Leeds academics awarded prestigious British Academy funding

Three Leeds academics have been awarded prestigious funding from the British Academy – the voice of the humanities and social sciences.

Dr Laura Loyola-Hernández, who has been awarded a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship

Dr Laura Loyola-Hernandez, who has been awarded a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship April 2018

Dr Laura Loyola-Hernández and Dr Tess Somervell were awarded Postdoctoral Fellowships. These enable early-career academics in the humanities and social sciences to conduct a significant piece of research, leading to publication, during a three-year period.

And Professor Peter Buckley OBE is to undertake a major research project for the British Academy.

Dr Loyola-Hernández, a senior research fellow in the School of Geography, received her award for her work ‘In the margins of the state: the role of emotions in negotiating female political subjecthood in Maya communities in Yucatan’.

Her research analyses the emotional dimension of politics by indigenous women in Yucatan, Mexico. She argues tracing emotions in politics allows us to detect the subtle ways in which racism is perpetuated and/or subverted in indigenous communities, using these findings to debate gender issues in a global context.

Dr Loyola-Hernández said: “I feel honoured and privileged my project was chosen by the British Academy.

“It is important, now more than ever, we explore issues such as racism and sexism, while highlighting how ‘minorities’ are actively resisting and challenging power relations in their everyday lives. I hope I can reflect this in my research sponsored by the British Academy and make them proud.”

Dr Tess Somervell is awarded a Britosh Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship April 2018

Dr Somervell, a research fellow in the School of English, was awarded her fellowship for her research entitled ‘Georgic Climates: Writing the Weather in 18th Century Poetry’.

This project investigates how 18th century poets used the Georgic mode to explore humanity’s relationship with the weather. Georgic poetry was used to enquire into the causes of the weather: to navigate between scientific and theological explanations; to ask whether it was spontaneous or part of a larger ordered ‘climate’. It asks the fundamental question of whether humans can really know, let alone control, nature. Understanding this history of weather-writing is important to understanding our own attitudes to, and assumptions about, climate.

Dr Somervell (pictured above) said: “I was thrilled to be awarded a fellowship at Leeds because it’s the perfect home for my project, especially due to the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures’ strengths in environmental humanities.

“The support I received in putting together my application, from staff in the Leeds Humanities Research Institute and the School of English, was invaluable.”

Professor Peter Buckley OBE has received funding from the British Academy April 2018Meanwhile, Professor Buckley (pictured above), Founding Director of the Centre for International Business at the University of Leeds (CIBUL), will use his funding to explore whether corporations contribute to civil society through their own volition, and how this can be encouraged.

The project is one of 13 commissioned by the British Academy through its Future of the Corporation Programme, to investigate the future of business and its role in society. The three-year project aims to develop an evidence base to inform how we think about business in the 21st century and how we can build trust between business and society.

See the Leeds University Business School website for more details about Professor Buckley's project.

The British Academy has awarded a record 85 Postdoctoral Fellowships this year to outstanding early-career scholars, an unprecedented two-thirds (64%) of whom are women.

More awards have been made thanks to a £10m boost in funding from the government’s Global Talent Fund for an extra 40 fellowships, enabling the British Academy to make the most awards in the scheme’s 30-year history.

Chief Executive of the British Academy, Alun Evans, said: “We are delighted to welcome the largest ever cohort of Postdoctoral Fellows.

“It is particularly exciting to recognise the achievements of so many women at early-career level. This is a promising trend – both for our disciplines and academia as a whole – as Postdoctoral Fellows often go on to stellar academic careers.”

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