British academy

British Academy Research Readerships and Senior Research Fellowships

Results of the 1999 competition

The Academy is please to announce the results of the 1999 British Academy Research Readership and British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship competitions.


British Academy Research Readerships 1999-2001


Professor J. Bell FBA
Professor of Public and Comparative Law, University of Leeds
European Legal Cultures

Professor John Bell will work on a study of the nature of legal cultures in Europe, a topic of major significance to European integration and the understanding of legal systems. His research will be disseminated principally through two books. The first will be on 'French Law and Legal Cultures', exploring the hypothesis that there is not a single French legal culture, but several: among judges, professionals and academics. The second strand will be to produce a book mapping out the influences shaping European judicial cultures.

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Dr M.N.A. Bockmuehl
University Lecturer, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge
Simon Peter and the Origin of the Gentile Christian Mission

Dr Markus Bockmuehl intends to use the Readership to plan and implement a substantial historical study on Simon Peter's role in the formation of the early Church and its theology, as developed in the uneasy symbiosis of primarily Jewish Christianity and the emerging Gentile churches around the Mediterranean. The results will be disseminated in a monograph which will take account of important recent archaeological and socio-historical studies of both Galilee and the Jewish and early Christian communities in Rome; recent studies of Hellenistic Judaism, and the benefits of research on the Dead Sea Scrolls.

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Professor J.P. Dancy
Professor of Philosophy, University of Reading
Moral Particularism

Professor Jonathan Dancy will work on completing a substantial investigation and defence of the moral theory which he has been developing since 1980, which is known as particularism. Moral particularism is the view that moral thought and judgement do not involve any appeal to moral principles, putting it at variance with almost every established view in moral theory. This will be a full-scale and authoritative statement of his position, with defence against extant criticisms.

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Professor P. Hulme
Professor of Literature, University of Essex
Caribbean Fictions of Indigeneity

Professor Peter Hulme intends to work on 'Caribbean Fictions of Indigeneity', the third (and final) stage of a long engagement with the large body of material - scientific, ethnographic and fictional - on which our understanding of the history of the indigenous Caribbean depends. The first stage was published in 1986 as Colonial Encounters: Europe and the Native Caribbean, 1492-1797, and the second stage is due to appear in 1999 as Visiting the Caribs. The new project will focus on various pieces of fiction, mostly historical novels, that claim to represent the indigenous cultures of the Caribbean.

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Professor D.N. Livingstone FBA
Professor of Geography and Intellectual History, The Queen's University of Belfast
Spaces of Science

Professor David Livingstone aims to develop what might be called 'an historical geography of science'. Scientific knowledge has been produced, disseminated, and received in a diverse array of different sites, spaces, regions and situations. The primary objective of this work is to elucidate systematically how such fundamentally geographical factors have conditioned the scientific enterprise. By taking the spatial components of science seriously, the hope is to demonstrate some of the ways in which a geographical methodology may supplement social and historical studies of science and, at the same time, to show how science - traditionally presented as a universal enterprise devoid of parochial particulars - has in fact been 'located' in a variety of telling ways. The first fruits of this work will be a volume of a general nature on 'The Spaces of Science', with a variety of detailed case studies to follow in future years.

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Professor D.J. Mattingly
Professor of Roman Archaeology, University of Leicester
Living in the Desert: The Garamantes of Fezzan (Libya)

Professor David John Mattingly is currently directing a new programme of archaeological fieldwork on the Garamantian heartlands in Libya and, simultaneously, is working on a definitive publication of the results of earlier archaeological study of the Garamantes by Charles Daniels which produced dramatic evidence for their settlement and cemeteries. The Research Readership will enable Professor Mattingly to concentrate his energies on the completion of the new fieldwork, editing two volumes of reports on the Daniels' survey and excavations, and the writing of a synthetic monograph on the Garamantes, the foremost tribe of the Libyan Sahara in Classical antiquity.

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Dr R.A. McCabe
Fellow and Tutor in English, Merton College, and Titular Reader in English, University of Oxford
'Monstrous Regiment': The Relationship between Female Sovereignty and Colonial Policy in the Work of Edmund Spenser

Dr Richard McCabe intends to analyse the works of Edmund Spenser within the dual, but interactive, contexts of imperial aspiration and female 'regiment' and to provide a reinterpretation of The Faerie Queene as a (frustrated) colonial romance more akin to Camoens' Lusiads in its political and racial outlook than to the epic verse of Ariosto or Tasso. This would develop work already done by Dr McCabe in related areas of Spenser studies into a coherent analysis of the entire canon designed to demonstrate the centrality of Spenser's colonial policy, and its eventual disintegration, to every aspect of his language, imagery, mythology and structure.

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Dr M.S. Morgan
Reader in History of Economics, The London School of Economics
Models and their Making in Economics

Dr Mary S. Morgan draws attention to the fact that economics is now a discipline which relies on the method of mathematical modelling and economists believe the method is a powerful one for understanding the world. Models dominate both scientific and policy economics and so play a very powerful role in the practice of economics: they mediate between theory and data and between economic science and the world. But neither the methodology of how such modelling works in economics, nor the history of how it emerged has been much researched. Her project will treat models as mediating instruments and use case studies to explore this economic modelling tradition.

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Professor R.G. Osborne
Fellow and Tutor in Ancient History, Corpus Christi College and titular Professor of Ancient History, University of Oxford
The Transformation of Athenian Society, c. 520 ? c. 460 BC

Professor Robin Osborne expects to be able to create a detailed picture of the way in which Athenian society was transformed in the period c. 520?c. 460 BC and a new understanding of the relationship between political and social history in the decades in which Athenian democracy was created. Ancient texts reveal changes in Athenian society and its values , but such texts are too scant to delineate such changes fully. Professor Osborne will use the enormous corpus of Athenian painted pottery from these years to get a better measure of the social transformation. Results will be achieved by analysing and correlating changes in pot shapes, and in iconographic and stylistic choices, and by reading this evidence against what is known from textual sources and other aspects of archaeology.

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Professor M. Vaughan
Professor of Commonwealth Studies, University of Oxford and Fellow of Nuffield College
African Identities in the Era of the Slave Trade: East Central Africa

Professor Megan Vaughan is the author of works such as The Story of an African Famine: Gender and Famine in Twentieth Century Malawi (CUP, 1987) and Cutting Down Trees: Gender, Nutrition and Agricultural Change in Northern Zambia, 1890?1990 (Heinemann and James Currey, 1994), which have contributed to a new understanding of the history of colonialism in East Central Africa. She now wishes to explore in greater depth the nature of, and changes to African societies and social identities in this region in the era of the slave trade. In particular, this work will explore how the historical memory of this period may be encoded in non-narrative forms (initiation rituals and spirit possession practices, for example). The aim is to re-vitalise the study of pre-colonial history in this region through a fresh perspective on this important period, to contribute to the debate on the nature and extent of changes wrought by colonialism and to provide new theoretical insights into questions of history, memory and identity in Africa.

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Dr N.C. Vincent
Reader in Medieval History, Christ Church College, Canterbury
An Edition of the Charters of King Henry II

Dr Nicholas Vincent intends to work on a project to fill a significant gap in our understanding of the political and legal history of the twelfth century. As ruler of England, Normandy, Anjou and Aquitaine, Henry II exerted a unique influence over Anglo-French history, besides being credited with a role as chief architect of the English common law. The Readership will enable the completion and publication of a completed edition of all of Henry's charters (representing a collection twice the extent of the Anglo-Norman Regesta Regum, published in the fifty years after 1910).

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Professor A. Whiten
Professor of Evolutionary and Developmental Psychology, University of St Andrews
Nature, Function and Early Development of 'Theory of Mind'

Professor Andrew Whiten will study our capacity for everyday 'mindreading' ? the psychological process through which we routinely interpret and predict others' actions by recognising 'states of mind'. Two different but interlinked approaches will be taken. The first is primarily a philosophical and conceptual exercise, developed from an interdisciplinary perspective, to analyse the very nature of what mindreading can be, given that we are not telepathists and must read minds through observables. The second, complementary approach is an observational analysis of the earliest manifestations and functions of mindreading in childhood. The two approaches will reinforce each other, together making a fundamental contribution on a topic with wide implications in the humanities and social sciences.

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British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowships 1999-2000


Dr H.R. Brown
Reader in Philosophy and University Lecturer in Philosophy of Physics, University of Oxford
Philosophy of Space and Time

Dr Harvey Brown intends to spend the year writing the major part of a book on the philosophy of special relativity theory. The central theme of the book will be a detailed defence of the 'dynamical' underpinning of relativistic kinematics, as espoused this century by W. Pauli, J.S. Bell, and to a considerable extent by Einstein himself. The book will represent a quite different interpretation of the meaning of relativity theory from that found in the writings of most current philosophers of physics, based on the 'space-time theory' approach.

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Dr P.W. Edbury
Reader in Medieval History, University of Wales, Cardiff
A New Edition of John of Ibelin's Treatise on the Law and Customs of the Kingdom of Jerusalem

Dr Peter Edbury plans to devote the bulk of his energies to preparing a new critical edition of the legal treatises by John of Ibelin, count of Jaffa and Ascalon (d. 1266). John dealt with the law and custom as applied in the High Court of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, and his writings constitute a major source for our knowledge of the law, society and assumptions of the European community settled in the East. It is a long text, and the manner of its transmission presents a number of difficulties. The Senior Research Fellowship will allow time for Dr Edbury's work on it to be brought to completion.

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Professor M. Kelly
Professor of French, University of Southampton
1945: The Nationalisation of French Culture

The purpose of Professor Michael Kelly's project is to demonstrate how and why the cultural domain in France was nationalised during the course of 1945. Nationalisation in this context meaning both a degree of direct and indirect state intervention in the cultural sphere, and a broader movement to mobilise a wide range of cultural activities in the reconstruction of French national identity. The resulting book will draw on a wide range of texts, images, debates and events, which will be analysed to show the different ways in which they articulate the relationship between culture and national identity. After outlining the historical situation which gave unusual salience to culture, it will examine the intellectual climate, especially the appearance of the committed intellectual, the emergence of a dominant humanist framework, and the sudden rise to prominence of existentialism, Marxism and Catholic personalism. It will then study the cultural reconstruction, including the material infrastructure of culture, the press, the 'rediscovery' of the war, and the public events which symbolised the reassertion of French national identity.

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Professor S.L. Mendus
Professor of Politics, University of York
Pluralism and Modernity

Professor Susan Mendus intends to use the Senior Research Fellowship to complete a book on 'Pluralism and Modernity'. The argument of the book will be that it is possible to justify liberalism at the political level without undermining individuals' commitments to their conceptions of the good. Pace MacIntyre and Taylor, political liberalism can incorporate a moral dimension. Pace the most recent work of Rawls, this need not imply a commitment to a comprehensive conception of the good.

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Dr M. Philp
CUF Lecturer in Politics and Fellow and Tutor in Politics, Oriel College, Oxford
On Political Conduct

Dr Mark Philp proposes to use the Senior Research Fellowship to complete a book developing his work on political corruption into an extended essay on the nature of politics, on its ethical weight as a mechanism of allocation and exchange, and on the conduct it demands from political leaders, bureaucrats and citizens in modern democratic states. The book also develops an account of political competence and probity, and of corruption and incompetence. It will be illustrated with historical case studies and empirical material, although the weight of the examples will be drawn from democratic and democratising states in the modern world. The book will draw broadly on literature in ethics, political theory and political sociology.

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Professor B.F. Richardson
Professor of Italian Language, University of Leeds
An Edition of Fortunio's Regole grammaticali della volgar lingua

Professor Brian Richardson highlights the need for a modern edition of a text which was a milestone in the process of the standardization of Italian, the Regole grammaticali of Fortunio (1516). This was the first Italian grammar to be printed in the period when writers and editors were searching for a common literary language. The Regole had an immediate influence and, with many further editions appearing in following years, continued to be used for guidance alongside the more prestigious but less easily accessible grammar of Bembo. Although some articles have been published on Fortunio recently, there has been no edition of his grammar since the sixteenth century and there is no full-scale study of his work. This project will remedy this position. Professor Richardson will provide an annotated edition of the text of the grammar together with an introduction discussing Fortunio's cultural context, his sources and methodology, and the extent of his influence.

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Professor P. Sillitoe
Professor in Social Anthropology, University of Durham
Local Knowledge and the Political-Economy of Forest Use in Papua New Guinea

Professor Paul Sillitoe will use the Senior Research Fellowship to enable him to pursue an in-depth study of indigenous knowledge pertaining to the use of forest resources in Papua New Guinea. This responds to national demands to investigate possibilities for promoting sustainable exploitation and conservation of the country's rich and unique biodiversity through local landowners' ideologies and resource use strategies. The research will consider both the use of wild forest resources and their manipulation under shifting cultivation. It will be sensitive to the transactionally dominated local political-economy which informs people's attitudes to natural resource use. Also, it will consider contemporary population growth and rapid social change, which are influencing attitudes. The findings will be published in journal articles and subsequently in a book.

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Dr D.G.K. Taylor
Lecturer in Theology, University of Birmingham
The Great Syriac Psalter Commentary of Daniel of Salah

Dr David Taylor intends to use the Senior Research Fellowship to work on the production of a critical edition and translation of the commentary on the first fifty psalms by Daniel of Salah, a sixth-century Syrian theologian who produced the earliest commentary in Syriac on the Psalms. The complete work is vast and exercised a profound influence on Christianity in the Middle East and beyond. It has never been edited, and was long thought to survive only in fragments. Dr Taylor has already located and obtained copies of two complete manuscripts of the work, in addition to numerous incomplete volumes.