Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards 2012
Adams, Dr Sean
School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh
Religious Studies / New Testament
Greek education, genre, and rhetoric in the Hellenistic Era and Early Empire and its importance for the study of Luke and Paul
Biblical scholars often posit parallels between Biblical and pagan texts, assert that Hellenistic documents have influenced the structure or genre of New Testament writings, or make claims regarding the level of education of various New Testament authors. Yet these scholars have paid little attention to the actual educational practices of the first century CE. A thorough understanding of the Hellenistic Greek educational system and the texts and authors studied in Hellenistic schools is necessary for establishing claims of literary influence on the New Testament. Likewise, understanding the role of rhetorical training within the educational system, specifically the use of progymnasmata (“rhetorical handbooks”), is crucial for determining whether or not New Testament authors had access to formal rhetorical training. This study will provide a holistic evaluation of education in the first century CE, delineating the boundaries of literary, genre, or rhetorical claims that may be made on that basis. The findings will also be applied to New Testament authors, particularly Luke and Paul.
Alfano, Dr Marco
Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration Department of Economics University College London
Economics / Applied Economics
Female autonomy and gender disparities in child survival: evidence from India
The project scrutinises the interrelations between female autonomy and child survival in India. The analysis is of an econometric nature and centres on three sets of questions. The first focuses on the direct effect of female autonomy on child survival and investigates whether it varies with the gender and/or the age of the child. The second area of inquiry focuses on the modelling of female autonomy, which traditionally has been treated as a concept that can be measured perfectly. As an alternative, the study proposes to treat it as an unobservable factor, which is approximated by a number of error prone measurements. It subsequently considers the relative merits of this innovative approach. Finally, the project seeks to identify factors that influence female autonomy including the woman’s characteristics like her age, caste or religion as well as the environment she lives in.
Arsan, Dr Andrew
Faculty of History, University of Cambridge
History / Intellectual History
A world of ideas: Middle Eastern political thought in the First Age of Globalisation, 1880-1940
This work is a transnational exploration of Middle Eastern political thought and culture under late Ottoman and Mandatory rule. The first of its kind, it draws on sources in Arabic, French, English, Ottoman Turkish, and Portuguese to examine the undertakings of literati and reformers in six dispersed sites of Eastern Mediterranean intellectual life: Beirut, Paris, São Paulo, Cairo, and Alexandria. Straddling the fields of political, intellectual, and cultural history, it sets out to reconstruct the scattered social worlds of these journalists, administrators, and lawyers, to trace the contours of the diasporic public sphere they created, and to dissect their intellectual appropriations and innovations, and their sense of political self and community.
Understanding the way these figures responded to the global movement of people and ideas, and sought to craft new understandings of state and subject, doesn’t simply enhance our understanding of Middle Eastern political thought. It also provides broader insight into conceptions of state and society in the world beyond Europe.
Benohr, Dr Iris
University of Oxford, Faculty of Law, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies
Law / European Union Law
The intersection of environmental and consumer law: shaping a coherent legal framework for sustainable consumption and climate change mitigation
This project examines the intersection of consumer law and environmental law. It aims to bridge the existing gap between consumer law, competitive concerns and sustainable development. Inspired by recent socio-economic theory on ethical behaviour in the market, the project proposes a novel legal framework to foster sustainable consumption, which can be implemented through international and EU law. The project will start from the assumption that a coherent legal framework supporting sustainable consumption is required to foster the green economy. It will then analyze recent legal provisions on sustainable development and climate change mitigation, such as those included in the Lisbon Treaty. Subsequently, it will examine key legal cases on resource efficiency at the international and EU level, with a special focus on the UK and Switzerland, applying a comparative law and socio-legal method. Finally, it will propose concrete policy solutions in specific fields, such as those of transport and product labelling.
Bernard, Dr Stephen
Faculty of English, University of Oxford
English Language and Literature / Bibliography (English)
Print, 'puffs' and the literary marketplace: the perception of literature through advertising, 1665-1781
Recent criticism has established the rise of a commercialised print culture in the eighteenth century. However, there has been little or no critical attention paid to the ways in which the phenomenon was enabled and mediated by advertisements for literary texts. Advertisements created a new threshold of literature, which was controlled by its producers. These particular epitexts have been the subject of almost no critical notice, but were the principal and primary means of interaction between the publishers and consumers of the products of the developing literary marketplace. The perception of what literature consisted of, both as a material artefact and in the complicating of genres and the creation of critical categories, is found on this threshold. The development of such advertisements not only reflects but conditions the development of literature in the public sphere. This study will merge the history of consumption and marketing with the 'history of the book' and reconsider the creation of the literary canon.
Bonner, Dr Alison
Department of Celtic, Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, University of Oxford
Medieval Studies / Manuscript Studies
A critical edition of Pelagius' Ad Demetriadem
This project proposes to produce a critical edition of a work by the first known British author, Pelagius, famous for his defence of human free will. His Letter to Demetrias occupies a special position in his surviving canon because it can be securely attributed to him, and also because it presents a summation of his thought written at a crucial time in his career, when he was aware that he was under attack for maintaining that the principle of free will was integral to the Christian account of salvation. No critical edition, based on a wide comparison of manuscript copies, has ever been made of this text; scholars have had to use a text that has no authority, and have been unable to draw from the letter definitive conclusions about Pelagius’ thought or style. The large number of surviving copies testifies to the influence of Letter to Demetrias throughout the Middle Ages. The question is whether Pelagius' works, written as the Roman Empire began to disintegrate, inspired the distinctive fervour of Christianity in post-Roman Britain and Ireland, a fervour that illuminated the Dark Ages.
Bove, Dr Vincenzo
Department of Goverment, University of Essex
Politics / Peace Studies
The political economy of authoritarian rule: repression, regime change and third party intervention
The ‘Arab Spring’ - a wave of demonstrations across North Africa and the Middle East - saw the fall of authoritarian regimes in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, international military intervention to support rebels in Libya, and significant unrest in Bahrain, Jordan, Syria and Yemen. In the light of these events, many aspects of authoritarian political systems remain poorly understood. This project will provide a unified framework to further our understanding of how authoritarianism works, who the key political actors are and how they influence political outcomes. It will address questions such as: why some dictators stay in power longer than others; why some regimes rely on state repression while others provide social welfare programmes; why the military intervenes in politics and rule some dictatorships; and what is the impact of a foreign military intervention on institutional changes. It will derive a logic of authoritarianism that recognizes variation in institutional arrangements, and their implications for social and military spending, and prospects for democratization and violence.
Boylston, Dr Thomas
London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Anthropology
Anthropology / Comparative Religion
Orthodox reformation in Ethiopia: hierarchy, media, and the new politics of religion
This project will study the processes of reformation currently taking place in Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity in Addis Ababa. While Christianity was associated with the Ethiopian Emperor until 1974, official links between Orthodox Christianity and the State have now been severed and religious equality has been enshrined in law. Protestantism is for the first time gaining traction in Orthodox areas. However Orthodoxy, far from withdrawing from the public sphere, has experienced a revival, and many Orthodox are now expressing their faith more strongly than ever. New churches are being built at a great rate, and churches in cities compete for attention by broadcasting the Mass over loudspeakers. The Internet too has become a key forum for religious expression. This project will seek to understand the public and political significance of this religious transformation in Ethiopia and beyond: what sort of religion is Ethiopian Orthodoxy becoming, and what does this tell us about modernity, media, and religious change more broadly?
Cappellaro, Dr Chiara
University of Oxford. Faculty of Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics. Research Centre for Romance Linguistics.
Linguistics / Morphology and Syntax
Canonicity, overabundance and Italo-Romance personal pronouns
This project examines the morphology of personal pronouns in Italian and so-called 'Italian dialects' (which are not dialects of Italian, but varieties which have developed independently from Latin and are often structurally very different languages). It investigates in particular the variation in their inflectional paradigm structure in synchrony and diachrony.
This work will fill a serious gap in the descriptive literature on Romance linguistics, but will also have deeper theoretical implications, especially for morphological theory. Basing itself on a thorough and in-depth micro-analysis of a large set of cognate data, of a kind not seen in previous work on personal pronouns, it explores the irregular phenomenon labelled 'overabundance', whereby one cell in a paradigm is filled by more than one inflected form, as in the case of the two English past tense forms burned / burnt. Italo-Romance personal pronouns are an important locus of morphological overabundance and appear the ideal testing ground for an in-depth analysis of this underinvestigated phenomenon in morphology.
Carlin, Dr Johan
Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge
Psychology / Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology
The others in our brains: How appearance, biographical facts and social network information are reflected in brain representations of other people
When we recognise a familiar face we remember who the depicted person is and how they fit into our social network. Even if we don’t know the person, we may still use their facial features to judge what they are like. Do these associations tell us something about how the brain distinguishes between different faces? Previous neuroimaging studies have primarily focused on physical features of the face, rather than social information about the depicted person. This programme is motivated by the hypothesis that social information figures prominently in how the brain encodes personal identity. I will use brain-activity pattern analysis algorithms from machine learning and state-of-the-art neuroscientific methods to decode brain responses to individual faces, and to study how learning social information about a person changes how the brain responds to their face. These findings will advance our understanding of social cognition by forging an interdisciplinary link between neuroscience and different fields of social science, including social psychology and social network analysis.
Caulton, Dr Adam
University of Cambridge, Philosophy Faculty
Philosophy / Philosophy of science
Symmetries and interpretation in physics
The over-arching theme of this project is the interpretation of physical theories. The aim is to use symmetries as a tool for distinguishing within a theory's formalism the truly representative aspects - the descriptive content – from the linguistic artefacts – the definitional content. Two main projects are proposed.
i. The first project is general: to give a formal framework in which theory interpretation may be regimented (‘rationally reconstructed’) and understood. This involves applying considerations from philosophy of language and logic, which the philosophy of physics has so far almost completely ignored.
ii. The second project is specific: to implement this framework for specific physical theories, both classical and quantum, and for specific symmetries: both those concerning space and time and those concerning other features – such as particle identity and gauge quantities, such as quark colour and the electromagnetic field potential.
Cenciarelli, Dr Carlo
Royal Holloway University of London, Department of Music
Music / Music and Other Media
Listening in cinema: A cultural history
This project aims to investigate further the cultural meaning of sound recording technology by focusing on the history of representing listening in film. It will concentrate on Anglo-American sound film (1933-2010) and explore the way in which the phonograph (Ch. 1), stereo technology (Ch. 2) and mobile listening (Ch. 3) have entered cinema’s stories, becoming part of its repertoire of situations and narrative tropes. A coda to the study (Ch. 4) will focus on the way in which cinema has imagined listening in future worlds. The research will address two kinds of questions. First, what can cinema, as a visual archive, tell us about the modes of twentieth-century listening? As audio-visual art form par excellence, how does film illuminate the way in which habits, practices, places and musical genres have crystallised around particular audio technologies? Second, what is the relationship between cinema and the broader discourse that surrounds new recording technologies? Have cinema’s representations acted as models for further negotiating the significance of those technologies’ meanings?
Dale, Dr Robert
King's College London, School of Arts and Humanities, Department of History
History / Modern History
From fractured society to stability: Overcoming the aftermath of war in Soviet Russia 1945-1955
This project investigates the extent to which Soviet Russia was able to overcome the traumatic legacy of the Great Patriotic War (the Eastern Front in World War Two). Drawing on national and local archives, newspapers, recently published sources and oral history interviews, the project maps the divisions created by the aftermath of total warfare. It address how war's painful legacy destabilized and divided post-war society, as well as the difficulties the Stalinist state faced regaining control. The project seeks to establish when and how Russia finally emerged from war’s shadow to become a more stable and cohesive society. The project will examine these issues from the perspective of the central party-state in Moscow, and three carefully selected case studies. Examinations of Novgorod, Kuibyshev and Chelyabinsk, understudied cities with different wartime experiences, will build upon and challenge the findings of Dr Dale’s previous research on post-war Leningrad. The resulting monograph will be an original contribution to the historiography of post-war recovery and late Stalinist society.
Fohring, Dr Stephanie
School of Law, University of Edinburgh
Law / Criminal Law and Justice, Criminology
The cognitive assessment of crime and victim participation in the criminal justice system: A multi-method investigation
This proposal outlines a research project which aims to understand the cognitive evaluations made by victims of crime and how such evaluations determine their subsequent involvement with the criminal justice system. The significance a victim attributes to an incident (whether they label it as a crime or not) is hypothesized to affect not only their decision to report a crime to the authorities but to utilise available support services .This study will employ a mixed methodology, using advanced quantitative methods in the analysis of a pooled data set consisting of responses from several years of the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey (SCJS), as well as a qualitative component utilising in-depth victim interviews. By further understanding the cognitive determinants of victim’s decision making and behaviour this project has the potential to inform governmental as well as voluntary sector victim policy and interventions. In addition it will promote the use of the underutilised SCJS whilst employing innovative and advanced research methods.
Gazzoli, Dr Paul
Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, Faculty of English, University of Cambridge
Medieval Studies / Medieval Latin
Germany and Scandinavia, c. 875 – c. 1122: The text, reception and (mis)uses of Rimbert’s Life of Anskar
Rimbert's Life of Anskar is our most important document of life in Viking-Age Scandinavia. Unlike most of our written evidence for the period, which was either written centuries later or by people who had never been to Scandinavia, both the subject and the author of the life had spent time in Denmark and Sweden as missionaries. It is also unusual as a piece of hagiography as it devotes a good deal of space to describing the workings of pagan societies without recourse to the normal stereotypes. Despite this, the Life of Anskar has not received the attention it merits, a situation not helped by an old and inaccurate English translation and an edition of the Latin text that does not give enough attention to the different versions of the Life. A falsified version was produced around 1100 at Bremen for political reasons, and it was this version that was known in Germany and Scandinavia for the rest of the middle ages. The chief aim of the research will be to produce a new edition with a full translation and commentary encompassing not only the original Life but also its later development.
Goldman, Dr Leon
School of Oriental and African Studies, Department of the Study of Religions
Oriental and African Studies / Central and South Asian Languages and Literature
A Study of the Sanskrit Yasna
This project is concerned with undertaking the first ever detailed investigation of the Sanskrit Yasna (SY). The Yasna is the title of the central ritual text of the Zoroastrian religion. Originally composed in the ancient Iranian language of Avestan between the 2nd and 1st millennia BCE, the Yasna was first translated into the Pahlavi language during the first millennium CE, which in turn served as the basis for a Sanskrit translation made by the Zoroastrian priest Neryosangh Dhaval around the 12th cent. CE. The proposed programme will initially involve digitising, indexing and publishing online manuscripts of the SY housed in European and Indian collections. These manuscripts will subsequently be analysed with a view to achieving clarity in three main areas: Firstly, the genealogies of the SY manuscripts; secondly, the types of manuscripts which may have been consulted by the translators responsible for the SY; thirdly, the history of the SY’s formation. This research is a prerequisite for the ultimate task of editing and translating the SY text.
Graham, Dr Aaron
University of Oxford (Faculty of History in Humanities Division)
History / Early Modern History
Corruption and the British state: Rhetoric, reality and responses, 1714-82
Corruption and financial misconduct in politics and the state were central preoccupations of eighteenth-century Britain, but how far reality matched the hostile rhetoric of contemporaries is unknown: historians have relied mainly on hostile representations in Parliament or in print. This project will use a detailed study of military finance in the British Isles and North America between 1714 and 1782 to examine these issues of misconduct and malversation in unprecedented detail. The aim is to show that corruption did occur, but was a complex financial phenomenon, which paradoxically allowed fiscal-military officials to incorporate private funds and thus overcome crippling financial shortfalls. Corruption might therefore even be seen as a public service, and the project will analyse how far ministers and officials, including some of the most important politicians of the day, exploited such benefits to justify their questionable conduct, thereby appropriating and inverting the rhetorics of public service deployed by hostile critics.
Grosoli, Dr Marco
Department of Film Studies and the Aesthetics Research Group, School of Arts, University of Kent
Communications and Media Studies / Film and Media Studies
The conception of space in the 1950s "Politique des auteurs" movement in film criticism
Few movements in film history have been as influential as the “Politique des auteurs,” the critical perspective articulated by the group of film critics associated with the journal *Cahiers du cinéma,* who would go on to become the prime movers of the French New Wave. And yet our understanding of this movement, which sought to establish the film director as the veritable pivot of cinematic creation, remains partial, a fact that motivates the revisionist exploration proposed here. Far from being a simple form of nostalgia for the artist as genius, the “Politique,” with its emphasis on "mise en scène" (the art of placing bodies and objects in front of the camera), seems rather to point towards what would eventually be identified as the postmodern preponderance of space over time. The research will focus in particular on the conception of space specifically implied by the “Politique.” The large number of texts written by its members will be analyzed from an historical, philological and especially theoretical point of view. Some of the films they directed will be analyzed as well.
Hemer, Dr Katie
Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Sheffield
Archaeology / Medieval, Post-Medieval and Industrial Archaeology
East meets West: Mobility and cultural contact between the Mediterranean and western Britain in the early medieval period, c.400 - 800AD
Imported Mediterranean pottery (e.g. amphorae) recovered from 5th- to 7th-century settlement sites in Wales and southwest England suggest that trade and long distance contact between western Britain and the Mediterranean continued following the collapse of the Roman Empire in the early 5th century.
Whilst there has been considerable discussion of the imported material culture, it has not hitherto been entertained that the settlement of people from the Mediterranean occurred in the wake of trade.
Through the integration of archaeological, historical, and funerary evidence with stable isotope data for population mobility, this study seeks to provide a new perspective on the people involved in contact between the Mediterranean world and western Britain during the early medieval period.
Herbert, Dr Ruth
Faculty of Music, University of Oxford
Music / Sociology and Psychology of Music
Young people's use and subjective experience of music outside school
This project explores the psychological characteristics of the subjective experience of young people (aged between 10 and 18 years), hearing music in everyday, 'real world' scenarios in the UK. The objectives are to identify varied modes of listening, to establish whether and how ways of listening alter during the transition from pre-pubescence to early and later adolescence, to assess the effect of digital technologies on ways in which music is experienced, to examine whether a high level of involvement in making music affects the subjective experience of listening to music, and to understand how the process of enculturation impacts upon perception. The research comprises: 1) a mixed method two-stage study of the phenomenology of young people's everyday music listening; 2) a listening study on listening modes and the meaning that young people associate with certain kinds of musical material. Understanding of the informal listening practices of this age range may usefully enrich formal tuition of music in the UK, particularly in classroom contexts at Key Stages 3 and 4.
Horsburgh, Dr Nicola
Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict (ELAC), Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford
Politics / International Relations
China and nuclear responsibility in the global nuclear order
The proposed research programme will explore what it means to be a responsible nuclear armed state in the global nuclear order, with a special focus on contemporary China. The programme contributes to a relatively small field of research on the idea of responsibility as a nuclear weapons state. China has been selected because despite an official declaratory policy of no-first-use and a nuclear force based on minimal retaliatory capabilities, assessments of China’s nuclear capabilities and intentions have been the subject of academic debate and international policy concern. Indeed, for some, China is an irresponsible nuclear weapons power based on reported transfers of nuclear material and missile technology since the 1980s to countries like Pakistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia. The proposed research will test the accuracy of this depiction, and refers to a wide body of literature that explores China’s growing participation in the global non-proliferation regime.
Horsfall, Dr Daniel
Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of York
Sociology / Social Policy and Administration
Linking political economy with individual experience in the context of global economic downturn
Comparative social policy research is often concerned with either exploring cross-national differences in indicators of social outcomes or understanding the political economy that underlies divergence in the inputs of countries across the globe. Grand theories are advanced as to why some countries have generous welfare states and high levels of social stratification while others display the reverse. Similarly countries are often ranked in terms of social outcomes and inequality across a range of social policy domains. Less common however are attempts to fuse an understanding of political economy, formulated often at an abstract level, with analysis of what exactly is being experienced by citizens of the countries that researchers are clustering or separating as part of their studies. Much literature makes bold statements as to the nature of welfare without actually exploring what citizens are experiencing. Talk of welfare regimes or competition state types focus on inputs without exploring outcomes. Studies of outcomes often neglect regime theories. This study seeks to combine both.
Kaminski, Dr Johannes
University of Cambridge, Department of German and Dutch
Modern Languages / Comparative Literature
Supplementing the classics: An interpretation of the interpretations of 'Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship' and 'Dream of the Red Chamber'
One common feature of classical texts is their subjection to intellectual, artistic and ideological exploitations. Usually, their manifold interpretations clash radically. To look into the key patterns which underlie the reader’s relationship with classical texts, is the main aim of this project.
In order to document the multiple readings which classical texts engender, the reception history of two iconic texts will stand at the centre of attention: Goethe’s novel 'Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship', and Cao Xueqin’s Chinese text 'Dream of the Red Chamber'.
The comparison of both reception histories will lead to the detection of three modes of reading: overaccentuation of selected elements, the creation of a perspective from outside, and the idolisation of the text itself. These modes will explain how classical texts manage to stay un-readable, yet remain indispensable for cultural self-assurance.
Kong, Dr Camillia
School of Philosophy and Art History, University of Essex
Philosophy / Political and Social Philosophy
Critical Hermeneutics and the Law of Capacity
Medical practitioners are increasingly asked to view their patients through the prism of human rights, whereby a care-recipient has the right to refuse paternalistic interventions. Judges are thus asked to determine the ‘mental capacity’ of vulnerable care-recipients to reason for themselves about treatment decisions and provisions of care. Such determinations rely on an implicit theory of deliberative rationality – of what it is to ‘use or weigh’ information in decision-making. Recent cases indicate that capacity assessments must consider how social factors can foster or undermine a patient’s rational decision-making ability. But currently lacking are principled guidelines that distinguish the character of those decision communities which sustain as opposed to undermine mental capacity. The research takes on this challenge and asks: what kinds of intersubjective relationship can rightly be said to sustain autonomous choice? The research will examine three rival models of deliberative rationality and suggest that a critical hermeneutic model is best able to respond to this challenge.
Kuschmann, Dr Anja
University of Strathclyde, School of Psychological Sciences and Health, Speech and Language Therapy Division
Linguistics / Language Acquisition
Prosodic abilities in Cerebral Palsy
Many children with Cerebral Palsy (CP) have difficulties with speech melody, rhythm and stress. These difficulties, generally referred to as prosodic difficulties, can affect the intelligibility of a child's speech, and are therefore of great clinical importance. However, the development of prosody in children with CP is currently not well understood. As a result, it is not certain whether prosodic difficulties in CP are due to muscular problems during speaking or the inability to build and store the correct prosodic information in the brain. This research will investigate the prosodic abilities in children with CP to determine the underlying nature of their difficulties. By providing a detailed account of the prosodic abilities it will contribute to the theoretical understanding of the causes of prosodic impairment in CP, and may help to improve diagnosis and therapy of prosodic difficulties in CP.
Lee, Dr Daniel
The Faculty of History, University of Oxford
History / Modern History
Stepping out of the Hara: The experiences of Jewish Women in Tunisia during the Second World War
This research aims to re-evaluate the Holocaust experience by integrating into the analysis a gendered colonial perspective. Although all of Tunisia’s 80,000 Jews were subject to Vichy and Nazi discrimination irrespective of their sex, women's experience emerges as markedly different from men’s. Omitted from forced labour and deportation, for Jewish women, the Occupation paradoxically brought with it a more flexible social order. Women took on new roles and adopted multiple responsibilities. By analysing the experiences of North African Jews whose trajectories have hitherto remained absent, the work will reveal how European anti-Semitism was implemented, mediated and experienced within a colonial setting where structures of discrimination were long established and routine. Examining the Holocaust within this context and not as a stand-alone act of perverse discrimination, demonstrates the dynamics of colonialism, especially in the multi-cultural territories of the southern Mediterranean, which was home to a significant Jewish population.
Lockley, Dr Philip
Proposed Host Institution: University of Oxford, Faculty of Theology
Religious Studies / Church History
God in Early Socialism: Protestant theologies of socialism in the Atlantic world, 1830-1860
‘God in Early Socialism’ rethinks the relationship between Protestantism and socialism in mid-19th-century Germany, Britain and USA. Many early socialisms developed with theology at their core – ideas of God, Jesus or the Kingdom of God. It is well known that Marxism incorporated Feuerbach’s theory of God as human projection and Hegel’s idealist philosophy. French artisans adopted a Catholic view of Jesus as worker; ‘Christian Socialism’ stressed a present Kingdom. Contemporary, more popular forms of socialism featured a broader range of theologies. Protestant concepts of divine immanence, agency, biblical exegesis and symbolic practice informed critiques of society and strategies for a future utopia. I propose the first comparative, cohesive study of many of these theologies, to recover their transnational, extra-ecclesial networks of influence, and the complex links between socialism and emotional, expectant forms of Protestantism – pietism, evangelicalism and millennialism. Such a study promises to reshape understandings of trans-Atlantic religion and modern political theologies.
Madgwick, Dr Richard
Archaeology / Archaeological Science and Environmental Archaeology
Reconstructing the Feasts of Late Neolithic Britain
The great henge complexes of southern Britain are iconic monuments of the 3rd millennium BC, long recognised as ceremonial centres for large-scale feasting. However, key questions on the scale, timing and frequency of events and the extent of their networks remain unanswered. Research has focused on single complexes (e.g. Stonehenge) and specific species but has omitted key research into the dominant food species, the pig, due to perceived analytical barriers. Without a focus on this pivotal species and a broader research context, knowledge of wider scales of connectivity and activity is limited. This research will bridge these gaps by focusing on pigs from a range of complexes and integrating newly developed (taphonomic analysis) and validated (pig strontium) methods with novel uses of other techniques (pig cementum banding). This synergy will frame new directions for research on social, political and ecological relations and transform knowledge of Neolithic connectivity and ceremony.
Malagodi, Dr Mara
Department of Law, London School of Economics and Political Science
Law / Public Law
Mapping legal exclusion: Supreme Court’s interpretations of the Right to Equality in Nepal (1990-2012)
The project investigates enduring patterns of social exclusion of Nepal’s ethnolinguistic, religious and regional groups, dalits, and women in the constitutional arena after the re-democratisation of 1990, despite the reforms that followed the regime change. The study examines the constitutional treatment of legal equality and socio-cultural diversity by analysing the relationship between relevant constitutional provisions and Supreme Court's decisions interpreting the Right to Equality. Since 1990, the constitution has been Nepal’s fundamental law protected by judicial supremacy and a negative approach to equality within the framework of individual rights has been privileged, while maintaining an ethnocultural definition of the nation. The
project ultimately aims to evaluate the claim that the post-1990 discriminatory constitutional treatment of many Nepali citizens led to discontent and violent conflict (1996-2006) over the structures of the state, a conflict now expected to be resolved by the current constitution-making process to create a more inclusive polity.
Malhotra, Dr Ashok
Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick
English Language and Literature / Colonial and Postcolonial Literature
Conjuring India: Authors, publishers and readers, 1814-1899
'Conjuring India' will offer a pioneering approach to the study of novels and short stories produced by British authors who resided in India during the nineteenth century. It will deploy interdisciplinary scholarly techniques, such as historical archival methods, literary textual analysis and art criticism, to establish the degree to which authors produced stereotypes about India and its inhabitants to satisfy commercial considerations. Thus it will draw on the considerable correspondence between publishers and editors of literary publications with authors, to explore how pressure was exerted to depict India in a certain fashion. By engaging in a textual analysis of the fictional narratives the study will identify the stock tropes of India that were repeatedly promoted to the reading public by authors and publishers. 'Conjuring India' will also examine how and where editors/publishers marketed the texts and their ‘Indianised’ authors. A further concern of this study will be to identify how illustrations were deployed to complement India narratives and capture readers' attention.
Morgan, Dr Daniel
Faculty of Philosophy, University College London
Philosophy / Philosophy of Mind
Thinking with indexical concepts
Despite the fact that Hesperus just is Phosphorus, a rational subject can believe that Hesperus is a planet without believing that Phosphorus is a planet. Although I am Daniel, I might believe that I am hungry without believing that Daniel is hungry (for example, if I have amnesia, and have forgotten my name). What explains these possibilities? Should we expect a single explanation of both possibilities, or two different explanations?
A natural view is that both examples submit to the same explanation. By their nature, different concepts can be about the same thing (e.g. the “I”-Concept can be about me, but so is the “Daniel”-Concept). And beliefs are individuated not just by what things they are about, but also by what concepts the thinker uses to think about those things. Nonetheless, an extremely influential philosophical literature argues that belief ascriptions involving indexical terms such as “I” or “here” or “now” represent a special problem which cannot be resolved simply by appealing to concepts.
This project defends the flat-footed view that there is no special problem created by belief ascriptions involving indexical expressions, thereby undercutting the motivation for several influential pieces of philosophical apparatus (such as centered possible worlds). This project also gives a positive account of the nature of indexical concepts, focusing on the special role such concepts play in perceptual judgments (e.g. why, if I am standing in front of a tree and looking at it, am I more immediately justified in judging “I am in front of a tree” than “Daniel is in front of a tree”?) and in the explanation of action (e.g. why is believing “I am hungry” more likely to make me eat than believing “Daniel is hungry”?)
Mousikou, Dr Petroula
Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London.
Psychology / Cognitive and Perceptual Psychology
Developing a comprehensive theory of speech production
Speech production is central to human communication and culture, and its abnormal development or breakdown may compromise people’s quality of life. Therefore, understanding the processes underlying this fundamental human ability is of great importance. Yet, no psychological theory can fully explain the entire process of speech production in a coherent framework that integrates the cognitive processes involved in the computation of abstract codes for sounds with the articulatory processes involved in their implementation in space and time. The proposed research will aim to develop such a theory by investigating the relationship between the generation of abstract phonological codes and their articulatory implementation, using an innovative multidisciplinary approach that combines methods from experimental cognitive psychology and experimental phonetics. This work will have major implications for theories of language processing and will improve our understanding of clinical disorders of speech production.
Neal, Dr Sarah
University of Southampton, Department of Social Sciences. Division of Social Statistics and Demography, and Centre for Global Health, Population, Poverty and Policy (GHP3).
Sociology / Demography, Epidemiology and Health
Very early adolescent childbearing (ages 12 - 15) in developing countries: Distribution, trends, determinants and outcomes
Girls who give birth during adolescence face risks to their own health and that of their babies, as well as social and economic disadvantage. Adolescent fertility is therefore a matter of concern within the developing world, where in some countries childbearing can start as young as twelve years old. Despite evidence that the health risks associated with adolescent pregnancy are heavily concentrated among those aged 15 and younger, data on adolescent fertility is almost never broken down by age, and rates are usually only reported for ages 15-19.
This study will create comprehensive country estimates of birth rates for girls aged under 16. This will allow the problem to be effectively quantified, and identify countries where this issue is particularly prevalent. It will also investigate trends in very early adolescent motherhood, and look at the factors that underlie this phenomenon. Further research strands will examine whether very early adolescents can access the care they need during pregnancy and childbirth, and establish clearer evidence on the outcomes for their babies.
Outes-Leon, Dr Ingo
University of Oxford, Economics Department
Informal networks, social protection and development
It is well documented that informal networks within families and communities play a crucial role in providing mutual assistance in times of need. They are particularly important in developing countries where risks are severe and public insurance is often lacking. However, only limited attention has been paid to the potential interactions between informal and formal forms of insurance provision. This is the focus of the research proposed here. In the first paper, I explore the role that informal insurance groups can play in the introduction of new market-based insurance products. The focus is on crowding in of the informational advantages of these groups. The second paper unpacks the motives behind risk sharing in extended family networks, with a view towards explaining observed crowding out effects of a social protection program. Finally, we analyse how parental preferences for sibling equality affect the impact of social protection programs. In the process, we expand intra-household allocation models to allow for preferences to vary at different critical stages of child development.
Rainsford, Dr Thomas
Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, University of Oxford
Linguistics / Historical Linguistics
Divergent developments in phonology and syntax in the langue d’oc and langue d’oïl areas from the 11th to 13th centuries: the role of prosodic change
The study contrasts phonological and morpho-syntactic changes in the langue d’oïl and langue d’oc areas from the 11th to the 13th centuries. Dr Rainsford’s previous research confirmed that this period witnessed a significant development in the stress system of the langue d’oïl: word-level stress weakened and main stress was assigned to the last syllable of a group of words. As this development did not take place in the langue d’oc, a comparison of changes in the two varieties tests the long-standing hypothesis that stress change had profound effects on the phonology, morphology and syntax of the langue d’oïl. Comparison is appropriate as similar literary traditions emerge early in the medieval period in both varieties.
The study builds on the corpus constructed for Dr Rainsford’s doctoral thesis to create an electronic corpus of texts in the langue d’oïl and the langue d’oc annotated with metrical, phonological and morpho-syntactic features. The inclusion of phonological annotation and texts from the langue d’oc makes this a unique and valuable resource for the study of medieval Gallo-Romance.
Samson, Dr Alice
McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, Cambridge University
Archaeology / Colonial and World Archaeology
The materiality of early creolization in the Caribbean, AD 1000-1550
How did early communities in the Caribbean “discover” Europe? Indigenous participation in Contact is erased from history by narratives of extinction. Despite indigenous resurgence movements, global appeal of Caribbean Creole cultures, and academic research into colonialism, the role of indigenous heritage in the Caribbean is underexposed, if not flatly denied. Archaeology can reveal a spectrum of responses to colonial encounters by focusing on the materialities of Contact and cultural transformations. Research will investigate the emergence of new identities and how communities selectively transformed new cultural elements by looking at early colonial interactions in native material culture, settlements, households, ritual and burial practices. Archaeological fieldwork, and collections research in the Dominican Rep. and Puerto Rico, where heritage is under threat, will focus on how the dynamics of creolization were initiated. This research addresses early colonial interaction as a process with multiple trajectories, rather than an event which resulted in demise.
Saunders, Dr Adam
Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford
Politics / Comparative Politics
The impact of institutions: The implications of welfare state reforms for human capital and skills
Political scientists have shed a great deal of light on how public policies govern the society in which we live. However, the question which remains unanswered is what the actual impact of those policies has been on real people. This research project aims to address this vitally important yet neglected issue by examining how changes in pension and labour market policy have affected human capital and skills as well as socio-economic inequality in the United Kingdom in comparison to 19 other similarly developed economies since 1975. Survey and interview data will be analysed. The objective will be to juxtapose political science theory, which has focussed on how institutions have shaped large-scale political and economic developments with the quantitative and qualitative analysis of sociological evidence regarding the economic and social experiences of individuals. It is expected that this pairing of approaches will enable both the testing of established theories, the formulation of new ones and the development of evidence-based policy assessments and prescriptions.
Sialaros, Dr Michalis
Birkbeck College, Department of Ancient History, Classics, and Archaeology
History / History of Science
Euclid’s Elements of Geometry: a new English translation and commentary
Throughout history, Euclid's Elements has been used as a point of reference for mathematicians, historians, and philosophers. Even when the object of criticism, it has strongly influenced the formation of modern scientific standards. Unfortunately, all contemporary research on the Elements in English is largely based on Heath’s (1908) short commentary and outdated translation. This project proposes to produce a new translation and commentary which will: (a) incorporate the development in terms of the historiography of Greek mathematics over the last century; (b) include the information on the Elements discovered in the Arabic tradition of manuscripts; (c) replace some of Heath’s choices regarding the standard text as they have been criticised; (d) avoid the modern algebraic symbolism extensively used by Heath; and (e) place emphasis on the historical, philosophical, and institutional context of Euclid’s works.
Steele, Dr Philippa
University of Cambridge, Faculty of Classics
Classics and Ancient History / Greek and Latin Philology and Linguistics
The History of the Greek Language in the Eastern Mediterranean during the First Millennium BC
This project will provide the first comprehensive study of the ancient Greek language in the eastern Mediterranean area (southern Anatolia, Cyprus, northern Levant), from the Early Iron Age down to the end of the first millennium BC. The approach is interdisciplinary, with a focus on linguistic and epigraphic research supplemented by historical and archaeological evidence. Not only the Greek language is considered, but also its full context, including first hand research on nearby languages.
Despite the abundance of scholarship on the Greek language, its development in the eastern Mediterranean remains very poorly understood. This project will redress this oversight by considering five connected topics: the arrival of the earliest Greek speakers in the area; how the Cypriot and Pamphylian dialects developed, and the links between them; the development of the scripts used to write Greek and other languages in the area; multilingualism between Greek and Semitic (Phoenician, Aramaic) and Anatolian (Luwian, Lycian, Carian, Sidetic) languages; and the degree of isolation of eastern Greek from Greece itself.
Tholen, Dr Gerbrand
University of Oxford, Department of Education, The ESRC Centre on Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance (SKOPE)
Sociology / Sociology of other, e.g. work, media etc
Skills, credentials and jobs in the graduate labour market: A renewed sociological analysis
Growing concerns as well as misunderstanding exists about what jobs graduates occupy and how they utilise their skills, especially within a rapidly changing economic, technological and organisational context. Existing sociological accounts that aim to understand the competition for graduate jobs are quickly becoming outdated and are often too narrow in their focus. This study aims to create a better understanding of the post-recession British graduate labour market. It will build a new sociological theory, complementing and/or transcending existing attempts to describe the relationship between credentials, skills, jobs and the labour process. In order to renew our understanding, the study maps and synthesises existing research as well as provides an in-depth investigation into three graduate occupations that embody key changes that have transformed the graduate labour market.
Tilley, Dr Heather
School of English Literature, Language & Linguistics, Newcastle University
English Language and Literature / Victorian literature
Victorian touch, tactile media and the gendered body, 1830-92
This project explores the various ways in which the Victorians conceptualised, represented, experienced, performed and problematised touch. It asks: what does touch signal in nineteenth-century art and literature, and how is it variously coded? How are hands and skin – tactile appendages and surfaces – imagined in the period? By investigating the Victorian imaginary of touch, the project offers an important counter to critical analyses of the period that have isolated the function of vision as the dominant mode via which subjectivities and power were effected in the period (not least via the concept of the gaze). It explores instead the way in which encounters with touch in literature and art mark moments of dissolution between characters in texts and between viewer and image, disrupting stable boundaries of gender identity in work by writers and artists including Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Nathaniel Hawthorne and DG Rossetti. It contextualises this analysis through a survey of shifting constructions of touch in philosophic, scientific and medical sources, focusing on Victorian accounts of the nervous system, motor functions and contagious diseases.
Trapido, Dr Joseph
Department of Anthropology and Sociology, School of African and Oriental Studies
Anthropology / Political Anthropology
Elections and electoral politics in Kinshasa, applying political anthropology to democratization processes in Africa
This study proposes to examine elections and electoral politics in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The DRC has endured what was, in terms of increased mortality, the worst conflict anywhere since World War II. While the worst of the fighting ended some years back, the country has continued to experience serious instability, and was in 2011 ranked 187th - last - in the UN’s Human Development Index. The causes of the country’s parlous state are complex, and inadequately understood, but this project works on the hunch that the particular dynamics of the capital city, Kinshasa, have much to tell us about the causes of the prolonged crisis. With a population of perhaps 8 million, Kinshasa is projected to overtake Cairo and Lagos to become the largest city in Africa by 2020. It is a place where high politics and big money, foreign capital and pre-modern ritual, crushing poverty and popular theatre all interact. Nowhere is this mix more on display than in the context of electoral politics, where politicians vie for access to the media, sometimes violently, while the destitute attend election rallies for politicians they don’t like, in return for a t-shirt or a small amount of cash.
The project's contribution is based around six themes, which look at the political, economic and cultural importance of the city as well as investigating the politics of demography, of the count, and of the electoral commission. Pinpointing the particular political processes in the DRC, specifically in Kinshasa, will be an important step towards a genuinely substantive study of comparative politics in Africa.
Urban, Dr Eva
University of Cambridge, Faculty of English
English Language and Literature / Cultural studies - English Language and Literature
L'Esprit d'un fol espoir: The role of transcultural theatre practice and performances in positing cultural integration and conflict resolution
This project will examine contributions to pluralist understanding and conflict resolution within international intercultural theatre practice by reference to a selection of representative play texts, theatre productions and community engagements within and across communities. The analysis will take the contribution of theatre to the peace process in Northern Ireland, (which has been neglected by critical analysis), as a point of departure, to argue for the universal potential of utopian theatre to promote positive change, conflict resolution, peace and equality. The purpose of the research is to examine exemplary innovative work that applies a historical philosophical tradition of enlightenment, humanist ideals and intellectual criticism to contemporary conditions of cultural conflict, imagining alternative societies and possible communities. Exploration of community engagement through theatre will be facilitated by production of selected relevant plays.
Wass, Dr Sam
Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkbeck College, School of Psychology, University of London
Psychology / Developmental and Educational Psychology
Developing new techniques to study attention and learning during infancy
Researchers are increasingly recognising the importance of domain-general or 'hub' cognitive skills that gate subsequent skill acquisition across a range of different areas. One such ‘hub’cognitive faculty is thought to be attentional control - the ability of an individual to choose what they pay attention to and what they ignore. Early deficits in attentional control may impair subsequent learning in domains such as language acquisition and learning from social cues.
This project proposes to run the first study that uses targeted cognitive training to assess how attention causally mediates early learning. The project shall track participants longitudinally between 11 and 23 months, and assess how training attentional control transfers to altered naturalistic learning behaviours. As well as offering new insights into core conceptual questions this work will also have a range of potential applications, by helping us to design new and better targeted early interventions for infants at risk of disrupted development.
Yamamoto, Dr Koji
Department of History, King's College London
History / Early Modern History
Money, responsibility and stereotypes: Behavioural foundations of the South Sea Bubble
The mechanism of the Bubble’s boom and bust has been examined almost exclusively through the lens of classical economics. This has obscured behavioural foundations of the emerging market, i.e., how far actions based on early modern values, such as piety and public service, shaped the first modern financial bubble. Using a mass of newly discovered evidence, this project thus gives close attention not only to factors such as share prices, dividends and transaction records, but also to the political, religious and social values that informed the Bubble.
By revealing the remarkable extent to which these values derived from previous centuries, this project presents the Bubble as a crisis of early modern culture played out in a new context of a fledgling financial market, and suggests what is unique about behavioural patterns in today’s market. These anticipated findings, and the methods employed, will be of interest to economic and cultural historians, economists and psychologists, and can appeal to policymakers, NGOs and the wider publ