Lancaster University

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Research grants for Lancaster academics

08/06/2004 09:55:01

Talking animals in 19th century children’s literature, the cultural history of romance and a study of how capital infrastructure projects have become the target of human rights struggles are just three of the Lancaster University research projects that have been awarded funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Board.

A total of eight academics from departments across the university have been given research leave awards by the AHRB - the lecturers will have a share in the £3 million funding that has been distributed to 229 projects around the country.

The AHRB funds postgraduate training and research in the arts and humanities - the leave scheme covers replacement teaching costs for periods of research leave of three or four months in order that an individual researcher may complete a significant research project. The Lancaster academics will carry out their research over the coming year.

Dr Tess Cosslett from the English Department will be studying talking animals in 19th century children’s literature. “I'm interested in asking why and how animals became such a staple of children's fiction, and how this fiction connects to the animal protection movement and to scientific and religious concepts of natural history,” said Dr Cosslett. “I'll be looking at a mixture of genres - auto/biography, parable, fable, adventure story - and asking how an audience of children affects the ways animals are written.”

Dr Michael Likosky from the Law School will be finishing a book about law, infrastructure and human rights that will focus on how infrastructure projects - such as Iraqi oil wells and the Madrid railway - have become a site of human rights struggles. He’ll be looking at why groups target infrastructure projects to achieve change through both violent and non-violent means, and what it means for the realisation of human rights.

Meanwhile Professor Lynne Pearce will carry out research for a book called ‘A Cultural History of Romance’. It will examine the “profound disjunction between romantic love as a supposedly universal, a-historical and cross-cultural phenomenon and its cultural/historical specificity”, according to Professor Pearce from the English Department.

National identity and cultural politics in contemporary Catalonia will be explored by Dr Kathryn Crameri from the European Languages and Cultures Department for a book. “I will be looking at literature, popular culture, media etc and concentrating especially on issues relating to national identity, globalisation and multiculturalism,” said Dr Crameri.

Other research projects include:

· ‘Contemporary Fiction and the Uses of Theory’ – a book by Dr Michael Greaney from the English Department which will study the representations of critical theory, and critical theorists, in the literary fiction of the last 30 years or so, covering authors such as Julian Barnes, Angela Carter, AS Byatt and Umberto Ecco.

· A monograph entitled ‘Other Landscapes: Colonialism, Transformation and Resistance in 19th Century South India’ by Dr Deborah Sutton from the History Department. Her project is a history of a colonial landscape which explores the interplay of indigenous and imperial forces, using hitherto unseen documents.

· ‘Aesthetic Visions: the German Right and the Challenge to Win the Masses 1848-1945’ by Dr Thomas Rohkramer from the History Department.

· ‘Cultural Studies of Science and Technology’ by Professor Maureen McNeil from the Institute for Women’s Studies.