Mid-Career Fellowships awarded to talented academics in humanities and social sciences

The British Academy has awarded Mid-Career Fellowships to three outstanding academics whose research will contribute towards public understanding of the humanities and social sciences.

A bookshelf full of books on social science

The British Academy is the national academy for the humanities and social sciences. Their Mid-Career Fellowships, worth on average £116,000 for a period of 6-12 months, are designed both to support talented individual researchers with excellent research proposals, and to promote public understanding of – and engagement with – subjects in the humanities and social sciences.

The scheme will allow our academics time to focus on a major piece of research by obtaining time away from teaching and administration commitments. Research by Mid-Career Fellows will help tackle some of the most pressing international challenges whilst promoting public understanding, and interest in, the humanities and social sciences.

In previous years, research undertaken by British Academy Mid-Career Fellows has led to critically-acclaimed books, big-budget European documentaries and BBC radio shows.

We wish our Mid-Career Fellows every success and look forward to seeing the results of their work.

British Academy Mid-Career Fellows:

Dr Emma Moore

School of English

Grammar and the everyday: Exploring the social meaning of syntax

Using ethnographic data, Dr Emma Moore's project challenges the assumption that children will become proficient users of Standard English if only they are exposed to Standard English and recognise the relative formality of a situation.

It offers the first comprehensive account of the rich social and pragmatic functions of grammatical variation in everyday conversation, revealing the range of attitudes and stances (such as compassion and excitement) communicated by nonstandard English.

The project will raise awareness of, and address, the potential social and educational disadvantage experienced by those who use nonstandard English.

Dr Peter Verovsek

Department of Politics and International Relations

The Public Philosopher: Jürgen Habermas on Postwar European Politics

"I am very excited to have the opportunity to jump-start my new project with the support of a mid-career fellowship from the British Academy.

“My research will evaluate the role that philosophy can and should play in the modern public sphere by focusing on the work of Germany's leading postwar philosopher, Jürgen Habermas. Although much has been written about his theoretical work, I will be focusing on Habermas's journalistic interventions in political debates, where he participates as a fellow citizen, not as a philosopher who already has all the answers.

“This approach to public debate, which presents arguments in favour of certain proposals relying on technocratic necessity, provides an alternative model for public intellectuals at a time when publics around the world are increasingly sceptical of experts."

Dr Ting Xu

School of Law

Harold Laski and His Chinese Disciples: Using Biographical Methods to Study the Evolution of Rights in Republican China (1911-1949)

“I am delighted with the award and very much looking forward to the work.

"Harold Laski was one of the most important public intellectuals in the English speaking world. His profound influence and legacy in China, however, has been under-researched for decades.

"My project examines Laski’s long-forgotten impact on China. It focuses on Laski’s influence on the evolution of rights, one of the key concepts that emerged in China’s search for modernity and democracy. It uses biographical methods, drawing on published biographies of the Chinese intellectuals who were highly influenced by Laski, as well as official records, personal letters and documentaries.

"Through public engagement, this project will stimulate the interest of, and engagement with, the study of Laski and the British Left’s influence on China and provide new sources and methods for studying the legal history of the China-Britain encounter and its contemporary implications."

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