- About the institute
- Inter-Disciplinary Research Centres
- Faculty Research Centres
- Visiting Fellowship Scheme
- Postgraduate Engagement
Welcome to the new Queen Mary Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IHSS). The Institute was established in January 2017, with the primary aim to facilitate cross-disciplinary dialogue and research collaborations in the Humanities and Social Sciences within Queen Mary and beyond. The Institute aims to become a hub for intellectual cross-fertilisation and interaction, building upon the key Queen Mary values of social justice and inclusion and upon our global outlook. The Institute will be the anchor for a vibrant and world-class intellectual community on our Mile End campus, establishing channels of communication and co-operation with partners in academia and industry in the UK and Europe in a global context.
The Institute is an ideas generating hub for the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Queen Mary University of London. It seeks to enable inter-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary conversations, by bringing together the expertise of some of the world’s finest scholars from within Queen Mary University of London and from outside.
The activity of the Institute is focused each year on a thematic programme. Subsequent years will be framed around other thematic foci.
The Institute enables engagements between the fifteen Research Centres which are supported by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and led by members of our distinguished academic staff.
The Institute is also home to a dynamic group of visiting fellows (both junior and senior), whose research interests align with the annual thematic programme.
Thursday 15th February 2018
Public lecture, 18:30 – 20:30
Peston Lecture Theatre, Graduate Centre, Queen Mary University of London
Charles Maier, Leverett Saltonstall Professor of History, Harvard University
Saskia Sassen (Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology, Columbia University) will be the respondent.
“Troubled Borders: Constructing and Contesting Modern Territoriality”
Co-hosted by Schools of History, Law, and Geography
The culminating event for the DVF will be a public lecture presented by Professor Maier on the theme of territories of power, wealth and belonging. The lecture will be introduced by Dr. Simon Reid-Henry (Geography) chaired by Prof. Julian Jackson, (Head of School, History) and will feature a response to Professor Maier by Gideon Rachman (Financial Times).
Thursday 15th February 2018
Roundtable Event: 12 – 3 pm, Venue: TBC.
“Political struggles and shifting (public) institutional commitments across the global 1970s,”
Co-hosted by School of History and School of Geography
A frequent theme of Maier’s work has been the reconstitution of our (public) institutional commitments during the upheavals of the early 1970s. This roundtable event will bring together a range of scholars who have variously tackled this moment of rupture in their work, to which Charles will respond and offer some of his own recent thinking in this area in advance of a new phase in his own research.
Wednesday 14 February 2018
Half-day symposium 1 - 5 pm, Bancroft 3.26
Interdisciplinary Conference: Territory’s Value
Co-hosted by School of Law/CSLGC and Centre for the History of Political Thought
QMUL will host a lunch and half-day symposium bringing together scholars from across London and the UK to discuss the theme of territory and its relationship to political struggle: from empire to secession to populism. Professor Maier will respond to the papers presented, including contributions from Queen Mary.
Tuesday 13th February 2018
Lunch Time Seminar 12 – 2 pm, Arts Two 3.16
Frameworks Seminar on Territory as a Historical and Political Problem
School of Geography/the Graduate School
Professor Maier will begin his visit with a lunchtime seminar in the Graduate School directed to staff and graduates from across the 3 schools. The seminar will speak to the question of the intersection of history and geography in particular. The seminar will reprise some of Prof. Maier’s recent (and long-term) thinking on, as Maier puts it, “the changing significance of what is often taken for granted – state control of bordered space, and its impact on politics and international stability.” The seminar will be preceded by an introduction and overview of Professor Maier’s work and the theme of the DVF by Dr Simon Reid-Henry.
Inter-Disciplinary Research Centres
The Queen Mary IHSS hosts and supports fifteen cross-School, inter-disciplinary research centres, which are each led by a member of our distinguished academic staff. In addition, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences supports a wider array of inter-disciplinary activity through:
Mile End Institute a public policy, politics and governance institute based at QMUL.
Peoples’ Palace Projects a charity supported by QMUL which focused on the role of arts projects and performances in supporting people to transform their worlds in the contexts of risk, violence and crisis.
Digital Initiatives Network a support network for those working on digital technologies in research and the digital humanities.
Faculty Research Centres
- Centre for Anglo-German Cultural Relations
- Centre for Early Modern Mapping, News and Networks
- Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies
- Centre for European Research
- Centre for the History of Emotions
- Centre for Labour and Global Production
- Centre for the Mind in Society
- Centre for Poetry
- Centre for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies
- Centre for Studies of Home
- Centre for the Study of Childhood Cultures
- Centre for the Study of the History of Political Thought
- Centre for the Study of Migration
- Queen Mary Centre for Religion and Literature in English
- The City Centre
Visiting Fellowship Scheme
The Queen Mary IHSS was established to showcase the disciplinary, cross-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary research strengths of humanities and social sciences research at Queen Mary University of London, and to enable leading scholars from around the world to engage and contribute to this research environment.
A key part of the Institute’s activity is the Visiting Fellowship programme. This scheme enables scholars from around the world to spend up to one month visiting the Institute and the Faculty to engage with the particular thematic programme of activity.
For many years, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences has run a successful Distinguished Visiting Fellows programme and the Queen Mary IHSS scheme builds on that and extends it to more junior scholars.
The scheme is most suited to those wishing to spend part of a sabbatical leave period at Queen Mary University of London. The scheme covers the on-campus accommodation costs for Visiting Fellows.
In addition, applications from those wishing to be considered for either the British Academy or Leverhulme Early Career Fellows schemes are strongly encouraged to consider the Queen Mary Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IHSS) as an intellectual base.
Leverhulme Early Career Fellows
Dr Michal Murawski - An anthropologist of architecture and cities, who completed his PhD at Cambridge before taking up a Mellon Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at The School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies (SSEES), University College London, 2014-16. His work focuses on the complex social lives of monumental buildings, and on the architecture and planning of Eastern European communism, particularly its continuing impacts on 21st-century cities.
Dr Jonathan Kasstan - A variationist sociolinguist with research interests in French, the regional languages of France (esp. language death theory), and phonetics and phonology more generally. He completed his PhD at the University of Kent, and has taught at Kent, QMUL, and the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3. His work focuses on linguistic diffusion and change in obsolescent dialect communities.
Dr Casper Laing Ebbensgaard - Luminous Verticality: The changing geographies of East London at night
263 high-rise buildings are planned for construction across London, and 47% will be located in London’s East End. This project examines these newly designed residential high-rises within their wider context at night, by questioning to what extent the lived experience of the night is taken into account when designing them. The research questions the role of lighting design to how residents living in and nearby these new high-rises feel at home, or not at home at night. The research draws on ethnographic methods and will involve collaboration with a photographer and The Geffrye Museum of the Home.
Dr Edyta Materka - Peasant Struggles in the Age of Disaster Capitalism
How do peasant societies put themselves back together again after natural disasters? Drawing from exploratory fieldwork and relief work experience in post-disaster Thailand, Haiti, Malawi, Nepal, Fiji, and the Philippines since 2005, Peasant Struggles examines how, in recovery efforts, subsistence-based communities are increasingly jeopardised by resurgent colonial labour systems, land-grabbing, and humanitarian utopianism. It explores how post-disaster zones, monopolised by public and private sector interests alike, are emerging sites of agrarian transformation as peasants recalibrate old strategies of accommodation and resistance to access ever-conditional aid whilst devising new ways to reclaim agency over their land, labour, and way of life.
Dr Claudia Soares - An emotional History of Institutional Childcare in Britain, Australia and Canada
Recent government inquiries into children's institutional care have highlighted the failings of historical childcare systems in Britain, Australia and Canada. However, our understanding of the history of these institutions is partial. This transnational study explores children’s social and emotional experiences of institutional care and ‘aftercare’ in Britain, Australia and Canada. Taking a child-centred approach and adapting a ‘history of emotions’ perspective, the project draws on children's and carers' written testimony to shift the scholarly debate to offer a more balanced assessment of these institutions that sets examples of trauma and abuse alongside more positive experiences of care.
Lisa Tilley is currently working in PAIS as Research Associate on the Newton Funded project: The Everyday Political Economy of Urban Resettlement. She is also co-convener of the Raced Markets collaborative research project with QMUL and Associate Editor of the Global Social Theory pedagogical resource. Her wider research explores material approaches to ‘the colonial question’, as well as regimes of racial and gendered difference in relation to processes of accumulation and dispossession in economies of extraction. She has published work in relation to debates within political economy, political ontology, post/decolonial thought, and decolonial methodology, and her latest article on the ethics and economics of research methods, Resisting Piratic Method by Doing Research Otherwise, will soon be published with the journal Sociology. Lisa also won a 2016 Warwick Award for Teaching Excellence for her decolonial pedagogical innovations in PAIS.
Dr Harriet Phillips is Editor on the AHRC-Funded project The Complete Works of Sir Thomas Browne, based in the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary University of London. She arrived at Queen Mary in 2013 after completing her Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge on cheap print and the popular past. She has published on Shakespeare, on Thomas Browne and popular culture, and on early modern broadsides and the public sphere, and is currently revising her doctoral thesis into a monograph.
Dr David Kennerley has received a Leverhulme ECF and will be joining the School in September 2017. He is currently a PDF on an ERC grant attached to the Music Department at King’s College London. He took his degrees at Oxford University. His Leverhulme project is entitled, ‘A sonic history of Chartism: Music, sound and politics in Britain, c.1838–1848’, and he will be working under the mentorship of Dr Rob Saunders.
Dr Laura Tisdall will be joining the School in spring 2018 to take up a Leverhulme ECF. She will be joining us from a temporary post at Durham University. She took her degrees at Cambridge. Laura’s Leverhulme project is entitled ‘Adolescents’ conceptions of adulthood in Britain, c. 1950 to the present day’, and she will be working under the mentorship of Dr Rhodri Hayward.
Dr Oskar Cox Jensen - was awarded a Leverhulme ECF in 2016. He joined up from King’s College London, where he working as a PDRA on an ERC research grant. He took his degrees at Oxford University. His topic is ‘Life in London: a biography of street in indigenes in Seven Dials’, and he will be working under the mentorship of Professor Colin Jones.
A key element to the activity of the Queen Mary IHSS involves engagement with the Queen Mary University of London post-graduate community in the humanities and social sciences. The Institute will establish a number of PhD studentships to focus on thematic programmes and to support the activity of the Institute.
The Queen Mary IHSS People
Director: Professor Adrian Smith, Faculty Dean for Research, Humanities and Social Sciences
Annual Programme Director: TBC
Faculty Administrative Officer: June Ryde