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Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities


  • pg 1
									13.02.08                                                                          Paper 08/RC/11

Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities
Report for College Research Committee, 13 February 2008

1.     IASH Activities: December 2007 – February 2008

Copies of the Institute‟s Spring Programme, giving details of the STAR meetings and the
Enlightenment and Life Writing workshops, will be tabled at the meeting, for information. We
continue to have weekly Work-in-Progress seminars by our Visiting Fellows which are open to
all (February‟s list attached as Appendix A). In addition the following events have been/are
being held:

12 December          The roundtable session on 'Idealism and Theology in Nineteenth-
                     Century Scottish Literature', arranged by two of the Institute‟s
                     Postdoctoral Fellows, Dr. Timothy Baker and Dr. Tom Toremans, was a
                     well-organised and successful event. A further meeting on the topic is
                     being planned for later in 2008.

13 December          An afternoon workshop on “Biography, National Narratives and History”,
                     organised by Professor Liz Stanley (Sociology), attracted a large number
                     of people. The event coincided with a short visit to Edinburgh of a group
                     of scholars from the Department of Humanities at the University of
                     Örebro, Sweden, who were interested to learn about the work of IASH.

10/11 January        The second two-day workshop of the “Embodied Values and the
                     Environment” Research Project (funded by the British Academy), on
                     “Environmental Aesthetics and Ethics”, was held in the Institute. It
                     brought together speakers from a number of disciplines – English and
                     Creative Studies, Philosophy and Public Policy, Geography, European
                     Culture and Language, and Social Anthropology – and UK universities.
                     The third and final workshop will take place in June.

18 January           Members of the Renaissance/Early Modern Studies Group met in the
                     Institute for the first of a series of fortnightly lunchtime discussions,
                     organised by Dr. Jill Burke (History of Art). These interdisciplinary
                     meetings are well-attended from across the College.

8 February           The first of this Semester‟s Speculative Lunches is on the topic of

11 February          As part of the Institute‟s research theme “The Humanities in the 21st
                     Century University”, Professor Andy Clark (Philosophy) is organising the
                     first CHAT (Conversations in Humanities, Arts, and Technologies)
                     session with guest speaker Professor Catherine Wilson (City University of
                     New York). On the model of the Café Scientifique, these informal
                     occasional discussions are dedicated to exploring the interface between

                      humanities, arts and sciences in the 21st century. The topic on this
                      occasion is “What does Biology have to do with Morality?”. The CHAT
                      is being held in the Filmhouse Bar/Café and it is hoped will attract
                      participants from both inside and outside the University.

2.     Future Activities

In addition to the third “Embodied Values and the Environment” workshop (referred to above),
the Institute will be hosting two other events in the next few months. On 27 March there will be
a one-day symposium on “Transatlantic Ideas of the American Founding”. This event is being
jointly organised with Professor Paul Kerry (Department of History, Brigham Young
University; Visiting Fellow, Princeton University) and will include a number of speakers from
the US: Colleen Sheehan (Villanova), David Armitage (Harvard), Elige Gould (New
Hampshire), Paul Rahe (Hillsdale), Richard Beeman (University of Pennsylvania), Vikki
Vickers (Weber State), Pamela Joan Edwards (Syracuse) and Craig Yiroush (UCLA). An IASH
application to the British Academy for a conference grant for this event was unsuccessful, but
Professor Kerry has managed to raise sponsorship in the US to cover the costs of bringing the
speakers to Edinburgh.

The first of a series of three one-day symposia organised by the Centre for the History of the
Book on “Transnational Histories of the Book” will be held in the Institute on 30 May. This
project, funded by the British Academy, seeks to provide an infrastructure in which to explore
and to develop new methodologies for the analysis of transnational material culture.

3.     Other Meetings

I attended a meeting of Directors of UK and Irish Institutes for Advanced Studies, hosted by
Professor Sir Roderick Floud, the Director of the School of Advanced Study, The University of
London, on 18 December. This was the third meeting of this group which is seeking to create a
Consortium of Research Institutes. Sir Roderick undertook to produce a consultative document
on membership criteria, administrative arrangements and a draft constitution for the Consortium
to be discussed at the next meeting in early May.

4.     Fellows and Fellowships

The Institute is delighted to have been awarded funding under the Leverhulme Trust Artist-in-
Residence scheme to bring the internationally renowned Ong Keng Sen to Edinburgh. He is a
leading interdisciplinary performance practitioner, theatre director, curator and researcher of
artistic process, and has been Artistic Director of TheatreWorks, Singapore since 1988. In
Edinburgh he is doing research into the Scottish diaspora which will result in a commissioned
work for the 2009 Edinburgh International Festival. He will be at the Institute for three periods
of one month (February, May and October 2008) and is keen to talk to appropriate colleagues in
the College.

The Institute has also been successful with two applications for European funding under the
Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowships scheme. Dr. Jochen Petzold from the English
Department at the University of Freiburg has been awarded a two-year Fellowship at IASH from

January 2009 to work on “Scientific Discoveries and the Public Debate on „The Human
Condition‟ in Victorian Britain: An Analysis of Periodicals for Young Readers, 1850-1900”. Dr.
Silvia Sebastiani, a recent post-doctoral Fellow, has been offered a Marie Curie Fellowship at the
Centre des Hautes Etudes in Paris, with IASH acting as a secondary host institution.

Dr. Rajesh Kumar from the Department of Political Science, PPN College, Kanpur, has just
arrived to take up this year‟s Charles Wallace India Trust Fellowship at the Institute, in
association with the Centre for South Asian Studies. He will be at IASH for three months.

We have recently been contacted by the American Philosophical Association seeking to revive
their scheme to nominate an APA Fellow at IASH. They invite and receive applications for the
Fellowship and forward a nomination to the Institute for approval. They have set a deadline of 14
February 2008 for applications for 2008-9 and we look forward to receiving a recommendation
from them.

A list of current Fellows is attached (Appendix B).

5.     Timetable for Fellowship Elections in 2008

Applications are currently being received for the next round of Visiting Research Fellowships
and Mellon Fellowships at IASH. We would be most grateful for your assistance in grading
these applications as in previous years. The timetable for this is as follows:

12 March       Applications to be sent to Heads of Research for grading
28 March       Deadline for the return of gradings and comments to IASH

We would propose to send the relevant applications to you on CD, unless you prefer paper

Could you please let Anthea Taylor know (

a) if you will not be available in the period 12-28 March to look at the applications. If this is the
case, we would be most grateful if you could nominate a colleague in your School who would be
willing to do this; and

b) if you would prefer to receive paper copies of the applications

Dr. Karina Williamson
February 2008

                                                                         APPENDIX A

                   Work-in-Progress Seminars
                        February 2008
              Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities
                              Hope Park Square

                            Wednesdays at 1 p.m.

6 February     Dr. Genevieve Warwick (Department of Art History, University of
               Bernini: Art as Performance

13 February    Dr. Mateusz Borowski (Drama Department, Jagiellonian University,
               Stories to Share. Storytelling as a Means of Redefining Stage-Audience
               Relationship in Contemporary Scottish Playwriting

20 February    Dr. Ovidiu Verdeş (Department of Literary Theory, University of
               The Study of Autobiography in Post-Communist Romania

27 February    Dr. John Docker (Humanities Research Centre, Australian National
               The Scandal of Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe in Nineteenth Century British

                                                                               APPENDIX B
IASH Fellows in Residence: February 2008
NAME                           AFFILIATION                       RESEARCH PROJECT

Dr. Dorothy Alexander   Freelance writer and         The Border Ballad into the 21st Century:
                        creative writing tutor,      applying experimental poetics to
                        Borders College              contemporary narratives in Borders Scots
Dr. Timothy Baker       English Literature,          The Reception of German Idealism in
                        University of Edinburgh      Scottish Literature, 1830-1900
Professor Desmond       Film Studies, Queens         Diaspora, autobiography and self-
Bell                    University, Belfast          fashioning: a documentary case study of
                                                     navvy poet Patrick MacGill
Dr. Mateusz Borowski    Drama Department,            Staging Testimony: Storytelling and
                        Jagiellonian University,     Identity Construction in Contemporary
                        Krakow                       Scottish Playwriting
Dr. James Clapperton    Russian, University of       Collection and Analysis of personal
                        Edinburgh                    testimonies of the siege of Leningrad
Ms Kristin Cook         English Literature,          Jefferson, 18th Century Literary Studies
                        University of Edinburgh      and Transatlantic Performativity; STAR
                                                     Research Officer
Dr. John Docker         Australian National          The Rebecca File: The Strange Afterlife
                        University, Canberra         of Ivanhoe‟s Rebecca in the Nineteenth
Dr. Abbie Garrington    English Literature,          Touching Texts: The Haptic Sense in
                        University of Edinburgh      Woolf and Richardson
Dr. Rajesh Kumar        Political Science, PPN       Revisiting Kargil: Was the
                        College, Kanpur              Stability/Instability Paradox at Play?
Ong Keng Sen            Artistic Director,           Leverhulme Artist-in-Residence
                        TheatreWorks, Singapore
Dr. Suzanne Owen        Divinity, University of      Self-Disclosure in the Study of
                        Edinburgh                    Indigenous Religions
Dr. Roxana Preda        University of Edinburgh      American Gothic fiction in the 20th
Dr. Mandy Treagus       English, University of       Maggie Papakura: Constructing Self and
                        Adelaide                     Iwi in Performance, Photography and
Dr. Ovidiu Verdeş       Literary Theory,             Autobiography in a Post-Communist
                        University of Bucharest      Context
Dr. Genevieve           Art History, University of   Art as Performance in Bernini‟s Rome
Warwick                 Glasgow
Ms. Aishih Wehbe-       University of La Laguna,     (De)Constructing Chicano
Herrera                 Canary Islands               Masculinity(ies): Crossing Borders, re-
                                                     mapping the self, transforming the world


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