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Seven new AHRC Leadership Fellows announced

Date: 11/09/2018


The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) has today announced the latest cohort of seven new 'Leadership Fellows'.

As Leadership Fellows the researchers will receive AHRC funding to further their research across a broad range of subject areas, including the surprising longevity of witchcraft in France and society's fascination with dinosaurs.

The Leadership Fellows scheme is intended to provide time for research leaders – or potential future research leaders – to undertake individual research and collaborative activities that have the potential to transform their subject areas.

The successful proposals all represent high quality, world-leading research that includes collaborative elements to support the development of the Fellow’s capacity for research leadership in the arts and humanities.

Anne Sofield, Associate Director for Skills and Public Policy says: “We are delighted to be able to offer this opportunity for researchers in the arts and humanities to undertake a programme of work that will establish the Fellow as a leader in their field, building connections and opening up new ways of working.  Since its establishment several years ago, the scheme has supported successive cohorts of innovative and impactful research projects, and we will watch with interest as these latest projects take off.”

A new cohort of Leadership Fellows is announced by the AHRC regularly each quarter. The scheme provides them with funding for a period of six-18 months at a cost of between £50,000-£250,000.

The current new Leadership Fellows and their projects are:

Dr Zachary Blas

Dr Zachary Blas, Goldsmiths College, ‘Bio-Exempt: Art in the Age of Digital, Networked Surveillance’

This project addresses the term coined by the UK Home Office "bio-exempt," describing a privileged category of persons not required to provide biometric data to the state upon immigration. Cutting across a myriad of fields and areas of study the project unites academics, artists, scientists and technologists, government workers and the public in order to focus on the question: how can and do artistic practices creatively, critically and technically confront the inequalities endemic to emerging modes of computational surveillance?

Dr Ruth Glynn

Dr Ruth Glynn, University of Bristol, ‘Naples and the Nation: Image, Media and Culture in the Second Republic’

This project explores contemporary cultural representations of Naples, a city often marginalised in discussion of Italian 'national' culture but central to state-of-the-nation discourses. It interrogates how cultural products addressing Naples represent the city and its relationship with Italy, and asks what the view from Naples reveals about the nation-state, its workings and its discourses.

Professor Michelle Henning

Professor Michelle Henning, The University of West London, ‘Aesthetics, Industry and Innovation in Twentieth Century Photography: The Ilford Archive’

Professor Henning's research investigates practices of technical innovation in the work of the Ilford Ltd. Photographic company and early colour photography enterprises during WWI and in the interwar period. It explores how new aesthetic and technical practices developed between 1914 and 1939, and the impact on the visual, sensual 'economy' of the period.

Dr Gillian Jein

Dr Gillian Jein, Bangor University, ‘Inventing Greater Paris: Visual Culture, Regeneration and the Right to the Global City’

This project positions the Greater Paris district of Seine-Saint-Denis as a contested symbolic space. Working with artists and stakeholders across ten arts organizations, the project uses practice-based methods to produce a co-creative visualisation, 'Affective Territories', while the project's monograph 'Inventing Greater Paris' explores how socially engaged art practices are remaking the meanings and materialities of the suburbs to suggest models for urban relations that empower marginalized communities in the global city.

Dr William Pooley

Dr William Pooley, University of Bristol, ‘Creative Histories of Witchcraft, France 1790-1940’

Dr William's project addresses two core questions. The first is a historical puzzle: why did witchcraft endure into the modern period in France? The second is methodological: which tools and techniques can historians learn from working collaboratively with creative practitioners, such as playwrights and poets?


Dr Lisa Stead

Dr Lisa Stead, University of Exeter, ‘Reframing Vivien Leigh: stardom, archives and access’

This project examines for the first time how the legacies of screen star Vivien Leigh (1913-1967) are archived and curated by a range of public institutions in the South West of England. Fragments of Leigh's star image have been preserved within scattered museum and archive collections which position her as a global star with local roots, reconnecting her to the South West where she began her married life and fledgling acting career.

Dr William Tattersdill

Dr William Tattersdill, University of Birmingham, ‘Narrativising Dinosaurs: Science and Popular Culture from 1850 to the Present’

Painstakingly reconstructed from scant fossil remains, dinosaurs are invariably the product of imaginative faculties as well as empirical data. They therefore embody a combination of storytelling and science; they are, so to speak, inherently interdisciplinary. By understanding dinosaurs as a focal point for the shifting conversations between literature and science over the last 160 years, this study looks at the wider questions of interdisciplinary knowledge as well as to the specifics of our relationships with Mesozoic life.

Leadership Fellows scheme

The AHRC’s Leadership Fellows scheme provides time for research leaders, or potential future research leaders, to undertake focused individual research alongside collaborative activities which have the potential to generate a transformative impact on their subject area and beyond. In addition to demonstrating support for high quality, world leading research and associated outputs, proposals must include collaborative activities to support the development of the Fellow’s capacity for research leadership in the arts and humanities.

Find out more and apply

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