Posted on 20 January 2011
The new Fellows are Alex Beaumont (nominated by the Department of English and Related Literature); Richard Flockemann (nominated by the Department of Philosophy); Jenny Hillman (nominated by the Department of History); Ellie McCullough (nominated by the Department of History of Art); and Rein Ove Sikveland (nominated by the Department of Language and Linguistic Science). The judges for the final round of the Fellowship competition comprised a panel of academics, chaired by Jane Moody, the Director of the Humanities Research Centre. They were joined by Ken Dixon, formerly Chair of the University Council.
The top prize of £1000 was awarded to Ellie McCullough from the Centre for Medieval Studies. Ellie's supervisors are Dr Tim Ayers from History of Art and Professor Jocelyn Wogan-Browne from the Department of English and Related Literature.
Prizes were presented at a drinks reception which was held in the Tulip Tree Garden outside the Berrick Saul Building.
The finalists gave presentations to the audience on a very wide range of projects including urban culture in contemporary British Fiction (Alex Beaumont); avowals and the nature of self-knowledge (Richard Flockemann): female sociability and piety in seventeenth-century France (Jenny Hillman); laypeople's participation in medieval church services (Ellie McCullough); and non-vocal signals in face-to face Norwegian interaction (Rein Ove Sikveland).
The judges were particularly impressed by Ellie McCullough's reconstruction of a medieval mass at All Saints' North Street, York, in 2009, an event which received national press attention and provided a fantastic example of public engagement with audiences beyond the university. The judges commented: "This is exactly the kind of innovative research which we want to reward and celebrate through the Humanities Research Centre Doctoral Fellowships."
Alex Beaumont gave an immensely lively presentation about the city as a site for identity in contemporary British writers including Hanif Kureshi and JG Ballard. Alex is supervised by Dr Jane Elliott from the Department of English and Related Literature. The judges were impressed by the originality of his readings of these novels as literary and political thought experiments. They were also pleased to note Alex’s excellent contributions in his role as a postgraduate representative within the English department.
Jane Moody said, "The final of the Doctoral Fellowship competition challenges some of our best PhD students to communicate what is important and new about their research project to an audience of staff and students from across the humanities. The originality, range and ambition of these projects exemplify the dynamism of research in the humanities at York."