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Posted on 1 August 2010

Department news from August 2010

History of Art nominee wins Humanities Research Centre Doctoral Fellowship competition, 2010.

We are delighted to announce that Doctoral Fellowships have been awarded to five students in the humanities, including History of Art nominee Ellie McCullough, from the Centre for Medieval Studies, who won the top prize of £1000 in the competition. Other winners included Alex Beaumont (nominated by the Department of English and Related Literature); Richard Flockemann (Philosophy); Jenny Hillman (History); and Rein Ove Sikveland (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 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). Prizes were presented at a drinks reception which was held in the Tulip Tree Garden at the end of the morning. 

Ellie won the top prize of £1000 for her project on laypeople's participation in medieval liturgy and devotion. Ellie's supervisors are Dr Tim Ayers from History of Art and Professor Jocelyn Wogan Browne from the Department of English and Related Literature. The judges were particularly impressed by Ellie's reconstruction of a medieval mass at All Saints' North Street, York, in 2009, an event which received national press attention. 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.'

Judges comments about Ellie's presentation:

This is an outstanding and highly original project on the role of the laity in medieval devotion. Ellie's work is breaking new ground in our understanding of how ordinary people understood and participated in the medieval mass. Her research gives us a new understanding of the relationships between word and image in medieval manuscripts, as well as striking new insights into the interaction between lay people and the medieval church. Ellie's reconstruction of a mass at All Saints' in North Street, York, in 2009 is a fantastic example of public engagement with audiences beyond the university. This is exactly the kind of innovative research which we want to reward and celebrate through the Humanities Research Centre Doctoral Fellowships.