British academy

British Academy Research Readerships and Senior Research Fellowships

Results of the 2000 competition

The British Academy is pleased to announce the results of the 2000 British Academy Research Readerships and British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowships competitions


British Academy Research Readerships 2000-2002

return to top


Dr S Bobzien
CUF Lecturer and Fellow in Philosophy, Queen’s College, Oxford
The Development of Propositional Logic in Antiquity

Dr Susanne Bobzien proposes to write a book on the development of propositional logic in antiquity, re-evaluating the known evidence and drawing on fragments and texts which have as yet been neither translated nor exploited for the history of propositional logic. The ’discovery’ of propositional logic is one of the two great achievements in ancient logic. Surviving passages on ancient propositional logic date from the 3rd Century BC to the 6th Century AD. This will be the first such study to be written, and builds on a considerable body of work previously carried out by Dr Bobzien.

return to top


Professor E H Cooper
Titular Professor in English, University College, Oxford
Romance 1150–1616

The purpose of Professor Helen Cooper’s research is to produce a book on romance conventions from the first emergence of the genre in French and Anglo-Norman in the twelfth century down to the death of Shakespeare: a continuous story, since romances not only constituted the largest and most sophisticated body of secular fiction in the Middle Ages, but in black-letter prints were familiar to Elizabethans of all social levels. This embedded culture was reworked for the theatre, for Reformation propaganda, and for the ’writing of England’. The varying interpretations of the same texts over several centuries, and the combination of precise imitations of motif with differences of understanding and usage, offer a revealing and sensitive measure of historical and cultural change.

return to top


Dr H S A Fox
Senior Lecturer in English Local History, University of Leicester
Rural Settlements in Medieval Devon, 500–1500: A Study in Social History

Dr Harold Fox proposes to use the Readership to address a large number of key issues relating to medieval settlement and society, producing results which should be of interest and use to a wide range of medieval and landscape historians and also to the general public. These results will be embodied in a monograph which will address the two-way relationship between places and the people living in them. Society was arranged on the ground in a way which reflected social relations: thus a labourer’s cottage near the farm door probably indicates dependent or ‘tied’ labour. There is also a reverse relationship because settlement pattern influenced social relations: thus a dispersed pattern of settlement may have contributed to weak lordship. Another key feature of this work will be its long timespan.

return to top


Dr D Gambetta, FBA
University Reader in Sociology, All Souls College, Oxford
Signalling and Mimicking Individual and Group Identity

Dr Diego Gambetta intends to use the award of the Readership to complete a major book on the deceptive mimicry of identity signals (eg impersonating, pretending, passing off). This project represents a whole new development of Dr Gambetta’s previous work on trust, and identifies a phenomenon that, while ubiquitous, is merely anecdotally acknowledged, and it provides a unified theoretical treatment of it. The overall aim consists of uncovering the ways in which identity signalling succeeds in conveying credible information about the unobservable qualities of agents despite the threat posed by mimics who aim to exploit the reputation without the qualities. Theoretically, it draws on a range of disciplines, such as game theory, biology and semiotics, to establish the conditions that make signals credible. Empirically, it provides a classification of mimicry types and the analysis of some selected cases of ‘semiotic warfare’ between mimics and their victims.

return to top


Professor C S Gamble, FBA
Professor of Archaeology, University of Southampton
The Palaeolithic Foundations of Europe

The primary aim of Professor Clive Gamble’s research will be the study of the intensification of hunter-gatherer societies in Palaeolithic Europe from 18,000 to 8,000 years ago. This crucial ten thousand years in human prehistory will be compared with that of the Near East where similar intensification led to agriculture and very different societies. A secondary aim is to bring prehistoric hunters and gatherers ‘in from the cold’ and into explanations of change in later prehistory. This will be achieved by undertaking new research in selected regions of Europe and the Near East in order to present a synthesis of the period. Attention will be paid to the process of social and economic intensification and the different trajectories of change. These issues will be addressed through the study of selected sites and compared at a regional scale.

return to top


Professor P L Harris, FBA
Professor of Developmental Psychology, St John’s College, Oxford
Testimony and Imagination

Research on cognitive development implies that young children are stubborn autodidacts: they resist the testimony of adults and rely on their own limited, first-hand observation. There are good reasons for thinking that this conception of cognitive development is inadequate. First, children adopt conclusions that they cannot establish first-hand (eg that the earth is round; that people think with their brain). Second, they have a powerful, disciplined imagination that helps them to elaborate upon and interpret claims that they learn about via testimony. Professor Harris proposes to undertake a two-part research project to examine such learning: (1) a study of children’s understanding in a domain where they must rely on adult testimony, namely the human life-cycle (including their own) of birth, growth and death; and (2) an evaluation of the epistemological status that children grant to testimony, as revealed in their spontaneous articulation of key conceptual distinctions.

return to top


Professor T A Jackson
Professor of Modern Irish History, The Queen’s University of Belfast
Irish Unionism, 1800–2000

Professor Alvin Jackson proposes to use the Readership to complement his work on early Unionism with a study of the politics, culture and society of the movement in the Stormont years, marrying this new work to existing research with a view to creating a single, archive-based and wide-ranging history of the Irish Unionist movement from its origins to the present day. This work would fill a gap with a single, research-based volume devoted to the institutional, ideological and cultural history of Irish Unionism.

return to top


Professor D S King
Professor of Politics, St John’s College, Oxford
The Idea of America in Britain

The purpose of Professor Desmond King’s research project is to undertake and complete a major interpretative study of the influence of America in Britain through an examination of a set of case studies drawn from politics and public policy. The case studies are: political relations, as represented in presidential-prime ministerial links; economic relations, examined through the period of British economic dependence on the dollar; and public policies in the area of race relations and welfare.

return to top


Professor J Local
Professor of Phonetics and Linguistics, University of York
Phonetics of Talk-in-Interaction: A Study of the Interactional Functioning of Phonetic Detail in Everyday Talk

Professor John Local intends to use the Readership to work on a book, ‘Phonetics and Meaning in Talk-in-Interaction’. Linguists have a wealth of knowledge about the way speech sounds are produced and combined together to make words and longer utterances. They frequently work, however, on the basis of constructed data or speech produced in experimental settings. In consequence, there is only the most rudimentary information on the ways in which ordinary people use the phonetic resources of language in natural everyday talk. This proposal seeks to remedy this by investigating talk in natural conversation and elaborating an interactional approach to phonetics, bringing together techniques of Conversation Analysis and parametric phonetic analysis to offer insights into this complex area. The book will synthesise published and unpublished work, and incorporate new results from the detailed analysis of interactional data that will be carried out in the course of the award.

return to top


Professor K Morgan
Professor of History, Brunel University
The Dynamics of the British Slave Trade in the Eighteenth Century

The award of the Readership will enable Professor Kenneth Morgan to complete the research and writing for a book on the British Slave Trade in the 18th Century. This will be primarily concerned with the business history of the Guinea traffic on all legs of the triangular trade, dealing with the merchants and sea captains involved in the trade; the commercial activities carried out on the west African coast; the middle passage; the disposal of slaves in the Americas, and the profits accruing to Britain from the slave trade. This will be the first fully researched study of its kind to appear for many years. It will include new material, especially on the international competition for slaves in Africa, slave sales in North America and the Caribbean, and the rise of Liverpool as a leading slave port.

return to top


Dr M Mundy
Senior Lecturer in Anthropology, LSE
Property, Family and Administration: An Historical Anthropology of Islamic Jurisprudence and the Modern Ottoman State

Dr Martha Mundy’s project develops an innovative analysis of private property relations in the modern Ottoman state of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Ottoman represents an important comparative case: while its reforms of administration and property law resemble those of other imperial powers, the state – at once Asiatic and European ’ acted within Islamic-Imperial legal traditions quite different from those that informed European colonial rule at this time. Property relations entail quite different moments or fields: legal doctrine, political administration, and ‘rights’ generated in production. This study thus combines textual interpretation of the genealogies of Ottoman legal doctrine, archival analysis of the political administration of law, and ethnographic reconstruction drawn from government records and oral history in villages of one province of the Empire. The analysis aims not to press these readings into a single mould but to explore their articulation as expressive of distinct moments of property.

return to top


Mrs C M Roueché
Reader in Classical and Byzantine Greek, King’s College London
Corpus of Inscriptions from Aphrodisias in Caria

Mrs Charlotte Roueché proposes to use the Readership to prepare for publication a full corpus of the inscriptions of Aphrodisias in Caria, most of which have been recorded over the past 30 years by Joyce Reynolds, FBA and herself. Mrs Roueché intends to use new electronic means to exploit an unusually rich dossier more fully than has ever been done before – not only by using extensive illustration, but also by expressing the relationships of the texts to one another and to their physical location. In this project, Mrs Roueché will be able to draw on expertise and resources at King’s College London and at the Institute for Classical Studies, London. The intention is to set a new standard for the publication of inscriptions from a particular site. Mrs Roueché will also work with Denis Feissel (Paris) to make a corpus of the large mass of Late Antique inscriptions from Ephesos, with the approval and collaboration of the Austrian excavators.

return to top


Dr A R G Swift
CUF Lecturer and Tutorial Fellow in Politics, Balliol College, Oxford
The Intergenerational Transmission of Advantage: Sociological Mechanisms and their Normative Assessment

The award of the Readership will enable Dr Adam Swift to develop his previous interdisciplinary work on social stratification and distributive justice, bringing to fruition research aimed at clarifying the normative issues raised by the social processes that generate the reproduction of social inequality across generations. Attention will focus on three themes: (i) the different ways in which advantage is conceptualised by theorists of distributive justice and sociologists of class and stratification; (ii) the morality of educational choice, with special reference to the justification of choices that contribute to inequalities that parents themselves regard as unfair; and (iii) the various sociological mechanisms by which relative advantage (and disadvantage) is transmitted from parents to children, and the moral issues – to do with equality of opportunity and the proper scope of partiality – that they raise.

return to top


Professor H Woudhuysen
Professor of English, University College London
Shakespeare and the Book

Professor Woudhuysen’s research on ‘Shakespeare and the Book’ will examine bibliographical and theoretical thinking during the last fifty years about Shakespeare’s works and the editing of their texts. Based on a fresh critical reading of the relevant books and articles, it will incorporate new research into manuscripts, printing and publishing during the period. This research will fill a gap for a new work which examines the editing of Shakespeare’s plays and poems in the light of developments in bibliography, the history of the book and literary theory during the half century which has elapsed since the last work to attempt such a survey: F P Wilson’s Shakespeare and the New Bibliography first published in 1945.

return to top


British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowships 2000-2001

return to top


Professor R Archer
Professor of Spanish, University of Durham
The Literature of Misogyny and Profeminism in Medieval Spain

Professor Robert Archer intends to use his Senior Research Fellowship to write a monograph on misogynistic and defence-of-women literature from the mid thirteenth to mid sixteenth centuries in Spain. This monograph will draw on material from various traditions of literary misogyny and ‘defence’ that have not previously been considered in a global context: the exemplum tradition, sermonistic prose, narrative, lyric, treatise; and will cover texts from the two main Hispanic literary languages of the period. This will be the final and most major of the publications arising from a large project establishing a database from a corpus of over a hundred, mostly literary, texts ’ largely substantial prose works, but also encompassing texts of varying length in verse ’ which draw on the misogynistic tradition and on the equally important parallel tradition of ’defence literature’. These texts are concerned wholly or partly with arguments against women generically or in their favour.

return to top


Dr J Black
Senior Lecturer in Law, London School of Economics
The Nature of Regulation

The award of a Senior Research Fellowship will help Dr Julia Black to ensure significant progress on a major piece of research which seeks to develop a detailed conceptual analysis of contemporary regulation. The analysis will draw on the perspectives and theories of a number of different disciplines and on a wide range of empirical examples, and will take a critical look at the emerging discipline of regulatory studies. The research will examine four central and interlinked issues in contemporary regulation: the design of regulatory techniques; the institutional structures of regulation; responses to and effects of regulation; and the sources and nature of regulatory legitimacy. It will also take a reflexive approach to regulatory studies, and ask what are the parameters of regulation as a concept and as an activity; what role do normative values play in contemporary regulatory studies; what it would mean for regulatory studies to be truly inter-disciplinary, as opposed to multi-disciplinary; and finally what is the nature of the relationship between legal and regulatory studies.

return to top


Dr N Britten
Senior Lecturer in Medical Sociology, Guy’s, King’s and St Thomas’ School of Medicine, King’s College London
The Sociology of Doctor-Patient Communication about Medicines

Since 1990, Dr Nicky Britten has been developing a programme of research about the sociological aspects of prescribing, medicine taking and pharmacy practice, focusing particularly on doctor-patient communication. The award of the Senior Research Fellowship will enable Dr Britten to complete the analysis of a large qualitative data set, and in particular will allow her to develop the sociological aspects of doctor-patient communication. This will contribute to the further integration of sociological theory and empirical investigation using this database of general practice consultations. Dr Britten’s goal is the development of empirically and theoretically robust analyses of doctor-patient communication which contribute to the sociological literature and which also contribute to improvements in clinical practice, disseminated to a sociological audience in the first instance.

return to top


Professor O Figes
Professor of History, Birkbeck College
Russian Culture and the Development of the Russian National Identity

The award of the Senior Research Fellowship will enable Professor Orlando Figes to complete a major and pioneering study of the Russian cultural identity since 1700. The ‘search for Russia’ will be its central theme. Professor Figes will explore the many different ways in which the idea and the (self-conscious) national style of ‘Russia’ has been invented and reinvented in literature and art, architecture, music, philosophy and theology, history, ethnography, geography and mythology. The research will also explore how the ideas of Russia developed in these fields defined that nation’s cultural self-identity. This is an important moment for Russia ’ which must redefine itself as a nation state after the collapse of Communism ’ and the cultural traditions which this book will excavate will be an essential source of that identity.

return to top


Dr A McDermott
Lecturer in English, University of Birmingham
A Scholarly and Critical Edition of Johnson’s Dictionary

The well-established and successful project to produce a scholarly and critical edition of Johnson’s Dictionary is approaching the end of its second phase and the award of the Senior Research Fellowship to Dr Anne McDermott will enable her to make a final push to see it through to publication. Dr McDermott will work on the  examination of manuscript and archive material and on tracking down the more problematic sources for the illustrative quotations in Johnson’s Dictionary. The results of this work will be used to provide full bibliographic information of the sources, both in the edition used by Johnson and in a modern edition.

return to top


Dr J Soskice
Lecturer in Divinity, University of Cambridge
Naming God

Dr Janet Soskice intends to use the Senior Research Fellowship to write up her Stanton Lectures in the Philosophy of Religion, 14 public lectures delivered over the last two years at Cambridge. They concern ‘naming God’. The very idea of ‘naming God’ it is said contains within itself the form of its own impossibility. According to the consensus of classical monotheism, to understand the term ‘God’ (not a proper name) is to understand that God cannot be named without making God an object. This fundamental dilemma of religious language is both philosophical and mystical, and has been understood as such over many centuries by Jews, Christians and Muslims.

return to top


Mr N Wood
Research Fellow, University of Westminster
Science and Civilisation in China: Ceramic Technology

The award of a Senior Research Fellowship to Mr Nigel Wood will enable him to have an uninterrupted spell to complete, integrate and help edit the ceramic technology volume of Science and Civilisation in China for CUP. The book is intended to describe the development of Chinese ceramic technology from the Neolithic period to the present day. It will also attempt to place China’s ceramics within the context of world ceramic history, and examine their influence on the development of ceramics beyond China itself. Mr Wood’s own contributions to the project will mainly address the practical and technological aspects of the subject.