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Projects

The GRP Connecting Cultures has awarded funding to support the following projects in 2018-19.

Dialoguing ‘Between the Posts’ network-building workshop (Belgrade, Spring 2019) - Spela Drnovsek Zorko (Sociology)

Dialoguing ‘Between the Posts’: building a network of postcolonial and postsocialist scholars
The aim of the project is to build a network of academics, activists, artists, and media practitioners interested in the intersections between postcolonial and postsocialist politics and cultures, through a dedicated workshop and public lecture. The workshop seeks to connect the theoretical and political labours of critical scholars and practitioners working on postimperial, postcolonial, and postsocialist regions, and ask what it means to ‘decolonise’ thought in the formerly state socialist regions of Europe. It also aims to encourage further collaboration between members based across the UK, Germany, South-East Europe, and India, including activities aimed at a broader non-academic audience.

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Cultures of the Left in the Age of Right Wing Populism - Silvija Jestrovic

This event is the culmination of a substantial period of research that has involved an interdisciplinary group of scholars from Warwick University (UK) and Jawaharlal Nehru University (India) as well as researchers, artists and activists from other European and overseas institutions and places. It started as a retrieval project asking What’s Left of the Left? What is left of the Left institutions, practices, critical discourses and its other cultural manifestations at the present junction? During the lifespan of this project, however, Narendra Modi solidified his power in India, Donald Trump became the President of the USA, Brexit vote was cast fuelled by right-wing populist rhetoric of xenophobia, Victor Orban’s right wing government erected razor blade fences at the Hungarian boarder to stop refugees, pro-fascist oriented Luigi Di Maio became the Deputy Prime Minister of Italy, and most recently, dictatorship-loving and openly anti-LGBT Jair Bolsonaro won the Brazilian presidential elections. It has quickly become apparent that our initial research question ‘What’s Left of the Left?’ is no longer tentative, but urgent and that it needs to be re-formulated accordingly. We are asking how could both the historical legacy of the Left and its current manifestations and performances contribute to formulating an aesthetic of resistance not only as a reactive practice, but as a way to sustain the politics of inclusion, equality, care for the commons and social justice? The concept, coined by playwright Peter Weiss against the backdrop of raising fascism in the 1930s—asserts that art and culture, by formulating an aesthetic of resistance, are the means of finding new modes of political action and new forms of social understanding.
The urgency of this project is to explore the politics and aesthetics of these forms as means of dissent, but even more importantly, as strategies of sustaining the progressive political agenda both against the backdrop of the alarmingly rising Right and on its own term. In other words, we ask broadly what is the potential of Leftist cultural performances and manifestations to formulate an aesthetic of resistance to both reinforce a Leftist political response to Right-wing populism and offer sustainable modes of doing leftist politics so as to secure its more permanent impact?

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Cultures of Remembrance: war, memory and the legacy of Bomber Command - Alexander Smith (Sociology)

I am planning to develop a new research programme that will explore cultures of memory and remembrance amongst RAF veterans (and their descendants) who served with Bomber Command in the Second World War. It will seek to combine family and social history with sociological analysis and more creative projects, including literature/writing but also potentially photography and filmmaking (and perhaps an exhibition). It will involve a programme of empirical/ethnographic and archival/historical research. As this research will proceed alongside the 80th Anniversary commemorations of the Second World War (2019-2015), I intend to build into my methodology a major public engagement strategy.

Unfenced Fields in Academia and Beyond: Jewish/Postcolonial/Memory Studies - Rebekah Vince (SMLC)

This lunchtime talk will explore the ghetto as travelling concept, drawing from Prof Bryan Cheyette's A Very Short History of the Ghetto (Oxford University Press, 2019), getting an interdisciplinary audience to engage the concept of ghettoisation as lived reality and floating signifier from medieval Venice to contemporary Copenhagen.
This interdisciplinary workshop takes the pre-circulated article 'Postcolonialism and the Study of Antisemitism' by Bryan Cheyette (Professor of English and Comparative Literature, University of Reading) as a starting point for dialogic engagement. Prof Cheyette will start off the discussion with an introduction to the piece, followed by an opportunity for postgraduates and early career researchers to respond, and to speak more broadly about how Jewish studies, postcolonial studies, and memory studies intersect in their own work. The workshop will be followed by a drinks reception, providing a further opportunity for engagement, informal discussion, and networking.

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English Nationals' Acculturation Towards Migrants' Cultures in England - Katharina Lefringhausen (CAL)

With data from at least 210 English nationals across two time points, we investigate the psychological implications of cultural diversity on them by asking:

  • What type of cultural profiles exist among English nationals before and after Brexit.
  • How do these different profiles relate to e.g., one's well-being and expectations of what migrants should do in England (e.g., to integrate)?
  • How do different types of interactions between English nationals and migrants link to one's own cultural profile?
  • And how does one's expectations of how English nationals should relate to migrants link to one's own relationships to migrants and other English nationals?
EATING INTO ELSEWHERE - Carmen Wong

'Eating into Elsewhere' explores how we affectively perform belonging through translative food-making practices in an age of globalized migration. A diptych of performances on dis-located cooking ('Breakfast Elsewhere' & 'Unmade, Untitled') will be staged in the home kitchens of 2-3 Coventry community organizers in the first half of 2019, methodologically reflecting the ethnographic cook-along interviews used in the genesis of this project. Video documentation of these events will inform the concept for a future video installation project (which can be activated with scheduled performances) that will proposed for exhibition during City of Culture run-up events, in autumn 2019.

Developing materials on Chilean solidarity in the UK from the MRC archive for public engagement and impact - Alison Ribeiro de Menezes (SMLC)

The objective is to develop a digitized portfolio of representative materials on Chilean Solidarity activity in the 1970s for impact work in Chile (via the MMDH) and the UK. On a recent visit under my AHRC network project, María Luisa Ortiz, Head of Collections at the MMDH) examined some MRC files and explained their enormous interest for Chile, as there are few trade union/organizational archives in Chile. It will be enormously impactful to develop a digitized collection of relevant materials to enable the MMDH and the PI to disseminate evidence of UK solidarity with Chilean political prisoners and exiles to labour groups and wider society.

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GHOST TOWN: CATHEDRAL OF CULTURE (HAUNTING #4) AND BID PREPARARTION - Helen Wheatley (Film & TV)

This funding has provided some research assistant support to aid in the writing of an AHRC project bid, Ghost Town: Civic Television and the Haunting of Coventry, and helped to cover some of the costs of a high-profile research impact event on the 29th of December 2018 at Coventry Cathedral, Cathedral of Culture: Ghost Town Haunting #4. Ghost Town traces how Coventry’s history persists as traces in the television archive. Through a number of civic screenings (or hauntings), Ghost Town explores how the television archive can be used to understand the city in the lead up to and into the City of Culture year in 2021.

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STAGING TIME - Flo Swann (History)

Staging Time is a 12-month programme of activity in HM Prison Stafford, merging historical research from Professor Hilary Marland with arts practice from Rideout (Creative Arts for Rehabilitation) and aimed at men who have neurodevelopmental conditions eg: Learning disabilities / Autism / early onset dementia. There are four parts to Staging Time:

  • Past Time, using cookery and drama to explore the history of prison food
  • A History of Hard Labour, using physical theatre to look at manual work in prison
  • A History of the ‘Imbecile’, using puppetry to explore how neuro-atypical behaviours manifest in prison settings
  • The Ghost Songs of Conscientious Objectors, using music, song, and lyrical readings.

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THE LINGUISTIC LANDSCAPE OF FRENCH POLYNESIA - Will Amos (SMLC)

The purpose of this project is to establish a research network with colleagues working on language issues in the overseas French Pacific territories of French Polynesia and New Caledonia. The network will facilitate primary research, seeking to identify and analyse the domains in which Polyensian languages – prevalent in both territories but not recognised officially by the French state – are visible in the linguistic landscape. The network will also facilitate teaching, research, and engagement activities both in the territories and beyond.

RE-READING DANTE’S VITA NOVA IN WARWICK - Fabio Camilletti (SMLC)

The workshop is linked to the Cultures of Translation theme. Italian@Warwick has a strong tradition in the study of Dante reception, and particularly in the translations and re-adaptations of Dante's works in the English-speaking worlds. Contributions in this workshop will focus on the Vita Nova as a field of tensions, which the text's metamorphoses and translations across the cultural history of the West exploit or reshape ('translation', from this viewpoint, should not only be intended as inter-linguistic translation, but also as inter-semiotic translation: e.g. Dante Gabriel Rossetti's painting La donna della finestra, meant to translated chapters 35-39 of the Vita Nova in visual terms).

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THE STORY OF MY STREET - Sarah Richardson and Roberta Bivins (History)

The Story of My Street connects current Coventry communities with the rich heritage of their past re-telling the story of interwar Coventry and examining implications for current citizens.

COVENTRY LIVES - Mark Knights (History)

Coventry 2021 provides an excellent opportunity to celebrate the history of Coventry and in particular the lives of those who have lived there in the past. The aim of the project is to explore the rich heritage of Coventry citizens and engage current citizens in it; as well as to inform and interact with (virtual as well as real) visitors. The project will also engage the local community in helping to compile their own history. The Connecting Cultures funding will facilitate the submission of an application to the AHRC to support the project.

CLASSICAL CONNECTIONS SEMINAR SERIES - Eleana Giusti (Classics)

The Classical Connections Seminar Series hosts public lectures dedicated to Classical Reception Studies, Comparative Classical Studies, Comparative Literature with Classics and Ancient Global Classics. It is dedicated to connections between Greek and Latin Classics and other literatures and philosophies from different geographical and temporal contexts and aims to help us rethink the role of Greek and Latin Classics in our culture, education and academic practices by comparison and interaction with other disciplines.

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TOWARDS A MORAL GRAMMAR OF TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE: SECONDARY CARE PRACTICES TO SUPPORT CONFLICT TRANSFORMATION IN COLOMBIA – Alison Ribeiro de Menezes (SMLC)

Alison Ribeiro de Menezes (SMLC) and María Estrada-Fuentes (Theatre and Performance Studies) are collaborating on the project, 'Towards a Moral Grammar of Transitional Justice: Secondary Care Practices to Support Conflict Transformation in Colombia'. Our Colombian partners are Lucas Ospina, from the Universidad de los Andes, and Alejandro Garzón, from the Agencia para la Reincorporación y la Normalización (ARN). The research will also involve Professor Alan Norrie (Law) and builds on a recent series of collaborative workshops held at Warwick on the Moral Grammar of Transitional Justice. Transitional Justice requires change through negotiation and mutual recognition of both a divided past and a shared future. Our collaboration ultimately aims to shed insight on four pressing research questions: Which subjects and subjectivities emerge through the processes of conflict transformation? What happens to political positions and political subjectivities in these encounters? What is the role of embodied practices and body-based narratives in establishing a relational dynamics within the context of TJ? How can such emotional exchanges be directed towards productive and successful conflict transformation?

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SETTLER DEMOCRACY - Alexander Smith (Sociology)

This project will lay the groundwork for a larger research programme that will explore the relationship between democracy and violence. We are interested in interrogating the received wisdom that successful democratic institutions constitute a bulwark against political violence. Noting that democratic reforms such as women’s suffrage, the secret ballot and the legalisation of trade unions were almost always pioneered in frontier/settler contexts before being adopted by the metropolitan centre and enshrined in national constitutions, we will explore the historical interplay between ballots and bullets to unpack this legacy in contemporary debates about the future of Western liberal democracy.

RESEARCH NETWORK UNICAMP-WARWICK ON WORLD LITERATURE - Paulo De Sousa Aguiar de Medeiros (English and Comparative Literary Studies)

Funding towards the establishment of a research network on World Literature between Warwick (Paulo de Medeiros, lead) and UNICAMP in Brazil (Elena Brugioni, lead) to develop common projects.

SCREENING RIGHTS FILM FESTIVAL - Michele Aaron (Film & TV)

Funding to support aspects of the Screening Rights Film Festival.

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URBAN IDENTITIES PAST AND PRESENT - Joe Chick (History)

Funding towards conference entitled ‘Urban Identities Past and Present’ which takes an interdisciplinary consideration of the question ‘in what ways do the concept of identity and the urban space influence one another?’

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SCREENING AND DISCUSSION OF 'THE HOST' - Graeme Macdonald (English and Comparative Literary Studies)

Funding towards Screening and Discussion of Miranda Pennell's film, 'The Host'. As organiser of the international conference Petrocultures 2018 Miranda has been invited to show and discuss the project, as a keynote speaker. The screening is scheduled for August 31st, 2018, though Miranda would also be around for the duration, to offer her thoughts to the creative artists on the programme.

VISITING FELLOW PROF RADHIKA SINGHA - Guillemette Crouzet (History)

Funding towards a visit by Prof. Radhika Singha of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) who will participate in different activities involving the Department of History and the Department of Politics and International Studies at Warwick during her stay.

VISUALITY OF TEXT - Naomi Carless Unwin (Classics)

Funding towards ‘Visuality of Text’ workshop which seeks to address issues around the display of texts from a cross-disciplinary perspective.

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SPON END - Marijn Nieuwenhuis (PAIS)

Funding towards publication costs and launch event for a project that tells the story of one of the oldest parts of Coventry, Spon End. A project that multi-vocally narrates memories and histories, happy and sad, of those who live, work or simply pass through it. The stories, collected in a booklet, will be accompanied with quotes, maps and photos of the area.

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IMAGINING "WE" IN THE AGE OF "I" - Mary Harrod (SMLC)

'Funding to supplement an award of £8,360 from the British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award: 'Imagining "We" in the Age of "I": Romance and Social Bonding in Contemporary Culture'.

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