CBRL alumni awarded British Academy Fellowships

CBRL alumni awarded British Academy Fellowships





Philip Proudfoot and Sarah Elliott at CBRL's British Institute in Amman

We’re delighted to share news that two CBRL alumni have been awarded prestigious British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellowships. Philip Proudfoot, former Assistant Director at CBRL’s Amman institute (2016 – 2018) and Sarah Elliott, former (2015 – 2016) and current CBRL Visiting Fellow, are two of the 45 successful applicants in the 2017-18 bid. Selected out of a pool of some 600 - 800 applicants, these highly competitive fellowships are awarded to outstanding early career researchers in the humanities or social sciences.

Philip Proudfoot - British-Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship 

A political anthropologist, Philip’s British Academy Fellowship is affiliated with the University of Bath, CBRL, and the British School in Athens.  His new research project concerns Arabic-speaking refugees in Europe.

On 2 September 2015, the body of a Syrian boy, Alan Kurdî, washed up on a Mediterranean beach. Hours earlier, his family boarded a small raft bound for Greece. The boat capsized 5-minutes off the Turkish coast. Nilufer Demir of the Dogan News Agency came across his body face down in the sand. She raised her camera and clicked. "This was the only way I could express the scream of his silent body," Demir told CNN Turk. Within hours that scream went viral. The world shared the ‘Refugees Welcome’ hashtag 74,000 times. By 3 September, a petition on the UK Parliament’s website to “accept more asylum seekers” reached 250,000 signatures. Across Europe, protestors took to the streets; refugee camps and volunteers flooded refugee camps. 

Since the onset of the refugee crisis, the Levant has never been more present in Europe. His work will help develop CBRL research into Arab diasporas. His publications will help advance popular knowledge and policy debates around one of the worst humanitarian disasters since the Second World War. In carrying out this important work, Philip will further enhance research links across the British Academy's International Research Institutes and UK universities.      

Philip’s project investigates grassroots humanitarian groups assisting refugees in the UK and Greece. He asks to what extent – if at all – have these movements re-politicised humanitarianism in the age of austerity? To answer this question, he will undertake over 16-months of participant-observation fieldwork.  He will learn about these groups through volunteering as well as hanging out with refugee beneficiaries.

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Philip’s UK case study looks at those who choose to work "within the state." These groups provide refugee services and lobby the government for better protection. In Greece, he will study anarchist movements working "outside the state." Anarchists provide aid through the gaps opened by state withdrawal and activist militancy. 

Sarah Elliott British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship 
An environmental archaeologist and geoarchaeologist, Sarah’s British Academy research involves inter-disciplinary research combining environmental science, archaeology and ethnography. During the Neolithic (c 12,000-8000 BP), the Levant saw one of the most important transformations in human history, the transition from mobile hunter-gathering to sedentism, agriculture and animal husbandry. The social and cultural changes that occurred at this time, ultimately led to the foundation of modern civilisation. Investigating this transition has traditionally relied on the interpretation of visible archaeological remains. However, an exciting new possibility to investigate past human activities more fully and effectively is the analysis of sediments and their microscopic remains.

             At an abandoned village in southern Jordan built using traditional materials and techniques, Sarah uses a portable X-ray Florescence analyser to analyse geochemistry

This research project tests new multi-methodologies  and aims to develop a new and novel inter-disciplinary research framework to better interpret the ephemeral archaeological signatures of the Near East, and to further our understanding of the ‘Neolithic Revolution’. Sarah’s research project will focus on Jordan, a key region where the Neolithic first developed. It will involve the analysis of sediment samples from known activity areas in modern villages and dung samples from targeted animal species, which will then act as a comparative dataset to interpret samples from Neolithic sites. This will enable key concepts such as sedentarisation, domestication, and the use of space to be investigated.

Sarah collects modern dung samples from an animal pen in southern Jordan

Sarah will spend 6-8 weeks each year during her three-year fellowship in Jordan collecting samples which will be analysed during the remaining 10 months each year in the laboratories at Bournemouth University. A range of the initial ethnoarchaeological samples have already been collected during Sarah’s initial CBRL fellowship (2015-16) when Sarah lived in Jordan for one year.


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