Research bites

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

23 May 2024

Jose Saval (SPLAS) and Jenny Watson (German) have received Conference Grant awards from the Modern Humanities Research Association (MHRA) to support with the organisation of two conferences within LLC. This year, the MHRA were able to offer up to four Conference Grant awards and we are delighted that our colleagues from DELC have been awarded two of them!

Jose's conference 'Manuel Vázquez Montalbán beyond the page: Visuality, Graphic and Continuation Novels, TV series and beyond' represents the first international, interdisciplinary conference in Scotland dedicated to the work of the Spanish novelist, journalist, essayist, political commentator, gastronomist and poet Manuel Vázquez Montalbán focused on the posthumous adaptation and continuation of his writing. It will explore new approaches to his writing and the conversion of his novels, plays and essays into new formats such as graphic novels and continuation novels in order to provide novel insights to new generations of his readers.

Jenny's conference 'The “Holocaust by bullets” in Literature, Film and Visual Art' will bring together experts working in diverse fields to explore the potential advantages and implications of thinking about mass shootings as a distinct aspect of the Holocaust. It will also include a public-facing event targeted at teachers to explore the development of pedagogical approaches to integrating the phenomenon of mass shootings into existing secondary school curricula, as well as a free public screening of the short documentary film Beyond Babi Jar (2023) and Q&A with its director Eli Adler.


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

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


21 May 2024

Andrew Newman (IMES) has published seven video interviews exploring the histories and lived experiences of a diverse cross-section of Scotland’s Shii community.

Andrew's project 'Scottish Shii Voices' grew out of the RSE Research Networks in the Arts & Humanities project ‘The Unthought in Islam,’ which Andrew undertook alongside Lloyd Ridgeon (University of Glasgow) between 2016 and 2018. With further support from the Alwaleed Centre, Andrew endeavoured to share the lived experiences of Scottish Shi`a through a series of filmed personal interviews. He recorded these videos in late 2018 and, after facing several obstacles, has now been able to share them on his webpage ‘Shii News and Resources’.

In creating this unique online video resource, Andrew's project aims to promote a better understanding of Scotland’s Shi`a among the general non-Muslim public and among Scotland’s Sunni communities. The project offers an important platform for Scottish Shi`a to express their unique religious and cultural identities whilst simultaneously affirming and celebrating their Scottishness.


Find out more about Andrew's research project on his Shii News and Resources webpage


9 May 2024

Hannah Simpson (English Literature) has been awarded a Carnegie Trust Research Incentive Grant for her project ‘The Unexpected Dramatist: Modernism’s Forgotten Stage Plays.’

The Carnegie award comes on the heels of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) Small Research Grant awarded to Hannah earlier this year to support her work on her larger project, 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.

While the RSE award will enable Hannah to undertake archival research in the UK, the Carnegie award will give Hannah the opportunity to travel to several US cities to examine Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forster, F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce and Elizabeth Bowen’s theatre work through archival research.


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


2 May 2024

Last week's LLC-led impact event ‘Fast Forward: Creative Connections for Enduring Impact’ brought together fifteen artists joining from across the UK and twenty academics from several schools across CAHSS to explore options for collaboration.

After an introductory session on impact and mutual expectations in collaboration, the day broke into facilitated themed workshop sessions. In each session, artists introduced their own work and how it related to the given theme, and there was space for academics and artists to connect and explore potential avenues for collaboration. The themes across the day included ‘The Anthropocene’, ‘AI and Human Futures’, ‘Gender’, ‘Race, Inequality and Decoloniality’, ‘Health and Wellbeing’ and ‘Science and Religion’.

In the afternoon we heard from colleagues in the Edinburgh Research Office and Edinburgh Innovations about some of the more practical considerations around pursuing collaborative projects. The day rounded off with more networking, and a chance for everyone to exchange contact details with those they had chatted with throughout the day. It was fantastic to see such in-depth conversation happening across all the themed sessions, with artists and academics alike commenting on how valuable this networking space was.



30 April 2024

Laura Bradley (DELC, German) featured alongside David Barnett (University of York) and Tom Kuhn (University of Oxford) in the latest episode of In Our Time (Radio 4), speaking to host Melvyn Bragg about Bertolt Brecht. They discussed the works and ideas of this great German playwright from the Weimar Republic to his exile under the Nazis and return to Berlin after World War Two.

Laura is currently completing her third monograph, on Brecht and the Art of Spectatorship. It examines his plays and productions from a fresh angle, by showing how he presented spectatorship within the stage action. The archive research for this monograph has been supported by a British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Small Research Grant.


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


28 April 2024

Bea Alex (English Literature) has been awarded a Sabbatical Fellowship from the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH). The IASH Sabbatical Fellowship scheme is designed to enable colleagues who are on official research leave to play an active role in IASH activities, and to benefit from opportunities to network with other IASH Fellows.

Bea's Fellowship will run for four months, from August to November 2024. During this time, Bea aims to work on grant proposals to fund work on AI and low-resource languages, as well as clinical Natural Language Processing, and publish ongoing research in both areas.


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


18 April 2024

Ferran de Vargas has secured funding under the UKRI Guarantee Scheme from the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Postdoctoral Fellowship for his project CINETIVITY, 'Cinema and Ideologies of Subjectivity in Post-war Japan (1945-1973).' Ferran will be joining Asian Studies in the summer and working closely with Chris Perkins (Asian Studies), with support from David Sorfa (Film Studies), during this two year fellowship.

CINETIVITY aims to promote scholars’ interest in and knowledge of the democratic process of post-war Japan as a universally relevant phenomenon by focusing on a key element in this historical experience: the debates that took place about how best to develop a form of political subjectivity or agency (shutaisei) in the people that would prevent individuals from being dragged into authoritarian regimes. CINETIVITY is expected to point out the value of the process whereby post-war Japanese intellectuals and filmmakers fostered democracy, thus inspiring the European civil society in an age like the present, when the memory of totalitarian regimes is gradually fading and authoritarian movements are gaining ground.


Find out more about postdoctoral fellowship opportunities on our website


11 April 2024

Jane McKie (English Literature) is mentoring Viccy Adams, the Story Associate on an exciting AHRC-funded pilot project 'StoryArcs,' which was developed by Bath Spa University and involves eleven Story Associates hosted by institutions across the UK seeking to uncover the deep structures and values of Story Skills.

Following in the footsteps of pioneers such as Anne Druyan and Carl Sagan in their preparation of the golden record for Voyager, Viccy Adams will be building upon her existing expertise in creative engagement projects for the project collaborator Winged Chariot’s project, Message Space. Viccy will be gathering a wide variety of messages to send into space, inspiring members of the public to take part, and leading workshops exploring the myriad of ways to relay a message. What messages, stories, or tales of Earth today might we want to relay to future generations?

Paying close attention to lessons acquired from these placements, the StoryArcs team will produce a prototype ‘Story Skill Set’, to exemplify how different story structures and competencies are used in life, learning and work. The StoryArcs team will then evaluate the pilot and develop an improved plan for an expanded scheme to support more Story Hosts and Associates. The scaled StoryArcs programme will enable AHRC to embed evidence about Story Skills into a network of training and placement partners.


Find out more about StoryArcs on the project's website


31 March 2024

Hannah Boast (English Literature) has been involved in a number of public events about Palestinian arts, culture and environment. In November, Hannah ran a reading group at Lighthouse Radical Book Fair about Adania Shibli’s novel 'Minor Detail' (Fitzcarraldo 2020, trans. by Elizabeth Jacquette) and wrote an accompanying article for The Conversation. In January, Hannah participated in a public online panel about Ecology and Culture in Palestine/Israel, attended by over 100 people from many different countries. 

Most recently, in March, Hannah delivered a public lecture and workshop on water, environment and culture for a Finland-based course called Learning Palestine, with 80 participants. Hannah will be hosting more events on Palestinian arts and culture this spring in Edinburgh with the community group Sumud.


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


27 March 2024

Terri Ochiagha (English Literature) has been awarded the prestigious McMillan-Stewart Fellowship at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, which is part of the Du Bois Research Institute at Harvard University.

The Hutchins Center is one of the most prestigious institutions in the fields of African and African American studies in the US and globally. Their W.E.B. Du Bois Fellowship Programme invites up to twenty scholars each year to conduct research in a wide variety of fields related to African and African American Studies. During her stay at Harvard, Terri will explore the Chinua Achebe papers held at Harvard University, visit nearby archives, and interview members of Achebe's family in order to gather information for the biography of Chinua Achebe, the acclaimed ‘father of modern African literature’ and one of the key literary figures of the twentieth century.


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


20 March 2024

Nicola Frith, Senior Lecturer in French and Francophone Studies, has secured an award from the latest round of the CAHSS Knowledge Exchange and Impact Grant for her project 'Doors of Return.'

Doors of Return is a documentary set in the Republic of Benin, West Africa. It explores the ‘doors of return’ being opened by Benin’s traditional leaders to those in the African Diaspora, whose ancestors were deported and enslaved, and the importance of cultural/spiritual reconnection – or ‘rematriation’ – after centuries of separation. 

With the film completed, this phase of funding from CAHSS will allow Nicki and the team to polish the content and make it ready for screening (reviewing sound, colour and transitions), and to finalize the subtitling to make it compliant with industry standards and accessible for those with hearing impairment. This will ensure that the film is ready for its first formal and international launch in Boston, USA. Nicki will be working alongside project partner Joyce Hope Scott (Boston University).


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


20 March 2024

Hephzibah Israel, Senior Lecturer in Translation Studies, has secured an award from the latest round of the CAHSS Knowledge Exchange and Impact Grant for her project 'Living Between Languages.' This impact project builds on the opportunity presented by an invitation from Lancaster University to take Hephzibah’s poetry exhibition ‘மொழிபெயர்ப்பு/the nature of difference’ to Lancaster’s LitFest 2024. 

Collaborating with partners, Hephzibah and her Co-I Delphine Grass (Lancaster) are developing a set of workshops on writing and translation for refugee migrants housed in Lancaster city and Lancashire. The workshops offer an opportunity to empower migrants by foregrounding their skills as multilingual speakers rather than as passive recipients of the host-language. The sessions will also provide TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) teachers with new approaches to translation and ‘translanguaging’ as alternative world making in English-language classes, by addressing the dislocating processes of functional language acquisition. 

The funding from CAHSS will support the costs of hosting two workshops, one for refugees in ESOL classes, and another for TESOL teachers. It will also support the costs of hosting the exhibition as part of Lancaster LitFest 2024.


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


20 March 2024

Charlotte Gleghorn, Senior Lecturer in Latin American Film Studies, has secured an award from the latest round of the CAHSS Knowledge Exchange and Impact Grant for her project 'Creole Connections'.

Creole Connections – an interactive web platform hosting approximately forty thematised videos on issues of social, economic, political and linguistic importance for Raizal and Black Creole peoples – seeks to contribute to the reactivation of ancestral familial and cultural ties between these geographically dispersed and geopolitically frustrated communities. 

In this latest phase of impact development, Charlotte and the project team will launch the platform with the island communities of San Andrés and Providence through a series of screenings and talkback sessions. In so doing, the team aims to support the revitalisation of the communities' shared seaspace – the maretorio – that they call home, thus confronting colonial dispossession, ecological damage, and the ideological fixities of the nation-state. 

Charlotte will be working alongside Co-I Julie Cupples (GeoSciences), and the wider project team includes Raquel Ribeiro (IHC, Lisbon), Raizal mediamaker Sergio Bent and journalist Neyda Dixon. The funding from CAHSS will support the costs of travel for members of the project team to San Andres and Providencia, and the costs of hosting the launch events in both locations.


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


19 March 2024

Sourit Bhattacharya (English Literature) has been awarded the Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship for his project 'Remembering the 1943 Bengal Famine: Hunger, Arts, and Decolonisation'.

Sourit’s proposed monograph will be the first comprehensive study of the cultural history of the 1943 Bengal famine. Breaking out during the Second World War and the anticolonial Quit India agitations, the famine killed and displaced millions, and made mass death an everyday occasion in Calcutta. The devastating social conditions of this period gave birth to a significant moment of intrepid journalism and arts-based activism, which used hunger as a means to mobilise support for the struggle for decolonisation. This book project, under contract with Cambridge University Press, will address the extent, diversity, and importance of artistic works in memorialising this enormous event in modern Indian history.

Sourit’s seven-month Fellowship award will support teaching relief to provide time to work on the monograph project, and will also support archival research in the UK, India and Bangladesh.


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


18 March 2024

Şebnem Susam-Saraeva, Professor of Translation Studies, has won Leverhulme International Fellowship funding for her project ‘Translation And Cetacean Communication Systems: Interactions And Synergies.’ 

Şebnem’s project is a ‘discipline-hopping excursion’ from translation studies in arts and humanities to marine bioacoustics in life sciences. Her objective is to bring perspectives from translation studies into debates in marine bioacoustics and conservation, by reconsidering impact, ethics, representation and knowledge translation. The funding will allow Şebnem to work at three centres in the U.S. and Canada that specialize in the communication systems, habitats, and behaviour of cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises). During her visits, Şebnem will gain invaluable hands-on experience at data-collection and analysis; interact with outstanding researchers in the field; and visit relevant interpretation centres and museums.

This projct builds on Şebnem’s recent trip to Trinity College Dublin as a Visiting Fellow at the Trinity Long Room Hub, where she explored what a posthuman ethics of translation and representation could look like for dolphin and whale communication in arts and music.


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


14 March 2024

Prof. Marion Schmid and Dr Fabien Arribert-Narce (DELC, French) are hosting a two-day in-person, international, and interdisciplinary workshop in intermedial studies. 'Theories and Practices of Intermediality Today' is the first joint workshop of the research partnerships in intermedial studies between the University of Edinburgh and Meiji University (Tokyo, Japan). The event also includes participants from Linnaeus University (Sweden) and Aix-Marseille University (France), with guests from IULM Milano (Italy).

Exchanges in this workshop will be greatly enriched by crossed cultural and academic perspectives between the respective institutions and address a range of questions; What are the most prominent ways of approaching intermediality and multimodality today, and how can these trends, critical traditions and their respective concepts be put into dialogue, combined or transformed in artistic practice? How can ideas and methods used in one of these analytical or artistic modes facilitate creative innovation in another? How can critical approaches conventionally applied to one medium or art form help us to better understand another? More generally, how can bringing into contact different artistic traditions ranging from classic to more contemporary media spur creativity and the construction of new kinds of aesthetic experience and semiotic interpretations? How do specific media and art forms interact in and between different cultures and historical eras, in the context of pressing lines of enquiry such as eco-criticism, gender studies, and postcolonialism and decolonization studies?

The organisers seek to initiate a discussion between established scholars of intermediality, early-career colleagues and research students that will help them forge new creative and critical positions in this fast-developing field of study — a field which has prompted some of the most original concepts and critical theories since the beginning of the 21st century.


Find out more about intermediality at Edinburgh


12 March 2024

Terri Ochiagha (English Literature) has been awarded British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Small Research Grant funding for her project 'Chinua Achebe: The Final Years (1993-2013)'. As part of Terri’s work on his first full-length biography, this project explores the unchronicled final years of the Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe (1930-2013), acclaimed ‘father of modern African literature,’ and one of the key literary figures of the twentieth century.

In 1993-2013, coinciding with distinguished professorships at Bard College and Brown University, Achebe embarked on an intensive period of selfmemorialisation. This project examines the complexities of Achebe’s conscious definition of his own legacy against the wider contexts of his life and work, thus enabling a re-evaluation of Achebe’s status as a writer on the world literary stage and complicating his hitherto simplified and—to a degree—misleading public identity as simply the anti-colonial African writer par excellence.

The funding will enable Terri to undertake two research trips to the USA to conduct archival research and interview Achebe’s family members and former colleagues. The research will contribute to two of the biography’s chapters as well as a chapter in the edited volume Terri is preparing.


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


11 March 2024

Sourit Bhattacharya (English Literature) has received funding from the Government of India for a project which will examine the paradigms, networks and practices of translation in colonial India in the period between 1800 and 1947. Sourit will collaborate with colleagues from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, the Vellore Institute of Technology in India, the Universities of Chicago and Pennsylvania and will take part in workshops and masterclasses in India over the next two years.


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


10 March 2024

Charlotte Bosseaux (Translation Studies) was in York for a screening of the documentary film 'Surviving Translation,' an in-depth look at the ethics of translation arising out of Charlotte's AHRC Research, Development and Engagement Fellowship. 'Surviving Translation' (Charlotte Bosseaux and Ling Lee, 2023) focuses on the traumatic experiences of female migrants, capturing intimate conversations with migrants and language professionals, and weaving these narratives together to create an informative and moving study of this unexamined subject. 

The creation of the documentary film was supported by an AHRC Fellowship, held by Charlotte from February 2022 to December 2023. During this time, Charlotte collaborated with Saheliya (a Scottish-based charity supporting survivors), Screen Language (an Edinburgh-based subtitling and translation agency), and filmmaker Ling Lee. Crucially, through her collaboration with Saheliya, Charlotte was able to work with service users to incorporate their perspectives into the filmmaking process.

The screening of the film in York was a special colloquium event to mark International Women's Day, and was followed by a Q&A with Charlotte.


Find out more about Charlotte's research on her project's website


9 March 2024

Lori Watson (Celtic & Scottish Studies) is one of twelve women named in Hands Up for Trad's 2024 Women in Music and Culture List. The list was launched as part of Hands Up for Trad's 2024 International Women's Day celebrations, shining a spotlight on some of the women working in Scottish traditional music and culture.


Read Hands Up for Trad's interview with Lori about her music and research

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


29 February 2024

Andreas Goerke (IMES) along with Gregor Schoeler (University of Basel) published 'The Earliest Writings on the Life of Muḥammad: The ‘Urwa Corpus and the Non-Muslim Sources' with Gerlach Press. The book constitutes a compilation, analysis, and evaluation of the oldest accounts of the life of the Prophet Muhammad. These accounts were collected and spread in the last third of the 1st/7th century by Urwa ibn al-Zubayr, a grandnephew of Muhammad's and nephew of Muhammad's wife 'A'isha and are preserved in numerous sources. 

Working with an exhaustive corpus of traditions, Andreas and Gregor distinguish authentic traditions going back to Urwa ibn al-Zubayr from those wrongly ascribed to him. Through a critical analysis of different versions of a tradition they also separate later additions and embellishments from the original core of the traditions. In contrast to a widespread trend in Islamic studies to reject the whole Islamic tradition on the origins of Islam as unauthentic, this book not only brings forward well-founded arguments for the existence of an authentic kernel in the traditions on the Prophet Muhammad but also shows in an exemplary manner how this kernel can be uncovered.


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


29 February 2024

Prof. Paul Crosthwwaite (English Literature) published his latest monograph, 'Speculative Time: American Literature in an Age of Crisis' with Oxford University Press (OUP). The monograph has been published as part of OUP's Studies in American Literary History series, and provides the first account of American literature and finance in the period defined by the Great Crash of 1929. The work looks at how a climate of financial and economic speculation and disaster shaped the literary culture of the United States in the early to mid-twentieth century.

The book offers an innovative account of how the speculative boom and bust of the “Roaring Twenties” affected literary and cultural production in the United States. It situates the stock market gyrations of the 1920s and 1930s within a wider culture of speculation that was profoundly shaped by, but extended well beyond, the brokerages and trading floors of Wall Street.

As part of this account, the book theorises the concept of ‘speculative futurity’, and offers innovative close readings of much-read authors such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, Richard Wright and Ralph Ellison, as well as lesser-known writers and artists including Archibald MacLeish, Christina Stead and Margaret Bourke-White.


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


29 February 2024

Prof. Federica Pedriali (DELC, Italian) has been conferred with a Title of Honour by the President of the Italian Republic, Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia. This distinction recognises Prof. Pedriali's substantial contributions to friendly relations and cooperation between Italy and the UK as well as her extensive scholarly work.


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


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


31 January 2024

Mavis Ho (Translation Studies) published her latest monograph 'Appraisal and the Transcreation of Marketing Texts' with Routledge. 

The volume charts the origins of the term "transcreation", emerging from the interplay of established concepts of translation, creation, localisation, and adaptation and ongoing debates on what should be transcreated and how. Using these dialogues as a point of departure, Mavis outlines a way forward for transcreation research by advocating for the use of an appraisal framework, taken from work in systemic functional linguistics and employed to evaluate persuasion in language. In focusing on marketing texts from the websites of three luxury brands in English and Chinese, the book explores how this approach can surface fresh perspectives on the different ways in which the processes and practices of marketing transcreation are used to generate persuasion across languages. The volume looks ahead to the implications for other language pairs and the applications of the appraisal framework to understand transcreation practice of other genres, such as literary texts.


Find out more about Mavis's research on her 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'. 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


23 November 2022

Nicola Frith, Senior Lecturer in French and Francophone Studies, has secured an award from the latest round of the CAHSS Knowledge Exchange and Impact Grant. Set in Benin and Ghana in West Africa, this video-documentary project explores the ways that African indigenous communities are opening up ‘a door of return’ to African-descended people whose ancestors were deported and enslaved. Through interviews with cultural and spiritual leaders, traditional kings and chiefs, and returnees from the African diaspora, the project team will explore the themes of loss and cultural and spiritual reconnection – or rematriation – to the African motherland as a vital part of a holistic approach to reparation.

The production of this documentary-film is linked to ongoing research relating to reparations for African enslavement, which has been funded by two AHRC awards, both with Nicola as PI and Joyce Hope Scott (Boston University) as Co-I. The film is being produced by Ghanaian film maker Dan Okeyere Owusu, in collaboration with Nicola, Joyce, and a Benin-based film committee.

CAHSS KE and Impact Grant funding will support the costs of the film's launch in Benin in spring 2023, as well as the costs of attendance for Dan, Nicola and Joyce to present the film and facilitate a post-launch discussion. The event will also provide the opportunity for the team to present educational materials that have been developed as part of the project, and to gain valuable feedback to help with the film’s promotion going forward.


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


17 November 2022

Since the 1990s, there has been a significant increase in the creation of larger-scale, innovative compositions by traditional musicians in Scotland. The composers of these works experiment with forms beyond the typical 32 bar dance tune, draw on a wide range of influences, and engage in opportunity-based professional development in this unique community of practice, described as The New Traditional School (Watson, 2013).

Dr Lori Watson, a musician, composer, and Lecturer in Scottish Ethnology at the University of Edinburgh was awarded a Royal Society of Edinburgh Small Research Grant to take forward a pilot study: The New Traditional School in Scotland, in which she documented and analysed the ways that traditional musicians are using experimental approaches to make and perform, pieces of music that go beyond the sounds that we would associate with local traditional music in Scotland.


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


9 November 2022

Şebnem Susam-Saraeva (Translation Studies) is collaborating with Jenny Patterson (Midwifery Lecturer, Edinburgh Napier University) on a project supported by the Royal Society of Edinburgh Workshop Grant. It examines informed consent during pregnancy, labour, and birth in the case of parents with limited English-proficiency (LEP) in Scotland and for whom interpreting services might be needed. It is often difficult for LEP parents to access adequate information in their own languages during perinatal care and this greatly contributes to poor maternal health outcomes.

The main objective of the project is to understand informed consent from an interdisciplinary perspective of midwifery and translation & interpreting studies. Şebnem and Jenny have run a series of expert focus groups and interactive workshops with researchers and practitioners, which allowed them to create an environment where the concept of informed consent in multilingual and multicultural settings in Scottish maternity services could be viewed through fresh eyes.


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


20 October 2022

Inspired by conversations with care experienced individuals and sector professionals, Holding / Holding On, written by Nicola McCartney, Reader in Writing for Theatre and Performance, interrogates the way society treats those in Scotland’s care system.

Following a call-out process in 2020, National Theatre of Scotland commissioned two artists, to undertake a six-month project to investigate the impact that the arts can make within a care context across Scotland, the outcomes of which form Care in Contemporary Scotland, A Creative Enquiry.

As part of the project Nicola McCartney engaged with care experienced adults and young people, community collaborators and sector professionals resulting in a filmed reading of a work in progress script, Holding / Holding On, which explores and gives voice to authentic narratives around Scotland’s care system. Lucy Gaizely/ 21Common worked with learning-disabled adults to create a new experimental documentary, Non Optimum: When It's Safe To Do So addressing personal experiences of care and access to services during the pandemic.


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


31 August 2022

Rebecca Macklin, English Literature, has won British Academy funding to host a two-day international conference, 'Resisting Toxic Climates: Gender, colonialism, and environment'.

Whether it’s the spectacular event of an oil spill or the virtually imperceptible pollution of micro-plastics, toxicity is central to the current environmental crisis. To exist in the world means being vulnerable to multiple forms of toxicity. Yet conditions of vulnerability are unequal, shaped by a range of social, biological and geographic factors. Placing emphasis on the gendered forms of toxicity produced through colonialism, this conference will examine how historical and contemporary global structures of conquest produce toxic conditions that disproportionately flow along gendered lines.

At this critical moment of planetary crisis, this conference, due to take place at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh in summer 2023, will assemble researchers and artists from distinct disciplines and spaces, asking them to produce a new set of methodologies to respond to the emerging forms of toxicity moving through bodies, landscapes and waters. Centring feminist, queer, decolonial and Indigenous research paradigms, this event seeks to foreground frequently side-lined perspectives to develop new strategies to resist toxic climates.


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


11 August 2022

One of 26 projects awarded funding in the CHANSE Call on Transformations: Social and Cultural Dynamics in The Digital Age, Frédéric Volpi's project is a collaboration with researchers in Spain, Sweden, Lithuania, Poland, Coventry and Wales Trinity Saint David.

Digital Islam across Europe: Understanding Muslims’ Participation in Online Islamic Environments investigates the characteristics of contemporary Online Islamic Environments (OIEs), and their consequences for the social and religious practices of different Muslim populations within and across distinct European contexts. Focusing on the interactions between producers and users of OIEs, it examines how, when and why individuals and groups seek advice on the internet about a range of social and religious issues, as well as how their online and offline experiences and practices shape one another. At its core, the project will provide an examination of how diverse Muslim populations engage with the online ecosystem providing formal or informal advice on issues related to Islam. It will show how these interactions shape, and are shaped, by the success of specific online producers. It will also analyse on how these usages of OIE can induce revisions of individual behaviour and belief in different national settings.

This research complements the Digital British Islam project for which Frédéric and his colleagues from University of Wales Trinity Saint David and Coventry University have already received ESRC funding.


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


7 July 2022

Dr Emanuela Patti has received a Royal Society of Edinburgh Workshop Award for her project on David Rizzio at the Scottish Court.

Emanuela's 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. In his late twenties, Rizzio came to Scotland as a member of a diplomatic mission from Savoy in 1561, and stayed at the Scottish Court, first as a musician, then as Mary Queen of Scots’ confidante and private secretary. He was murdered at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh by a group of Protestant lords including the Queen's husband, Lord Darnley. 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.

Emanuela will bring together stakeholders from multiple disciplines, including History, Divinity, History of Art, Italian, Scottish Literature, and Music to provide the first comprehensive account on the life and career of David Rizzio and to disseminate this knowledge through a series of collaborative educational activities across the University of Edinburgh, secondary schools, libraries, and museums.


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


30 June 2022

Dr Annie Webster will be hosted by English Literature as Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow from February 2023. Annie's project, 'Stories of the Syrian New Scots: Resettlement geographies in refugee arts', explores how refugee writing and art illuminate ‘ecologies of displacement’, and will focus on the creative practices of Syrian refugees in Scotland (who have become popularly known as ‘Syrian New Scots’). Annie's research stands at the intersection of Arabic cultural studies, refugee studies, and environmental humanities. This will be the first cultural analysis of storytelling practices in a Syrian-Scottish context. Through this focus, the project will develop a new framework for theorising the located nature of refugee arts which emerge through transcultural interplay with the languages, histories, and geographies of local host communities. Annie will be mentored throughout the Fellowship by Prof. David Farrier.


30 June 2022

The Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies will host Dr Simon Loynes as British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow from January 2023. Simon's project, 'The Qur'an and Pre-Islamic Poetry: Worldviews negotiated' will offer a comprehensive comparative study and open-access research tool of the Qur’an and pre-Islamic poetry. Through analysis of key vocabulary, this innovative research programme will demonstrate that a core component of the Qur’an is the way in which it negotiates its theocentric worldview with the essentially heroic and worldly ethos attested in the poetry itself. By establishing that the Qur’an and pre-Islamic poetry are more closely connected than hitherto thought, the scene is set for a re-evaluation of the very foundations of classical Arabic literary and cultural history. Simon will be mentored throughout the project by Dr Jaakko Hameen-Anttila.


29 July 2022

We are delighted to share that Prof. William Lamb (PI - Celtic and Scottish Studies) and Dr Beatrice Alex (Co-I - English Literature) have won AHRC funding for the project 'Decoding Hidden Heritages in Gaelic Traditional Narrative with Text-Mining and Phylogenetics'.

About to enter its second year, this project combines qualitative analysis with cutting-edge computational methods to decode, interpret and curate the hidden heritages of Gaelic traditional culture. The project team includes Co-Is based at Durham University, Dublin City University, University College Dublin, and Indiana University. The team has partnered with Tobar an Dualchais/Kist o Riches (Scotland’s online resource dedicated to the presentation and promotion of audio recordings of Scotland’s cultural heritage) and the Government of Ireland, to provide the most detailed account to date of the similarities and differences in Scottish and Irish Gaelic narrative traditions.

Through an approach known as text-mining, the project team will use artificial intelligence to search tales for similar topics, phrases and other linguistic patterns. The matches that are found will be correlated with what is known about the texts themselves. Another approach, known as phylogenetic network analysis, will be used to comb relationships between the texts' themes and the people who produced them. The team will combine these two approaches to create a unified account of Scottish and Irish oral narrative, which will transform our understanding about Gaelic oral culture, and will provide unique archival material to a diverse audience.

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

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


27 July 2022

Dr Patrick Errington, Early Career Teaching and Research Fellow in English Literature, secured an award from the latest round of the Challenge Investment Fund (CIF). The project team have been working throughout this semester, and have just completed the Challenge Investment Funded portion of this project.

Poetry is difficult, full of allusions, figurations, and novel metaphors. But reading poetry is often deeply pleasurable. How is this pleasure related to difficulty? In a preliminary behavioural study, Patrick, alongside PPLS Co-Investigator Dr Dan Mirman, and Research Assistant Melissa Thye, found that in certain cases an optimal degree of linguistic difficulty increased readers’ pleasurable feeling. Literary theorists have suggested that the pleasure experienced in 'optimally difficult' literature is related to an increase in physical sensation.

In this CIF-funded project, the team have extended their behavioural study with neuroimaging to establish a relationship between 'optimal' linguistic difficulty, pleasure, and neural immersiveness or embodiment. Their experiment will provide a basis for an extensive series of studies to further examine how immersion and pleasure are affected by the anticipation of various post-reading tasks, how these affect reading habits, and how reading habits can influence reader well-being.


2 June 2022

Dr Kholoud al-Ajarma, Alwaleed Lecturer in the Globalised Muslim World, has secured an award from the latest round of the ESRC Impact Acceleration Account awards.

The value of water is about much more than its price – water has enormous and complex value and is at the core of sustainable development. Nonetheless, official and academic discourse on water management largely ignores a wealth of traditional knowledge about, and non-economic values attached to, water.

"Valuing Water: Religious, social and cultural perspectives from a water-scarce region" highlights the value of water from perspectives that are often ignored in traditional water management policies in the Mediterranean region. The project aims to encourage a more comprehensive understanding of water's true, multi-dimensional value, using workshops, local and regional meetings, and audio-visual production. The project seeks to increase water awareness to help safeguard this critical resource, and work towards water security and sustainability in the Mediterranean region and beyond.

For this project, Kholoud has partnered with Laje'oon Center, a community-based grassroots creative cultural centre that works with new generations of Palestinians - they will be providing additional support for the project's activities. Throughout 2022, Kholoud will be working alongside a team of local facilitators, filmmakers, musicians, translators and storytellers, to run a series of workshops in the West Bank, and to produce a number of related audio-visual resources. The resources will be shared with the wider community, and the recommendations from the workshops will be disseminated in meetings with government officials and funding agencies, to advocate for community-led development of water management.


19 May 2022

In 2019, the University of Edinburgh Biopolis project invited a selection of prominent writers living in Scotland to engage in conversations with cutting-edge researchers based at the University of Edinburgh in order to create speculative stories about the impact of biotechnology on urban life. The project aimed to expand imaginaries around urban futures by looking at new discoveries of biotechnology, new expressions of biodesign, and new understandings of natural systems, expressed through fiction and artistic means.

In the latest event in the series, Dr Nadanai Laohakunakorn, Chancellor’s Fellow in Biotechnology, and Dr Jane Alexander, creative writing lecturer and writer of speculative fiction, reflected on their Biopolis collaboration, which asked how synthetic biology might affect our built environment. Nadanai described his research into cell-free synthetic biology, framed through the lens of approaching science as a creative enterprise, while Jane addressed how creative writing as research can operate as a means of inquiry that produces interdisciplinary knowledge.

In discussion, they considered some of the questions that emerged from their collaboration: what can science learn from the creative approaches of fiction, and vice versa? What kind of knowledge is produced by such collaborations? What happens when the emotion, empathy and ambiguity that characterise fictional investigations converge with the rational search for unambiguous clarity that characterises scientific research? How can sci-art collaborations go beyond public engagement - how can scientific research benefit from collaboration with imaginative writing?


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


28 April 2022

Dr Yoko Sturt (Asian Studies) has received funding from the Japan Foundation for the event "Beyond Kanji Teaching: Culture, values and issues in Kanji writing".

Yoko will organise an online conference which will reexamine traditional kanji (Chinese characters) teaching in the framework of experiential learning, from the point of view of non-kanji-background and heritage Japanese learners. The project aims to examine various problems that occur when non-kanji-using learners of Japanese write kanji characters using a pen/biro, explore the points of contact between Japanese language education in Japan and overseas, especially the UK, and examine the visual culture of Japan regarding the art of handwriting, and the related linguistic landscape in everyday life in Japan. 

"Beyond Kanji Teaching" will be open to the public, mainly for those involved in Japanese language education and inherited languages, and for inter-sectoral kanji learners from heritage language backgrounds, and in secondary, university, and adult education, followed by a post-conference workshop addressing an under researched topic regarding issues in "left-handed" writers.

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


21 April 2022

Dr Katie Pleming (French and Francophone Studies) is part of a consortium that has been awarded funding from the UNA Europa Digitzed! call.

Katie will work with colleagues from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and KU Leuven to create The Digital Public Space Research Network. 

Bringing together early career researchers from five UNA Europa institutions, this research network will consider how the digital has transformed and will transform the public space. Developing the idea of a ‘digital public space’, this network will interrogate both the underlying ideas and theories which illuminate current practices on the internet, and the ways in which the Humanities can promote more ethical forms of online engagement and activity.


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


10 April 2022

The Alexander Nove Prize was established by the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies (BASEES) in 1995, and is awarded annually for scholarly work of high quality in Russian, Soviet and post-Soviet studies. The 2020 prize, which was announced in early 2022, was awarded to Prof. Katharine Hodgson (Exeter) and Dr Alexandra Smith (Russian Studies) for their co-authored monograph "Poetic Canons: Cultural memory and Russian national identity after 1991" (Peter Lang, 2020).

Find out more on the BASEES website [external]

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


7 April 2022

Dr Fabien Arribert-Narce (DELC) has been awarded funding from the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation for the project 'Image, Music, Text', which forms part of the research partnership in Intermediality Studies between the University of Edinburgh and Meiji University, Tokyo.

The partnership, the first collaborative project between Japan and the UK in the field of intermedia studies, was launched in autumn 2021, and the inaugural workshop took place in Edinburgh earlier this month.

Intermediality is a new discipline that investigates the links between media: media combinations (such as computer installations, illuminated manuscripts and opera), medial transposition (such as film adaptations and novelizations), and intermedial references (such as references to a painting in a film). Intermedia analysis enables researchers to explore the connections across different media, engaging with cutting-edge scholarly discussions about the nature of print and digital media, the relationship between texts and images, adaptation, the book as communicative tool, and digitization.

The planned workshops will reshape discussion in intermedia studies by providing an extended reflection on the strategies and scholarly influence of Roland Barthes, with particular focus on the collection of Barthes' key writings, Image, Music, Text. The collaboration will develop some of Barthes’ ideas on the status of intermedia in communication across languages: what happens when intermediality and translation occur at the same time? What can translation and multilingualism show us about medial transposition and media combination and vice versa? How does intermediality relate to multi-modality, language learning and communication?

The GBSF funding will allow four delegates from LLC (Dr Arribert-Narce, Prof. Marion Schmid, Dr Francois Giraud and third-year LLC PhD student Matthis Hervieux) to travel to Tokyo in December 2022 for the second project workshop

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

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


1 April 2022

Four Edinburgh academics have been appointed to the Department of Culture Media and Sport’s College of Experts. The experts are part of a cohort of 49 external experts from across academia and industry who will provide a mechanism for the department to access external expertise and guidance.

Congratulations to Prof. Melissa Terras (English Literature), along with Orian Brook (SPS), Ewa Luger (ECA), and Mark Parsons (CSE).


25 March 2022

The Edinburgh Impact bulletin recently published an interview with Dr Nicola Frith from the French section of the Department of European Languages and Cultures on her work as part of the International Network of Scholars and Activists for Afrikan Reparations. 

Nicola is currently undertaking research activities in Benin and Ghana funded by her AHRC follow on funding award for the project "Rethinking Reparations for African Enslavement as Cultural, Spiritual and Environmental Repair".

 Read the full interview on the Edinburgh Impact website


23 March 2022

We are delighted to share that Dr Benjamin Bateman, English Literature, has won British Academy funding for the project "Fictions of Survival: Pandemic literature and our present time".

How can literature written in response to previous pandemics speak to the concerns and contingencies of the present coronavirus pandemic? Living through the past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have often found ourselves referring to 'unprecedented times', but does this view run the risk of failing to engage with previous pandemics, the differential threats they posed (and continue to pose) to marginalised and vulnerable populations, and the creative responses they inspired among writers and artists?

With funding from the British Academy, Benjamin will organise a two-day symposium inviting literary scholars to present on a range of topics relating to pandemic literatures. Drawing on theoretical approaches from queer theory, postcolonial theory, and the environmental and medical humanities, the presentations and discussions from the symposium will explore fictional, poetic, creative nonfictional and autobiographical representations of pandemics. Following the symposium, contributors will be invited to shape their presentations into essays, to be featured in a special collection, which will explore literary reactions to previous pandemics and the relevance of those responses to our contemporary moment of quarantines, lockdowns, social distancing, treatment inequity, and emotional overload.

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


17 March 2022

Prof. Frédéric Volpi, Director of the Alwaleed Centre, has received funding with colleagues from University of Wales Trinity Saint David and Coventry University for their project "Digital British Islam: How do Cyber Islamic Environments impact everyday life?"

The Economic and Social Research Council have awarded a grant of £804k (£232k for the Edinburgh part of the project), to provide Frédéric and his colleagues with funding for this three year research project starting in May.

Cyber-Islamic environments’ (CIEs) is an umbrella term, used to describe how different forms of internet media are used within diverse Muslim contexts.  The research will map how CIEs are growing and evolving in relation to intergenerational changes within diverse UK Muslim communities. The research team will explore how digital practices are shaping every day, in-person and ‘real’ experiences of Muslim beliefs in Britain. The research will focus on three themes that generate much public debate - religious authority, gender, and political agency. The project will utilise an online archive, a survey, and interviews.

Read more about the project on the UKRI Gateway to Research website

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


8 March 2022

Dr Alexandra Smith, Reader in Russian Studies, along with her co-author Katharine Hodgson, is the recipient of The British Association of Slavonic and East European Studies (BASEES) Alexander Nove Prize 2020 (awarded in 2022) for their book 'Poetic Canons, Cultural Memory and Russian National Identity after 1991' (Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, New York, Vienna: Peter Lang, 2020). Read more about Alexandra and Katharine's book, described as an original and compelling work which speaks to a wide array of important topics in Russian, Soviet and post-Soviet studies, far beyond its principal literary focus, on the BASEES website.

Link to the BASEES Alexander Nove Prize page

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


1 March 2022

Norwegian Literature Abroad (NORLA) named Dr Guy Puzey (DELC - Scandinavian Studies) their Translator of the Month for March 2022. 

NORLA works to advance the export of Norwegian literature through active promotion and funding for translation of books from Norway. Each month, they showcase the vital work of translators from the Norwegian language in their 'Translator of the Month' interview series.

You can read the full interview with Guy via the NORLA website, linked in this post.

Read the full interview with Guy via the NORLA website [external]

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


1 March 2022

The 'Current and Recent Research Projects' page of the LLC website is designed to provide an insight into the varied and exciting research activities taking place throughout the School. Recently, the LLC Research Office has been working with the School's Web and Communications team to update this page, and to make sure we are capturing as many ongoing and recent research activities as we can. 

The process of updating the site will continue over the coming months, and you can view all of the projects that have been added to the site so far via the link below:

View Our Current and Recent Research Projects on the LLC Website


24 February 2022

We are excited to share that Dr William Lamb (Celtic and Scottish Studies) has been awarded Scottish Government funding for the project Crowdsourcing the Acquisition of Gaelic Language Speech Technology Training Data.

In recent years, Scottish Gaelic has begun to be represented more and more in several language processing fields and resources, e.g. part-of-speech tagging, syntactic parsing, machine translation (via Google Translate), handwriting recognition and voice synthesis, and in 2021, a team of researchers at UOE developed another key component of modern language technology: an automatic speech recognition system (ASR).

The Gaelic ASR system relies on data-intensive machine learning methods. The tool is created by training a computer algorithm to recognise useful patterns across large stores of textual and audio data. Gaining the data suitable for this kind of aproach is a challenge for most minority languages, due to a sparsity of digitised audio and text. This project seeks to involve the Gaelic community as a key resource for generating and validating training data for the system.

With this most recent funding, William, together with Co-I Dr Peter Bell (School of Informatics) will work with the Centre for Speech Technology Research, and with an external consultant, to build a foundation for crowdsourcing ASR data from Gaelic speakers at large. They will gather and offer access to a series of Gaelic language tools that have been developed by UOE, via a single public-facing website. This site will host the prototype Gaelic ASR tool, along with a prototype text normalisation tool and a multi-functional text analysis tool, along with any other tools developed in the future. The website will also include a means for involving the Gaelic community in correcting the textual output of the ASR tool.

The site will enable anyone with a connected device to access a range of useful Gaelic tools and, by involving the Gaelic-speaking public in the development of the ASR tool, the team will both strengthen the tool's training data, and educate a wider audience about language technology.

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


23 February 2022

In 1984, Anthony Burgess published Ninety-Nine Novels, a selection of his favourite novels in English since 1939. The Ninety-Nine Novels podcast, by the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, explores the novels on Burgess's list with the help of writers, critics and other special guests.

A recent episode saw English Literature's Dr Simon Malpas in conversation with Graham Foster of the Burgess Foundation, focusing on Thomas Pynchon's novel Gravity's Rainbow. Listen to the full episode via the link below.

Listen to the Ninety Nine Novels Podcast [external]

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


21 February 2022

Melissa Terras, Professor of Digital Cultural Heritage and Director of Research at the Edinburgh Futures Institute, along with colleagues from the School of Law, the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre, St Andrews University and consultants The List, has been awarded from the Arts and Humanities Research Council for the project ‘Towards large-scale Cultural Analytics in the Arts and Humanities’.

This five month project is a pilot study to create a service by which researchers can access recently produced commercial data in order to generate accurate data-led analysis and visualisation of the UK's creative sector. The research will support the development and design of a data repository for the capture and analysis of UK cultural and creative industries data at scale, focusing particularly on events-based data.

Melissa has also been appointed to the Department of Culture Media and Sport’s College of Experts. The experts are part of a cohort of 49 external experts from across academia and industry who will provide a mechanism for the department to access external expertise and guidance. 

Find out more about the Edinburgh Futures Institute 

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


3 February 2022

We are delighted to share that Dr Holly Stephens (Asian Studies) has been awarded an ESRC Fund for International Collaboration UK-South Korea Connections Grant, for her project "Environmental Sustainability and Economic Collaboration in the Longue Durée: A comparative approach to locality, history, and development".

The ESRC UK-South Korea Connections opportunity was commissioned to expand the level of engagement in Social Science and Humanities research between the UK and South Korea. Holly will be leading a network that will bring together researchers based in South Korea and the United Kingdom to compare examples of economic cooperation and environmental resource management in Korea with similar intersections in other parts of the world. The project team also includes Co-Investigators at Durham University and Ewha Womans University, Seoul.

The network is particularly interested in local cooperatives and organizations that historically have been used to manage environmental resources. The network's objective is to situate these cases in a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective to better understand how different forms of organization and resource ownership intersect with processes (and possibilities) of sustainability and cooperation. Over the next eighteen months, network activities include an international workshop hosted by LLC on the theme of "Sustainable Resource Management in Comparative and Historical Perspective", and an international conference hosted by Ewha Womans University. Throughout the award, visiting scholars from South Korea will be hosted at LLC and at Durham University.


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


31 January 2022

Dr Sourit Bhattacharya, Lecturer in Global Anglophone Literatures, has secured funding for his project ‘The British Empire, Scotland, and Indian Famines: Writings on Food Crisis in Colonial India’.

The main objective of the project is to interrogate administrative, periodical, and cultural representations of colonial Indian famines by Scottish administrators and travellers and Indian cultural critics. Currently we have no existing work bringing together writings on famines to understand how discussions and debates on food crisis in Britain and India have evolved both governmentally and publicly.

Sourit and his collaborators Dr Binayak Bhattacharya (Manipal Academy of Higher Education) and Dr Rajarshi Mitra (Indian Institute of Information Technology Guwahati) will organise two conferences and two workshops in Edinburgh and Kolkata. The funding will also allow them to put on a specially curated exhibition on famine painting and films, and build a website with annotations of major works as well as a detailed record of the activities and findings of the project, which will be a significant repository for global researchers.


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



26 January 2022

An article by Prof. David Farrier (English Literature) has been published on the BBC Future website. The article explores humanity's impact on evolution in animal behaviour, as well as how culture, technology and animal ingenuity have played a part in human evolution.

Read the full article o nthe BBC Future website [external]

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


17 January 2022

Dr Charlotte Bosseaux, Senior Lecturer in Translation Studies, has been awarded an AHRC Research, Development and Engagement Research Fellowship for her project on responding to ethical elements of Gender-Based Violence translation. 

Exacerbated by factors such as the social effects of COVID-19 and the refugee crisis in Europe, United Nations figures indicate that one in three women will experience Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in their lifetime. This 18-month practice-based project will create two versions of a multilingual documentary that audiences will be asked to assess on the basis of whether the translation techniques used have done justice to survivors' voices. In this way, and through asking interpreters and translators how they feel about their work, the film is underpinned by new research into the ethics of translation.

The project is a collaboration with Saheliya, a Scottish-based charity supporting survivors, filmmaker Ling Lee, and language professionals recruited via specialist company Screen Language. As well as establishing which translation method is best for translating audiovisual personal narratives, it will provide good practice guidelines for translators, translation companies, filmmakers and charities, including on how to work together effectively on sensitive material.

Read our interview with Charlotte about the Gender-Based Violence project

Find out more about the project on its website


10 January 2022

Dr Kim Sherwood, Lecturer in Creative Writing, has been commissioned to write three thrillers, set in the world of James Bond and creating a new generation of Double O agents. With the first book due to be published in September, we excitedly wait to find out what Kim has in store for us! 

Read an interview with Kim on the University news page 

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