2018 Postgraduate Travel Grant Recipients

We’re delighted to share news of the 2018 CBRL Travel Grants that have been awarded to two PhD candidates.

Since 2016, changes and restrictions to CBRL’s core British Academy funding mean that this cannot be used towards postgraduate projects. Instead, CBRL continues this important part of its activity thanks to the generosity of our members and friends. By supporting young researchers in their fieldwork, CBRL hopes to develop the next generation of scholars working in the Levant.

This year, we received a large number of fascinating project proposals of a very high standard which led to great discussions amongst our research committee when they met at the end of March. Proposed fieldwork covered the wide spread of disciplines across the humanities and social sciences, covering the full geographical range of the Levant.

CBRL would like to thank all the friends and members whose generous donations have made it possible to support this important activity.

Professor Sam Lieu Travel Grant 2018

Lamia Sassine – PhD in Archaeology, University of Sheffield

Elusive Phoenicians: perceptions of Phoenician identity and material culture as reflected in museum records and displays

Lamia’s PhD focuses on museums across the Mediterranean that have Phoenician collections – she has previously conducted fieldwork at the Louvre in Paris as well as at museums in Tunisia and Malta. The CBRL travel grant will enable her to study the collections of a number of museums across Cyprus and Lebanon. Through understanding the processes leading to the identification of objects as Phoenician and what this means in terms of preserving and presenting them, this study aims to investigate the different perceptions of Phoenician cultural identity.

Questions that will be asked include: Do different museums share similar parameters for classification in terms of what is considered Phoenician and how selective are they in this respect? To what extent do objects displayed as ‘Phoenician’ derive from historical stereotypes inherited from past attitude, and to what extent does it now seem legitimate to identify them as Phoenician? Does museum labelling indicate instances where the classification of an object as Phoenician may have changed since the object was acquired?


Melissa Gatter – PhD in Middle East Studies, University of Cambridge

Syrian Nostalgia and Time in Azraq Refugee Camp, Jordan

This project sets out to understand the complexity of nostalgia and time in Azraq refugee camp. This grant enables the second stage of ethnographic fieldwork which will have a focus on the refugee community’s conceptualization of time in Azraq, building on the first stage which centered on aid workers' perspectives on time. Discussing time with refugees could evoke traumatic pasts, therefore the research explores the subject through a safer focus on Syrian heritage and nostalgia. Working with Plan International, a humanitarian organization carrying out development programs in Azraq camp's most secured sector, the aim is to understand how refugees view time within the humanitarian-development nexus and what role nostalgia plays in their visions of the Syrian future. Do they view their heritage in peril because of their displacement, and what gaps might Syrian heritage be filling in their present? 

CBRL awards postgraduate travel grants in March each year, if you would like to make a donation to support the field-work of future travel grant recipients, please do so here.





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