dr Narjes
University of Bradford, Centre for Applied Social Research (CASR), School of Social and International Studies
A comparative study of women’s work and childcare experience in the Middle East
The fellowship will reinforce and build upon the PhD research in terms of refining welfare policy and theory. The proposed research will study the relationship between childcare and childcare policies and the low rate of labour market participation of Middle Eastern (ME) women, focusing on a key problem - how to manage work and childcare. This study on ME women’s experience of childcare will contribute to the debate as to whether ‘western’ models of welfare support for parenting and childcare are appropriate in other contexts. Dr Mehdizadeh would do this by examining the childcare arrangements and needs of women in socio-economic, cultural and political environments in Turkey, Iran and Qatar. The main focus of the PDF proposal will be the dissemination of my PhD research findings through different avenues, such as workshops, publication of a book and journal articles, networking and conferences, as well as seminar delivery. Overall, it will assist in building up the new major research proposal which Dr Mehdizadeh intends to develop during the fellowship in the field of social policy about Middle Eastern women.
Moran, Dr Christopher
The University of Warwick, Department of Politics and International Studies
Politics, Partnership and Paranoia: Nixon, Kissinger and the US Intelligence Community
A British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship would permit a major archivally-rich investigation of President Richard Nixon, his National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger and their relationship with the US intelligence community. Existing studies have tended to interpret Nixon’s relations with secret agencies such as the CIA through the narrow prism of Watergate, the Nixon-inspired burglary of the Democratic Party HQ in Washington, but now more commonly used as shorthand for a complex web of intrigue and cover-up that engulfed the American political scene between 1972 and 1974. Nixon’s resignation amid scandal has encouraged a teleological approach to the topic of intelligence during this era, focused on domestic issues. In fact, intelligence touched upon almost every aspect of his foreign and security policy. As he dealt with Vietnam, the thaw in relations with China, and the start of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT), Nixon was an avid consumer of intelligence. Accordingly, this study will move the frame of investigation beyond Watergate, capturing the complex inter-connections between intelligence, national security policy and the remarkable Nixon-Kissinger dyad from 1969-74. In doing so, it will provide a new vista on this most tumultuous time in recent US history.
Munt, Mr Thomas Henry Robert
Oxford University, Faculty of Oriental Studies
Local History-Writing and Regionalism in the Medieval Islamic World
I will investigate the genre of local historiography in the medieval Islamic world, and in particular the ways in which the uses of this genre by medieval scholars illuminate how local elites dealt with their political and social problems. I will seek a more nuanced definition of Arabic and Persian local history and its models than previously offered. I will study the emergence of local history-writing in the eighth and ninth centuries and its development thereafter as the Islamic world became more politically fragmented but the elites of various regions strove to maintain a cultural unity. In order to achieve this will I focus primarily upon three regions (Egypt, western Arabia, and Iran) in the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries. These three regions experienced different political and economic circumstances in this period. The contrasts between these regions will reveal significant new insights about how local elites of different regions dealt with their particular social and political problems in various ways through writing history.
Oppitz-Trotman, Mr George David Campbell
University of Cambridge, English Faculty
Itinerancy and Dramatic Form in Early Modern Europe: English Actors in the Holy Roman Empire and the Netherlands, ca. 1584-1618
This postdoctoral project will explore the contribution of itinerant English actors to various kinds of dramatic innovation in northern Europe, ca. 1586-1618. Owing to the methodological, linguistic, and interdisciplinary demands, this is an area largely neglected by Anglophone scholarship. Yet these tours contributed decisively to the formation of various pan-European dramatic traditions. The extent of this contribution has by no means been fully explored. The work will combine research in continental archives with a dialectical approach to dramatic texts and their association with historical performance. Moreover, I will explore aspects of the local history of select places where the touring actors performed, in order to conjecture how these strangers would have fared in comparison with other itinerants. The project will proceed from assumptions probed in Dr Oppitz-Trotman’s doctoral work. The research completed during the fellowship will eventually contribute to a long-term ambition to write a materialist history of the European clown.
Packham, Dr Kendra
University of Oxford, Faculty of English Language and Literature
Literature and the Culture of Elections and Electioneering, c.1679-1741
The years between 1679 and 1741 witnessed the birth of party politics, and the emergence of the contested election as an important aspect of English political life. I propose to examine the role of literary texts in the development of a culture of elections and electioneering at this time. I will consider the particular kinds of knowledge about elections that verse and drama could convey, and how the formal features and dissemination of such writing could help to popularise these ideas. By analysing texts that both reflected and contributed to political culture, I will seek to shed new light on the literature and politics of the period, and the vital interaction between them.
Pimlott-Wilson, Dr Helena
Loughborough University, Department of Geography
Work-Life Balance: Young Peoples’ Family Experience, its Impact on their Future Aspirations and Changes Over Time
The major lacuna in research on work-life balance is that the attitudes of adults dominate the literature, with little attention given to the effects these decisions have on young people. Addressing this gap will not only allow a better insight into the lives of teenagers, it will also facilitate an understanding of the factors which influence their own future and aspirations. Firstly, it investigates how 15-16 year olds from different socioeconomic backgrounds feel about parental employment and how it affects their lives in the here and now. Secondly, the research explores how parental employment practices influence young peoples’ aspirations for the future in terms of the jobs they aspire to and the work-life balance they view as desirable. Thirdly, it will uncover how teenagers’ attitudes towards their parents’ work change over time and the factors which are influential in this. The project therefore advances theoretical and empirical agendas in geography, with wider implications for public policy on work-life balance, social mobility and the aspirations of future citizen-workers.
Pollard, Dr Natalie
University of Reading, Department of English Language and Literature
Lyric Economies: Literary Address and the Poetics of the Marketplace since 1960
This project probes our accounts of, uses for, and fears about art’s interrelation with commercial production today. It disseminates to scholars and the public what has until now been largely neglected in this field: analysis of post-1960s British poetry’s creative handling of its interactions with publishing houses, editorial policy, funding bodies, sales margins and marketing strategy. Whilst institutional and economic factors substantially structure contemporary poetic texts, they are also key in poetry’s ability to entertain and move its public. I explore how creativity arises in poetry's negotiations of its status as cultural capital – especially through poets' addresses to readerships.
Ramalingam, Dr Chitra
Cambridge University, Department of History and Philosophy of Science
Experiment and visual experience in nineteenth-century science
I am a historian of science focusing on how scientists devise highly refined practices of observation and visualization in the laboratory - how they see and make pictures - and how these ways of seeing and picturing are connected to the wider visual culture in which they also take part. During the fellowship I will finish a first book manuscript, ‘To see a spark: Experiment and visual experience in Victorian science,’ a study of the electric spark as an object of scientific and aesthetic fascination in Victorian Britain. I will also launch a new project, ‘The archives of experiment: Describing, collecting, ordering, and classifying in nineteenth-century physics.’ It will place physics within the broader material culture of nineteenth-century knowledge, to ask how the keeping and ordering of images, artifacts, and textual records of experimentation have mattered to physicists. Finally, I will edit a volume of essays by art historians and historians of science on the photographic pioneer W.H.F. Talbot.
Raychaudhuri, Dr Anindya
University College London, Department of English Language and Literature Faculty of Arts and Humanities
"The Scar That Never Healed: Collective Memory of Partition in the South-Asian Diaspora"
This interdisciplinary research project examines the role played by collective memories of the 1947 Indian Partition in the construction of diasporic communities of South Asians in Britain. I will study how memories affect the daily life of the diaspora (by conducting oral history testimonies) as well as the ways in which memories are mediated through literature and cinema (by analysing the representations of collective memories in the cultural production of diasporic authors and artists). In the process, I will examine what, if anything, is distinctive about the way the South Asian diaspora remembers the Partition. This research will help to provide a fuller understanding of the legacy of Partition and will also shed new light on the complicated relationship between collective memories of the past and the everyday life of the present within diasporic communities. In the process, I will examine to what extent diasporic communities and their memories can be seen as a corrective to the most persistent myth that Partition has led to mutually exclusive, heterogeneous but unified nations.
Schumacher, Dr Lydia
University of Oxford, Faculty of Theology
Alexander of Hales and the Origins of the Franciscan Intellectual Tradition
This project identifies Alexander of Hales (c. 1185-1245) as the founder of the Franciscan intellectual tradition, which greatly influenced the course of medieval and modern thought. To do this, it contests three claims that scholars commonly take for granted. The first is that Alexander’s best student Bonaventure founded the Franciscan tradition by giving full expression to his teacher’s intellectual system; the second affirms that Alexander's system basically continued the longstanding tradition of Augustine; the third holds that later Franciscans like John Duns Scotus (c. 1265-1308) rejected the Augustinianism of their predecessors in favour of a ‘proto-modern’ philosophy. By interpreting Alexander’s writings in their theological context, I show in contrast that he departed significantly from Augustine; in this, he founded the Franciscan tradition of thought and laid the foundation for Scotus’ innovations. On these grounds, I challenge received assumptions about the shape of high medieval thought while addressing a current debate about Scotus and the origins of modern thought.
Skafida, Dr Valeria
University of Edinburgh, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, Centre for Population Health Sciences
An appetite for life? Changing food habits and health from infancy to childhood in the context of family life in Scotland
Previous research on child nutrition has focused primarily on school aged children, by which time many fundamental eating habits have been set. The proposed research will build upon the investigator’s doctoral work which looked at child nutrition from birth to age 2. It will use upcoming longitudinal data from the Growing Up in Scotland survey to explore how dietary habits continue to develop over time as children turn 5 years old. The research will provide a unique understanding on how children’s nutritional trajectories evolve from birth through the toddler years, within the context of family meal patterns and parental health behaviours. It will also explore how nutrition in infancy and early childhood relates to young children’s weight, their dental health, and their participation in physical activity. The project is expected to provide a comprehensive, policy and theory embedded analysis of children’s nutrition and health in the early years. The findings will inform health policy which addresses the growing problems caused by sub-optimal nutrition in infancy and early childhood.
Souag, Dr Mostafa Lameen
School of Oriental and African Studies, Department of Linguistics
The Development of Agreement Across Berber
Berber turns out to provide key data for understanding the typology and history of agreement. While it is common worldwide for verbs to agree with their subject, it is very unusual for them to have to agree with their indirect object, and almost unheard of in such cases for them not to agree with direct objects. Nevertheless, at least one Berber language, Siwi, has developed obligatory indirect object agreement on finite verbs, without direct object agreement. Comparison across the rest of Berber gives a rough picture of how this emerged: in southern Berber cognate forms do not co-occur with indirect object prepositional phrases, while across Northern Berber they co-occur optionally ("clitic doubling"), conditioned by factors that have not yet been determined. Berber also displays variation in a variety of other agreement phenomena, including the contexts for subject agreement and the rare phenomenon of addressee agreement on demonstratives. I intend to investigate the syntax and typology of agreement across the region to determine more precisely how these have developed.
Stoeckl, Dr Heidi
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Global Health and Development Faculty of Public Health and Policy
Empowering pregnant women in Tanzania to address the double burden of intimate partner violence and HIV: a mixed methods research study
Violence by an intimate partner is one of the most common forms of violence against women. Whilst several studies have been conducted in industrialised countries on how to effectively intervene with pregnant, abused women, scarce evidence exist on what works in developing countries, including those with high HIV prevalence rates. This project builds on Dr Stoeckl’s previous work on the prevalence, maternal health outcomes and risk factors for intimate partner violence during pregnancy in Tanzania. Utilizing quantitative data from various sources, qualitative interviews and health service observations, this project will explore how abused women cope with partner violence in Tanzania and the linkages between intimate partner violence during pregnancy, HIV related stigma and risk behaviour and women’s adherence to drugs to prevent mother to child HIV transmission.
Together, these findings will be useful to design a health care or community based intervention to address intimate partner violence during pregnancy and improve mother to child transmission of HIV drug treatment compliance.
Thoms, Dr Gary
Ellipsis licensing and head movement: a cross-linguistic investigation
University of Edinburgh, Department of Linguistics and English Language
Start date: 11/1/2011
This project investigates ellipsis licensing, the syntactic conditions that determine whether or not a constituent can be left unpronounced. Based on the proposals in Thoms (2011), it investigates the relation between ellipsis and head movement, conducting a crosslinguistic investigation into two particular ellipsis constructions that involve head movement: VP- and NP-ellipsis. The project considers the availability of ellipsis across languages and constructions, analysing VP-ellipsis in Romance, Bantu, Semitic and Slavic and NP-ellipsis in Romance, Japanese, Chinese (and other languages). The project attempts to explain variation in the availability of ellipsis in terms of differences in head movement configurations; specifically, it considers why some kinds of head movement license ellipsis while others do not, and why some kinds of head movement are "bled" by ellipsis and others are not. By doing this the project aims to develop a comprehensive theory of ellipsis licensing and to reconsider the syntax of head movement.
Viejo Rose, Dr Dacia
University of Cambridge, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
Cultural Violence/Violence Against Culture
Until now, the study of the destruction of cultural heritage during wars has focused on the material damage suffered by sites or on the looting of objects. This focus on material destruction has overlooked what might be underlying this form of violence. The proposed research project will further develop the theory of ‘cultural violence’, applying it to violent acts against cultural heritage. This will be done by working on theories of violence and by collecting and analysing material from a civil war (Spain, 1936-1939) that saw cultural references being used to construct an enemy ‘other’ out of neighbours and even family in order to justify violence. One aim of this research is to understand how cultural heritage can be used as much to divide as to unite, redefining boundaries of belonging and exclusion. The findings from the Spanish research will be contrasted with instances of cultural violence in other conflicts. It is hoped that the insights gained from this work will help inform national policies more likely to strengthen plural societies. On an international level this research could help develop practical tools for agencies working on post-conflict reconstruction projects and strengthen measures for protecting heritage sites during conflicts.
Watt-Smith, Ms Tiffany
Queen Mary, University of London, School of English and Drama
The 'Echo Principle': Bodily Imitation in Science and Culture, 1850-1940
Since the early 1990s, the notion that we participate in one another’s emotions through imitative neural states (‘mirror neurons’) has stimulated fierce debate. Yet, this is not the first time scientists have understood the human body as a ‘copying machine’ (Baldwin, 1897), nor the first time artists, philosophers and policy-makers have scrambled to grasp the unnerving implications of our compulsion to imitate each other’s gestures and facial expressions.
This project will provide the first cultural history of involuntary motor mimicry as an object of scientific scrutiny and cultural fascination from 1850 to 1940. While Victorian men of science regarded mimicry to be an aberrant pathology, by the beginning of the twentieth century the ‘echo principle’ (McDougall, 1908) was deemed vital for empathy and socialization. Dr Watt-Smith’s project will trace this changing understanding through the psychological experiments that shaped it. It will ask how scientists drew on techniques of popular entertainment, and in turn how artists and writers explored the theatricality of the imitative body, calling into question cherished notions of an autonomous self.
Wilkinson, Dr Eleanor
University of Leeds, School of Geography
Solitary Spaces? Single People’s Networks of Care in Contemporary Britain.
This research questions the linking of legal rights and benefits to intimate attachments, and asks what could be done to better support those who live outside of traditional family forms. The home is often assumed to be the ‘correct’ space for caring, with childcare and care for the elderly best provided in the context of the (nuclear) family household. However, the recent recognition of same-sex partnerships and adoption in certain countries suggests the boundaries of care are beginning to shift. This research asks if there is further scope to extend the boundaries of care in order to recognise relationships that are not romantic, sexual or familial. The project, based in the UK, focuses upon people who identify as ‘single by choice’, who have no dependents and who live either in single-occupancy households or communally. The project will engage with those entering later life, typically transitioning from paid employment to retirement. It will identify the networks of care that such people have created, and the pressures faced when living outside of the romantic/familial form.