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2018 Newton International Fellowships

Awards made under Newton International Fellowships in 2018.

Funding source: Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Core and Core +.


Dr Aitor Ruiz-Redondo - Spain

Defining cultural boundaries in the European Upper Palaeolithic: archaeology and rock art in Eastern Europe (PALAEOARTEAST)

NIF\R1\180205                  University of Southampton          £99,000.00

The emergence of Palaeolithic art and symbolism is considered a major milestone in human evolution. This is related to the fact that graphic activity has been usually considered as one of the first expressions of symbolic and cognitive thought in human history. Traditionally, the development of Palaeolithic art and symbolism has been considered a Western European phenomenon. Although there are some isolated decorated caves from the period 40,000-13,000 cal BP in the UK, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Indonesia and Australia, the irregular distribution of the Upper Palaeolithic rock art (including big gaps between these isolated discoveries) led to an almost exclusive research focus on South-Western Europe. One of those “gaps” is in Central and South-Eastern Europe. This project examines the question of the origins and the geographical distribution of Palaeolithic cave art through an archaeological analysis and broader contextualization of two key decorated Western Balkan Palaeolithic sites in particular. It addresses two research questions: 1) What is the chronological and geographical framework of Palaeolithic rock art? and 2) How do we characterize the main traits of Palaeolithic art and symbolism in Eastern and Central Europe, and in relation to the better-known cave art from SW Europe? The PALAEOARTEAST project aims to analyse and contextualise the paintings and the engravings documented in the two key sites, through an excavation, a series of radiometric datings (AMS-C14 and U/Th), a pigment and a geo-archaeological analysis of their immediate archaeological context. This will provide accurate data for the first time about the chronology and the archaeological characteristics of the two first Palaeolithic rock art sites discovered in the Balkans. This will allow the PALAEOARTEAST project evaluate Upper Palaeolithic symbolic systems using additional (new) sites in areas where cave art was unknown until recently. This increased geographic range of cave art allows us to be more confident in analysing the origins of Upper Palaeolithic symbolic systems and their spatial distributions (including potential cultural boundaries and diffusion). Data from these newly-identified cave art sites will be compared to those from the intensively studied cave art from South-Western Europe, as well as to the common portable art found in Central and Eastern Europe, in order to place these graphic evidence in the context of Upper Palaeolithic symbolic culture.

 

Dr Alon Zivony – Israel

Voluntary shifts of attention: behavioral and electrophysiological consequences

NIF\R1\180384                  Birkbeck, University of London   £98,940.00

Previous studies have found that attentional engagement – the gateway to high-level cognitive mechanisms – can be withheld after an attentional shift. However, this conclusion is currently limited to cases where attention was captured involuntarily. It is possible that if one voluntarily shifts attention, engagement will necessarily follow. While the benefits of voluntary attention have been studied extensively using behavioral and neurophysiological measures, these studies cannot answer this question. First, participants in these studies were required to shift attention to the target’s location. In this case, attention might be engaged due to strategic preparation for the upcoming target, and not due to the shift itself. Second, these studies do not differentiate between attentional shifts and attentional engagement. Therefore, while voluntary attention is associated with many performance benefits that are superior to those of involuntary attention, it is unclear which of these benefits can be attributed to attentional engagement and which to pre-allocating spatial attention to the target’s location. In this study, I will overcome these difficulties by (a) using electrophysiological and eye-tracking measures, and (b) developing a novel paradigm where attention is voluntarily shifted, but not to the target’s location.

In Study 1, we will characterise a component of the event-related potentials that can differentiate between attentional shifting and attentional engagement. In Study 2, participants will follow the trajectory of a moving object which will eventually overlap with the target’s location. Thus, participants will have to voluntarily shift their attention to non-target locations in order to maximise performance. Eye movements and electrophysiological measures will be monitored. According to the results of Study 1, attentional engagement will either be indexed by behavioral measures or electrophysiological measures. This will allow us to examine whether attentional engagement necessarily follows a voluntarily shift of attention. Finally, previous studies suggested that eye movement execution and attentional shifts are controlled by a shared mechanism. In Study 2B, participants will execute a saccade towards the target. This will allow us to examine whether the outcomes of motor planning are different from those of a voluntary shift.

This study promises to provide important insights regarding the nature of attention. Finding that attentional engagement necessarily follows a voluntary shift, would suggest that voluntary and involuntary attention are qualitatively different. Otherwise, this would suggest that attention is strategically engaged only after potentially task-relevant information is detected. Both possibilities have important theoretical implications that will open new avenues of research, as well as practical implications.

 

Dr Austin Glatthorn – United States

Rethinking classical music: music theatre, the Holy Roman Empire, and the musical canon, 1775-1806                                                         

NIF\R1\180264                  Durham University          £89,623.50

The music of Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven – known as 'Viennese classicism' – has come to represent an entire era in the performance and scholarly canon of Western music. This approach is a consequence of 19th-century nationalist (music) historiography, which sought to fashion this canonic triumvirate’s instrumental music for Vienna as the music for a new Austrian state. Viennese classicism has thus both resulted from, and contributed to, the simultaneous neglect of the historical significance of the Holy Roman Empire (AD 800-1806) in the period leading up to the year 1800: the historical, political, cultural and aesthetic context in which these musicians and their music actually existed. Despite recent attempts to challenge the dominance of Viennese classicism and nationalist historiography, the scholarly emphasis on these canonical composers and their relation with a single city, Vienna, has proven incredibly resilient. My project challenges Viennese classicism by investigating music theatre in the Holy Roman Empire between 1775 and 1806, for it was music theatre, not instrumental music, that was the most popular and prestigious musical genre at the end of the 18th century. At its heart, my project asks what the story of music c.1800 would look like if we were to examine the era in its contexts rather than through those conceived decades later. To answer this principal question, I will consult archival material and digitised primary sources, build a graph database that will allow me to reconstruct the Holy Roman Empire's theatre network (including performers, composers, pieces, styles, and performance locations), and use recent revisionist work on the Holy Roman Empire and actor-network theory to inform my conceptual framework. This imperial network, I will argue, comprise the context in which musicians of varied national backgrounds (i.e., identifying with different states and languages within the Empire) composed music theatre that was consumed by an equally diverse musical public but that transcended the boundaries of local and national, as well as court and public cultures. This, rather than some 19th-century construct, was the context in which music c.1800 existed. I plan to disseminate this research as a monograph, a journal article and conference presentations that seek to challenge, and offer an alternative to, the still-dominant paradigm of Viennese classicism.

 

Dr Diogo Cabral – Brazil

Nested empires: human-ant negotiated geographies in 19th-century Brazil

NIF\R1\180144                  School of Advanced Study, University of London                £90,450.00

The terrible ability to massively extinguish life acquired by humans in the past couple of centuries should not obscure the many different situations – including in our own time – in which they are faced with animal presences so unyielding that that can only be solved by negotiation. This project aims to examine the agency of one such unyielding nonhuman species within the geo-juridical organisation of space. Endemic to the Neotropics, leaf-cutting ants (genus Atta) are top-caliber herbivores in forest, savannah and grassland ecosystems. Until the mid-20th century, when more effective methods of chemical control were invented, much of human crops in the neo-European tropics ended up not in human living environments, but in underground ant nests. In Brazil, the leafcutters helped shape the agricultural landscapes throughout the colonial era. The introduction of new crop species (for instance, grape vines were targets of choice for leafcutters, to which coeval commentators attributed the crop’s slow introduction in Brazil), the methods of cultivation (forest fallowing) and even the food habits of neo-Europeans (they learned with the natives how to catch them during the nuptial flight) have been influenced by leafcutters. Although with scattered precedents in the 18th century, municipal bylaws (posturas in Portuguese) concerning the extermination of leaf-cutting ant nests in both common and private lands boomed after the political independence from Portugal in 1822, when Brazil became an empire. Even the ant nests located within private property became regulated by posturas, which stipulated fines and sometimes explicitly arrogated public authorities the right to enter land holdings without the owner’s consent to check for anthills. Focusing on the Brazilian Southeastern highlands – the once predominantly forested region that supported most of the country’s population and economic growth in the 19th century – this research project seeks to make sense of these legal developments as symptoms of changes in the way humans negotiated their spatial coexistence with leafcutters. What were these changes exactly? What has driven them? How did they reshape human-leafcutter power geometries? Methodologically, historical GIS analysis is combined with the more conventional qualitative interpretation of written documental sources, such as travelers’ and naturalists’ accounts. This hybrid methodology allows one to address the entanglements between regional environmental change and centralised, territorial state-building, two key dimensions of imperial Brazil’s history.

 

Dr Francesca Esposito - Italy

Making gender visible: an intersectional exploration of immigration detention in the UK, Italy, and Portugal.

NIF\R1\181103                  University of Oxford       £98,872.50

Immigration detention is increasingly used by states to contain, identify, and exclude unauthorised foreign nationals from their territories. Yet, little is known about life and the lived experiences of people inside these institutions. The information becomes even scanter when it comes to the experiences of women detainees. Although feminist scholars have long highlighted the gendered nature of people’s migratory experiences, as well as how ideas about gender and sexuality are constituted in and through immigration policies and practices, producing different outcomes for the people concerned, efforts to integrate a gender perspective in the analysis of immigration detention are still rare. The point is not simply to ‘add women and stir,’ but to ‘make gender visible.’ To close this gap, this project addresses two questions: first, how do immigration detention centres and those working inside them conceptualise women and with what effect on them? Second, how do women make sense of their experiences of detention and how do they understand their own needs? These questions will be explored through a comparative case study of the UK, Italy and Portugal. Participant observation of everyday life inside immigration detention facilities, and interviews with detainees and practitioners will be conducted to answer these questions and triangulated with official document analysis. The project breaks new grounds by employing a comparative intersectional perspective to explore how gender interacts with other factors – such as race, sexuality, nationality – to shape the lived experiences of women in immigration detention centres, as well as how the immigration detention system actively contributes to constituting gendered roles and relations. In so doing, it also focuses on and problematises the notion of ‘vulnerability’ as framed in policies concerned with this population, as well as understood and operationalised in everyday practice. The ultimate goals of this cross-cultural study are i) to fill a gap in the scientific literature and ii) to provide meaningful insights to inform and rethink policies and practices, in order to uphold the health and human rights of women in detention and amplify their voices.

 

Dr Matthijs Gardenier - France

Anti-migrant groups in France and Great Britain: a comparative analysis

NIF\R1\180757                  University of Manchester             £94,575.00

This bi-national research project aims to gain a better understanding of the development of radical anti-immigration movements in Europe. Often, these movements are linked to the far right and it is not uncommon that they undertake violent action. The use of vigilantism and its publicisation is often a characteristic mode of action of these movements, being portrayed as ‘direct action’ in the absence of what its perpetrators consider to be adequate action by public authorities. This has been the case in particular in Calais, where anti-migrant groups were very active, until the evacuation of the ‘jungle’ in November 2016. I had the opportunity to conduct research from 2015 to 2016 on the anti-migrant social movements in Calais, working mainly on the Sauvons Calais group. The current proposed project builds on this research but will add significant new insights by comparing the development of this type of movement in France and Great Britain. Using the situation in Calais as a key starting point (and intersection of action by French and British groups), the specific focus of this comparative study is to enhance understanding of how these social movements develop a specific action repertoire. The key research question is thus whether, and how, vigilantism is strategically used as a way to legitimise far right political violence and/or to publicise far right movements in a way that facilitates mobilisation. The project will develop a comparative analysis of anti-migrant groups in Calais and Britain (Britain First), with three research objectives: 1. To reveal similarities between these movements. Notwithstanding their different national contexts and trajectories of militancy, can common characteristics be identified? 2. In conceptual terms, the characterisation of these movements will be critically interrogated. How can we understand the simultaneous deployment of elements of classical social movements’ action repertoire and vigilante groups’ action repertoire? 3. Beyond the comparative perspective, this research project will be an opportunity to consider border cities as a symbolic issue. Calais and Dover have become respectively for the French and British a far-right symbolic nexus, which crystallise their claims and mobilisations. In order to accomplish these research objectives, three methodological tools will be used. The first will be interviews with participants of those groups. The second will be the observation of the public events of those groups. The last will be the content analysis content analysis of their public social media pages and communications.

 

Dr Jan David Hauck – United States

Moral socialisation of Aché children

NIF\R1\181734                  London School of Economics and Political Science             £97,683.00

This project investigates the moral socialisation of children among the Aché, an indigenous group in Paraguay. The Aché lived as nomadic hunter–gatherers until deforestation, disease, and persecutions forced them onto reservations in the 1960s and 70s. Sedentarisation entailed dramatic sociocultural and economic changes. Today, they live in villages and subsist by horticulture, but continue to go on monthly hunting treks in nearby forest reserves. Forest and village are tied to past and present modes of existence. A more egalitarian ethos dominates on hunting treks, where resources and responsibilities are distributed across all participants. The village space with separate family units allows for greater autonomy, accumulation of resources, and monetary compensation. Analysing children’s socialisation in these two contexts, the proposed project will investigate whether and to what extent they afford different moral frameworks that may hint at ongoing changes in the configurations of morality among the Aché. While we acquire our basic sense of morality through mundane, everyday family interactions with caregivers and peers in childhood, only very little research to date has focused on the moral socialisation of children, and even less in the context of sociocultural transformation. In a global context where social life is undergoing rapid shifts, it is crucial to look at how such changes impact moral development of children who are not only the demographic most affected by social change, but who also transform moral frameworks accordingly. The perspectives and experiences of children are critical for fathoming the formation of a community ethos, its reproduction, and transformation. Building on ten years of ethnographic research among the Aché, and drawing on a large video corpus, fieldnotes, and interview data collected over 12 months of previous ethnographic fieldwork, as well as two further planned research trips to Paraguay, the proposed project will examine how Aché children develop an understanding of, respond to, and transform community norms of sharing, reciprocity, and cooperation in relation to the environments they grow up in. Subsistence contexts and their attendant cultural and interactional norms may afford different moral frameworks, the navigation, contestation, and reproduction of which might shed light not only on children's moral development but also on larger transitions within small-scale societies. This project brings children to the fore of the ethical turn in anthropology, investigating the social, cultural, and interactional bases of different modes of sociality and morality.

 

Dr Jesse Lundquist – United States

Palíntonos: a new reconstruction of ancient Greek and Proto-Indo-European accentuation

NIF\R1\180335                  University of Oxford       £99,000.00

Greek and Sanskrit are foundational languages in the study of reconstructed Indo-European accentuation. However, due to their complex philological transmission, the earliest texts have been all but unavailable except to textual specialists; theoretical linguists working on the reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European have not fully examined the data. A number of recent works have been devoted to the topic of Indo-European accentuation, but their hypotheses concerning the proto-language have been founded often on philological evidence too weak to bear the burden. In my research I will combine textual and linguistic approaches to develop a new reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European accentuation, which will have a significant bearing on larger questions of Indo-European morphology, and on morphophonological alternations cross-linguistically. I will examine anew the earliest Greek and Sanskrit materials, from which new data will emerge, since many texts, especially on the Sanskrit side, have not been analysed previously; indeed, some remain unedited, and many remain untranslated. One aim of this research project is to clarify the reconstructible morphology of the proto-language. I will examine on a suffix by suffix basis which accentual properties cognate morphemes of Greek and Sanskrit possessed in Proto-Indo-European. A philologically rigorous reconstruction of the parent language will then allow me to assess how each language has transformed its inheritance. A related aim of this project is to offer translations of previously untranslated texts in ancient Greek and Sanskrit on topics of accentuation. Having examined the philological transmission of accentuation in these languages, I will turn to a broader aim, viz. a reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European's accentual system. I will then assess where this reconstructed accentual system locates the Indo-European language family in terms of the typology of accentual systems across the languages of the world. Arguments from typology, which are underused in discussions of Proto-Indo-European accent, will impact on the analysis of morphology in the daughter languages. I will argue that Indo-European should be classed as a language family with a prototypical "lexical accent system", where morphemes possess lexically specified accentual properties, and phonological resolutions for accentual conflicts. We would then expect the ways this system developed to shed new light on other language families that also possess lexical accent systems. One significant research outcome will be articles and a new monograph on this topic, offering the first systematic analysis of the data from ancient Greek and Sanskrit, and showing the results of my research in a new reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European accent.

 

Dr Leonardo Ariel Carrió Cataldi - Spain

Instruments of early modern Iberian Empires: towards a critical history of globalisation

NIF\R1\181126                  University College London            £90,270.00

This project tackles the crucial but unexamined tension between measuring and orientation tools used by Europe’s Old Regime societies – which bear a strong local and regional stamp and the universal expansionist ambitions of their empires. Focusing on the early modern Iberian monarchies, while opening up comparisons with other political and cultural entities, it will analyse to this end a wide range of sources (navigational instruments, travelogues, maps, clocks, calendars and nautical and cosmographical treatises) produced in, or circulating within the Iberian world. The project covers a period of crucial transformation in the scope of practical knowledge and of the Iberian empires, from the beginning of their overseas expansion until the end of the Iberian Crown Union (1580–1640). During this period, the combined monarchy faced unprecedented epistemological challenges in the course of its sweeping conquest of new territories. This historical process put at the core of the imperial enterprise systems of measurement and orientation, while at the same time emphasizing their conceptual and technical limits. In my work, situated at the crossroad of history of science and technology and intellectual and social history, I argue that calibrating and adjusting measurement and orientation devices was not only a technical practice, but also an intellectual enterprise, aimed at making them workable outside their original place of manufacture or geographical area. At the same time, I claim that these devices participated in the construction of geographical and epistemic scales that informed new political dimensions which encompassed local production within the global framework of the Iberian empires. Organised along three thematic axes (The Times of Empires; Imperial Stones and Heavens; Political Geographies of Empires), the project aims at writing a new history of knowledge and empires by innovatively putting instruments at the core of the discussion. It brings global history into dialogue with material culture as a way of critically reassessing longstanding narratives about European scientific and technological supremacy during early modern times and engaging with new historiographical trends on Iberian Science.

 

Dr Melis Ece - Turkey

Pathways to democratic climate governance in Africa: comparing territorialisation in community-based REDD+ carbon forestry projects in Tanzania and Senegal

NIF\R1\181576                  University of Sussex        £98,145.00

REDD+ (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation plus) is a market-based climate mitigation mechanism whose purpose is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions resulting from deforestation and degradation of forests in developing countries. However, REDD+ project implementations are fraught with incidents of eviction and land conflict, and often forest users have been excluded from decision-making and access to resources in the myriad particular pathways of intervention that carbon forestry projects have followed. This project examines comparatively REDD+ project implementations in Senegal and Tanzania to 1) understand how the climate-oriented global resource governance regime unfolds in path-dependent ways in different political and social settings; 2) evaluate the capacity of participatory carbon forestry projects in furthering or hindering local democratic (resource) governance. In Africa, environmental policies and interventions have a central importance in shaping rural communities’ encounters with and experiences of “government.” Market-oriented pathways lead REDD+ projects to establish stable territorial control over forest landscapes to ensure a steady stream of revenues and minimise risk. To achieve this control, projects adopt different property and governance arrangements and chose to work with and recognize different constellations of actors situated within and outside the state. How do variegated carbon forestry pathways emerge in different settings and how these shape projects’ territorial governance choices and practices? How do project modes of territorial governance affect and change local resource control and representation - especially of those who are most economically disenfranchised and politically marginalised? Using territorialisation as a theoretical lens to analyse questions of governance, this comparative study will contribute to a better understanding of how community-based REDD+ projects develop and unfold in path-dependent ways in different contexts through the mutual constitution of the state and the market. It will also illuminate the ways in which context-based differences shape the community experiences of local governance, providing detailed ethnographic picture of the effects of community-based carbon forestry projects on local resource control and democratic decision-making and representation in Africa.

 

Dr Seda Altug - Turkey

Sectarianism, land and state in Syria under the French Mandate (1915-1939)

NIF\R1\182394                  University of Oxford       £98,671.50

This project aims to investigate the politics of ethno-religious difference in Syria under French Mandate through the colonial state's practices of governing land as it is violently or otherwise contested by various Syrian/non-Syrian actors. Seemingly a pure political-economic issue, land question is intrinsically linked to the maintenance of political order and management of populations. This research will describe the transformation in the political, ideological, judicial, economic and cultural significance of religion/ethnicity within the course of this multidimensional process of governance, taking land as a site through which the effects of the colonial, national and local power relations are traced. At a global level, I examine these dimensions of (re)production of political and cultural difference, land and state-making with reference to broader trans-imperial practices. On a local level, I highlight Syrian agency in the Mandate situation. The colonial state’s practices created sites of negotiation and conflict within Syrian society as well as between the state and the society, shaping social processes, interests and cleavages as well as state practices that continue to be relevant up to today.