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New Generation Thinkers 2019

Dr Majed Akhter

Lecturer in Environment & Society, King's College London

Majed Akhter

Majed Akhter researches how technology shapes territorial conflict, development, and cultural politics. He has published on the geopolitics of large dams in South Asia and on how militarized drones impact sovereignty and citizenship. Majed is currently writing two books. The first is a co-authored textbook, A Critical Introduction to Water and Society. The second examines how large infrastructures like dams, railroads, and ports shape the politics of development in Asia – from 20th century decolonization to the ongoing Belt and Road Initiative.

Majed has previously lived in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and the US. He currently lives in South London and enjoys cycling and swimming in his free time. He has been a Lecturer in Geography at King’s College London since 2018. 


Dr Emily Cock

Leverhulme Research Associate, School of History, Archaeology and Religion, Cardiff University

Emily Cock

Emily Cock is a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow in the School of History, Archaeology and Religion at Cardiff University. She completed her PhD at the University of Adelaide, and will soon publish a related book all about noses and plastic surgery in early modern British medicine and culture.

Emily’s research explores social and cultural histories of medicine, sexuality, and disability in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. She is currently focusing on experiences and representations of facial disfigurements in Britain and its colonies in Virginia, Massachusetts, and Australia, and how these physical differences compared between different regions. 


Dr Ella Parry-Davies

British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

Ella Parry-Davies

Dr Ella Parry-Davies is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London. She holds a PhD jointly funded by King’s College London and the National University of Singapore, and researches theatre and performance in contexts of transnational migration.

Through her postdoctoral project ‘Home-Makers’, Ella is developing a series of creative soundwalks in collaboration with Filipina domestic and care workers living in the UK and Lebanon. Contesting the undervaluing of care work, she argues that the soundwalks demonstrate migrant workers’ expertise in creating a sense of home overseas through urban practices that can be understood as performative: live, embodied and collaborative.


Christina J Faraday

AHRC-funded PhD candidate, University of Cambridge

Christina J Faraday

Christina Faraday is a historian of art and ideas, and is especially interested in the ways that images and objects communicate. Originally from Letchworth Garden City in Hertfordshire, she completed BA and MPhil degrees in History of Art and Architecture at the University of Cambridge. Her MPhil researched the symbolism of clocks in Tudor portraits.

Christina’s AHRC-funded PhD at the University of Cambridge researches ‘liveliness’ in sixteenth-century English art. It reveals that techniques used by writers to achieve vividness have parallels in the period’s visual culture, from portraits to book illustrations and monuments. Alongside her PhD, Christina is a part-time Curatorial Intern at the National Portrait Gallery, London. She teaches undergraduates and continuing learners at Cambridge, and co-convenes the 'Value of the Humanities' research group.


Susan Greaney

AHRC-funded PhD candidate, Cardiff University

Susan Greaney

Susan Greaney is an archaeologist with a career in heritage interpretation and is a specialist in British prehistory, particularly landscapes and monuments. She is fascinated by the unique combination of ground-breaking science and creative imagination that is constantly changing our understanding of the deep past.

Susan’s AHRC-funded PhD examines clusters of Neolithic monuments in Britain and Ireland. In particular her research examines the relations that prehistoric people had with place, including how natural features may have influenced the location of these monuments. She is also investigating how a sense of time and the past in prehistory led to these extraordinary projects. Part of this project involves radiocarbon dating of archived objects from these sites to obtain more detailed narratives of their construction and use.


Dr Jade Halbert

Lecturer in Fashion Business and Cultural Studies, University of Huddersfield

Jade Halbert

Jade Halbert is a historian of the British fashion industry and a lecturer in fashion business and cultural studies at the University of Huddersfield. Her Economic and Social Research Council-funded PhD was in History at the University of Glasgow, and explored the functions of the British fashion industry from the 1960s to the 1990s taking the Glasgow-based fashion design and manufacturing business Marion Donaldson as its central case study.

Her research focuses on the history and culture of British fashion since 1800, especially the production of fashion and clothing for the mass market, black economies in fashion, the fashion sales sector, and family businesses. The history of the modern British rag trade is her current area of research, and she is especially interested in oral histories of the post-war period.


Dr Jeffrey Howard

Lecturer in Political Theory, University College London

Jeffrey Howard

Jeffrey Howard is a political philosopher. His work aims to identify the principles that should guide citizens and policymakers in response to public policy controversies. His current research examines free speech and its limits in the digital era, investigating how best to combat expression that incites violence, spreads dangerous lies, and inflames hatred. He is also at work on a book on the ethics of incarceration and the proper purpose of criminal punishment.

An undergraduate at Harvard, Jeffrey completed his doctorate at Oxford. He has previously published on such topics as the ethics of paying ransoms to terrorists, the moral limits of sting operations, and the justification of democracy as a form of government. His research has been funded by the British Academy, which also awarded him its Rising Star Engagement Award.


Dr Brendan McGeever

Brendan McGeever

Lecturer in the Sociology of Racialization and Antisemitism, Birkbeck, University of London

Brendan McGeever is a sociologist at Birkbeck, University of London. His work focuses on the history and contemporary significance of antisemitism. In particular, he is interested in the relationship between antisemitism and other forms of racism.

In his recent work, Brendan has explored how radical social movements have confronted racism and antisemitism. His new book takes up this theme by looking at the Bolshevik response to antisemitism during the Russian Revolution of 1917. In addition, he is working on the question of antisemitism and the left in the contemporary political context.

At Birkbeck, Brendan is based in the Department of Psychosocial Studies and the Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism.


Dr Dina Rezk

Associate Professor in Middle Eastern History and Politics, University of Reading

Dina Rezk

Dina completed her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the University of Cambridge. Her first book, The Arab World and Western Intelligence: Analysing the Middle East, explored the role of ‘culture’ in Anglo-American analysis of the Arab world and was published in 2017.

Dina’s current AHRC funded research examines politics and popular culture in Egypt since the revolutionary upheavals of 2011. She puts 'the people' back at the centre of scholarly understanding of Egypt's tumultuous transition, using popular culture to show how political power has been imagined in different ways since the so-called 'Arab Spring’.


Dr Tom Smith

Lecturer in German, University of St Andrews

Tom Smith

Tom Smith is Lecturer in German at the University of St Andrews. He works primarily with literature, film, television and music. His specialisms include masculinity and queer studies, East Germany, and post-1945 German culture. As a keen musician, he also researches the importance of classical and popular music in German and Austrian culture.

Tom’s current project approaches the fall of the Berlin Wall and German reunification from a new angle, coinciding with the 30th anniversary in 2019/2020. Berlin’s techno scene emerged around 1989, and Tom is investigating the feelings associated with techno music and clubs. Descriptions and images of marginalised musicians’ and clubbers’ experiences (women, queer people, people of colour) can transform our understanding of social expectations and emotional pressures.