Research bites

Read about the research activities and achievements of our established and early career researchers.

15 February 2024

Emanuela Patti (DELC, Italian) has been awarded a Royal Society of Edinburgh Personal Research Fellowship for her project "David Rizzio: History And Myth Across Arts And Media." This project will explore the multifaceted figure of David Rizzio (1533-1566), also known as Davide Riccio, a key Italian figure in Scottish history and culture. As a Catholic with strong relations with papacy, Rizzio played a significant role in the scenario of religious conflicts which marked the Scottish Reformation. These reasons, together with the close relationship with Mary Queen of Scots, have made him a highly romanticised historical character, represented in the arts (painting, cinema, literature, theatre, music) for centuries.

Despite the centrality of David Rizzio in Scottish and European history, there are barely any scholarly publications on either his political and cultural role in the sixteenth century or his artistic influence and reception in the following centuries. Emanuela’s Personal Research Fellowship builds on her RSE Research Workshop award (2022) and will enable her to devote her time to researching this fascinating historical figure as well as undertake research trips to England, France and Italy.


Find out more about Emanuela's research on her Research Profile


15 February 2024

Şebnem Susam-Saraeva (Translation Studies) has been awarded a Royal Society of Edinburgh Research Collaboration Grant for her project "The Beginnings: Factoring in interpreting at antenatal healthcare and midwifery education." This project is a continuation of "Translating informed consent in Scottish maternity services," funded by an RSE Research Workshop Grant in 2022.

Responding to the needs of service users that became clear in the original project, Şebnem's new project will establish a collaborative network of researchers, practitioners and educators to examine the best ways of flagging up interpreting needs at early stages of antenatal care, and firmly incorporating linguistic and cultural awareness into the Scottish midwifery curriculum. Through a series of expert focus groups and interviews, as well as research on existing maternity note systems and education curricula, the project intends to explore best practice and feed into policy decisions.

Throughout the project, Şebnem will be collaborating with colleagues from Edinburgh Napier University, Heriot-Watt University and the University of the West of Scotland. The network will also include representatives from the NHS Lothian Maternity Voices Partnership, the Edinburgh Pregnancy Research Team, and AMMA Birth Companions, a Glasgow-based charity that supports women and birthing people who face birth and parenting alone, approximately half of whom speak little or no English.

The funding from the RSE will allow Şebnem to host the focus groups, interviews and network meetings across central and southern Scotland, supporting travel costs and the recruitment of an administrative assistant. The funding will also allow a specialist from AMMA's Perinatal Team to be involved throughout the project.


Find out more about Şebnem's research on her Research Profile


15 February 2024

Hannah Simpson (English Literature) has been awarded a Royal Society of Edinburgh Small Research Grant for her project "The Unexpected Dramatist: Modernism’s Forgotten Stage Plays." This award is part of Hannah's larger project, which will result in a monograph entitled "The Unexpected Dramatist: Modernism’s Forgotten Stage Plays," examining the plays of several major Anglophone modernists who are not typically considered playwrights.

George Orwell, E.M. Forster, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, Flann O’Brien, Elizabeth Bowen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner all achieved fame as prose writers, yet each tried at least once to write a stage play. Hannah’s project examines these plays both as stand-alone texts that influence our understanding of these writers’ more established bodies of work, and as texts in dialogue with the modernist theatre scene. With RSE’s support, Hannah will undertake archival research trips in England, examining Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forster and George Orwell’s theatre work.


Find out more about Hannah's research on her Research Profile


15 February 2024

Youngmi Kim (Asian Studies) has been awarded a Royal Society of Edinburgh Small Research Grant for her project "Arts and Community Mobilisation in Culture-Led Urban Regeneration Projects in Leith (Scotland) and Gamcheon (Korea)." The project’s focus is on two post-industrial cities in Europe and Asia: Leith (Scotland) and Gamcheon Village, a hillside former slum area in the city of Busan (South Korea), whose thriving as globally-significant ports has been followed by a sharp socio-economic decline. Comparing these two neighbourhoods of creative cities that actively deploy cultural policies in the pursuit of urban regeneration, the project seeks to understand what makes some culture-led urban regeneration initiatives more successful than others.

The support from the RSE will enable Youngmi to undertake two field trips to Busan to conduct interviews with academics and local artists, which will be analysed alongside data collected from Edinburgh. Youngmi also plans to host a roundtable discussion in Edinburgh, bringing together local residents, artists, community council representatives and heritage preservation activists.


Find out more about Youngmi's research on her Research Profile


1 February 2024

Peadar Ó Muircheartaigh (Celtic and Scottish Studies) started his two-year AHRC-funded project 'From Lismore To Barbados: The Gaelic Caribbean Travel Journal And Verse Of Dugald MacNicol (1791-1844).' Collaborating with his co-investigator Prof Nigel Leask (University of Glasgow), Peadar will focus on a travel journal and song-poems written in Scottish Gaelic in the 1810s by Dugald MacNicol, a soldier from Lismore stationed in Barbados. Over the next two years, Peadar and Nigel will edit Dugald MacNicol's writing to modern standards, organise two conferences (in Lismore and Barbados), and co-develop a television documentary.

Follow the project's developments on 'The MacNicol Project' website.


Find out more about Peadar's research on his Research Profile


21 January 2024

Fabien Arribert-Narce (DELC, French) along with Alex Watson (Meiji University) published an edited collection "Intermedial Encounters between Image, Music and Text: With and Beyond Roland Barthes" (accessed via the publisher's website). This collection of essays focuses on Roland Barthes as a crucial figure in intermedia studies, arguing that “the concepts and forms of analysis he pioneered are of continuing importance for students and scholars working in the field.”

The collection of essays arose from a series of workshops, part of a research partnership in Intermedia Studies that launched between the University of Edinburgh and Meiji University Tokyo in September 2021, led by Fabien. The first workshop took place in Edinburgh in March 2022, and a second workshop took place in Tokyo in December 2022 (funded in part by an award from the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation).


Find out more about Fabien's research on his Research Profile


8 January 2024

Şebnem Susam-Saraeva (Translation Studies) has been selected to take part in the 2024 Edinburgh Climate Research Leaders Programme. This programme is a collaborative leadership programme for women in climate research, run by Edinburgh Research Office with support from the Institute for Academic Development, the Edinburgh Earth Initiative and training partner 64 Million Artists.


Find out more about Şebnem's research on her Research Profile