Northumbria University recently received notification of four successful AHRC Fellowships awarded in the last round of the competition, worth over £233,000 in total. This is a major achievement particularly given that there were only 73 awarded nationally. Here’s more on the story from the Comms team:
The fellowships have been awarded to Dr Tony Williams, Professor Michael Green, Dr Joe Hardwick and Professor Cheryl Buckley.
Prof. Michael Green, Professor in Creative Writing, has been awarded £76,428 for his practice-led research project: Ghosting Through: Ficto-Critical Translation as a Means of Resisting the Appropriations of History and Place.
The award will feed his ongoing research into creative writing methodology which will culminate in both scholarly output and the completion of his latest novel. He explained: “Ghosting Through is a combination of experimental fictional techniques, archival research, and investigations into relevant areas of cultural theory.
“In it, both author and the research process become part of the story they are trying to tell, making the novel something of a ghost story combined with the techniques of detective fiction.
“Essentially the research aims to study the ways in which the analysis of archival material is played off against ever-shifting retellings of stories. The novel will also explore the complex ways in which a specific place constructs its past through story-telling.
“The research is rooted in a case study on the haunting of a public house in a small Northumberland village, and a witch trial associated with the ghost. The project frames the haunting and the history informing it within a self-reflective account of the process of recreating historical events and contemporary constructions of place.”
Professor Cheryl Buckley has received funding worth £74,504 to resource her research into Fashioning Everyday Lives in 20th century America and Britain. Her project will look at how the 20th century citizens of London and New York drew on fashion in their everyday lives to create personal and social identities. Routinely fusing designer fashions and famous brands with mundane and existing items drawn from the wardrobe, their engagement with fashion existed over time, not just when they were young.
Prof. Buckely explained: “It is in the other city spaces – interstitial and peripheral to the city’s traditional fashion centres- that fashion in everyday lives can be observed. Part of this research is to question the generational, market -driven myth of fashion, as it considers, for example, getting married, dressing for the church or grocery shopping, going to the races or the soccer game, or heading for work. It is concerned with how fashionable clothes were retained and worn, re-made, and re-configured, as people drew items from their wardrobes and closets in a routine, everyday manner.
Funding worth £37,896 has been granted to Dr Joe Hardwick’s study into the expansion of the Anglican Church across the globe and its influence and the subsequent shaping of an ethnic or national identity of the Colonial Church.
Focusing on the period between 1790 and 1860, the study analyses the communities and individuals who supported the expansion of the settler church, the organisations who staffed and funded it, and the networks linking the colonial Church with the Church in England and also Ireland and Scotland
Dr Hardwick said: “A key aim of the project is to establish the pivotal role played by the Church in shaping imperial networks, imperial identity and diaspora, the project will demonstrate the significance of the Church for scholars working in a range of fields, including imperial, religious, migration and diaspora history.”
Dr Tony Williams’ research project entitled: The writer walking the dog: creative writing practice and everyday has received funding worth £44,184.
The practice-led study explores how the writer’s daily chore of walking the dog contributes to writerly and social identity; shapes what is written – and how; and impedes, supports and shapes the techniques and rhythms of the working day. It is a reflective project which offers a study of the writer’s own creative practice, based on daily writing and reflection on a series of walks.
Dr Williams explains: “The aim of the project is not simply to reflect on the writer’s own daily life and writing practice, but to provide a case study and a model for how other writers can think about their work in relation to the rhythms and routines of their daily lives. In this way it opens up an undeveloped area of enquiry into creative practice. In particular, by considering walking as both a socio-cultural practice in its own right and as a contributory practice to creative endeavour, it indicates ways in which writers and artists might negotiate the competing imperatives of daily and creative life and the different ways they might be seen by themselves and others.”
Speaking about the awards, Don MacRaild, Associate Dean (Research & Innovation) School of Arts and Social Sciences said: “This concentration of Research Council funding is unprecedented for the School and is an achievement on a national scale.
“Only a small handful of Universities were awarded four or more AHRC Fellowships last year. To receive four awards from only 73 Fellowships awarded is an impressive and significant achievement, placing Northumbria’s arts and humanities research at the forefront nationally and internationally.”