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Queen Mary awarded three British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships

The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Queen Mary University of London has been awarded three Postdoctoral Fellowships by the British Academy. The scheme is the Academy’s flagship programme for early career academics, based at universities around the UK.

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The three-year Fellowships from the British Academy enable outstanding early career scholars to strengthen their experience of research and teaching in a university environment. The primary emphasis is on completing a significant piece of publishable research, giving award holders a base on which to build a successful academic career.

Queen Mary’s School of Geography has received two awards whilst the Department of Linguistics in the School of Languages, Linguistics and Film has been awarded one fellowship.

Professor Matthew Hilton, Vice Principal for Humanities and Social Sciences at Queen Mary said: “Queen Mary’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences has been key to establishing our global reputation. As reflected in the rankings, we have some of the very best scholars in the world and extremely talented people want to come here to work with us.

“I am delighted that we will have three new colleagues joining us next year, each taking up three year British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships.”

Oral histories of the homeless

Dr Jessie Speer, who is already an honorary fellow in the School of Geography, will explore the experiences of housing policy and homelessness. The project, Analysing the legal geographies of housing displacement through life narratives of homelessness in the United Kingdom, will explore memoirs and oral histories of homelessness from cities and towns across the UK. The research will seek to shed light on how UK lawmakers can move towards new models of housing security.

Multiculturalism and integration

Dr Alex Panicacci will join Queen Mary’s School of Languages, Linguistics and Film to investigate multilingual and multicultural identities through the project titled Is a multilingual and multicultural identity an obstacle to integration? The work will investigate how people reconcile different languages and cultures within their sense of self, while still feeling part of a community.

In the longer term, this research aims to empower communities, offering empirical evidence for the development of more adequate policies on migration, language teaching, citizenship procedures, and welfare administration, intended to improve individuals’ socio-economic condition and psychological wellbeing.

Re-thinking the place of diseases

Dr Carlo Inverardi-Ferri will join Queen Mary’s School of Geography to investigate the place of diseases and the role of the human body in global production. The project titled, Toxic Work: Rethinking the place of diseases and the role of the human body in the global electronics industry, will explore the life struggles of workers in the Chinese electronics industry to challenge conventional ideas of production processes.

In particular, the study examines toxicities and diseases as mechanisms for the creation of economic value. In so doing, it rethinks the human body as i) disposable matter, ii) natural landfill, and iii) a transient agent of globalised systems of production.

Chief Executive of the British Academy, Robin Jackson, said: “We are delighted to welcome this new cohort of Postdoctoral Fellows to the Academy; competition for these awards is always keen, and I congratulate them on their success.

“Providing support for the next generation of researchers is a major priority for the British Academy, and our flagship Postdoctoral Fellowships scheme is a vital part of that endeavour. By providing the very best early career academics with three years funding for their research and development needs, the Postdoctoral Fellowships scheme helps them to deliver outstanding work while also boosting their skills, knowledge and confidence.

“We wish the Postdoctoral Fellows every success and look forward to seeing the results of their work.”

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