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Jane Moody Scholarships

Named in memory of the HRC’s founding Director, the Jane Moody Scholarships provide funding for PhD students and recent PhD completers to learn new skills or work with external partners or communities that are new to them. Recipients are encouraged to cross traditional boundaries and to be creative and experimental in their approach. The aim of the Scholarships is to develop and enhance workplace skills, with an emphasis on communication skills (spoken, written, visual), so scholars can convey complex ideas in a way that is accessible to a non-specialist.   

The 2020-21 Jane Moody scholarship recipients and their projects are:

Rachel Feldberg, History

Bringing the Rowntree Leisure Time Interviews to Life

Image of a man and two women on a boat with their backs to the camera, the women holding a white cloth which is blowing in the wind.Photo credit  © The Rowntree Society

Working in close collaboration with The Rowntree Society and the Borthwick Institute for Archives, History PhD student Rachel Feldberg will be creating innovative, digital performances, inspired by real-life interviews with ordinary people in post-war Britain, which formed the raw material for Benjamin Seebohm Rowntree’s study of English Life and Leisure (1951). These unique archives document interviewees’ working lives, religious and political beliefs, leisure actitvities, sexual practices, romantic relationships, and hopes and worries for the future in the late 1940s.

Mentored by Dr Guy Schofield from the Department of Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media, and with input from community groups associated with The Rowntree Society, Rachel, a playwright and director, will be developing new skills in digital storytelling to create ‘talking heads’ style monologues, filmed (on smart phones) with professional actors. The resulting mini-dramas will be shared on the Borthwick Institute and Rowntree Society’s websites and social media from September 2021.

Joanne Harrison, Archaeology

Rediscovering the lost streets of Victorian Burmantofts and Sheepscar, Leeds

Edith Terrace, off Bristol Street, Sheepscar, 1929. By kind permission of Leeds Libraries,

Joanne will collaborate with Leeds Local and Family History Library and Leeds Museums and Galleries to design, prepare and run public workshops that use the library’s local history collection to rediscover the streets of the Burmantofts and Sheepscar neighbourhoods that were demolished as part of slum clearance programmes in the 1950-60s.

The project uses an historical archaeology methodology, incorporating a variety of documentary sources such as census records, electoral registers, directories and maps, plus the oral history evidence of participating Leeds residents, interpreting the data in terms of urban design, architecture and social history.

Bringing the discipline into the digital age, the project output will be incorporated into the city’s historical photographic online archive ‘Leodis.’ The output will be publicised using the library’s weekly blog, and a small temporary exhibition for Leeds Museums and Galleries will detail the findings of the project, complementing the permanent displays / exhibitions.

Janet Remmington, English and Related Literature

Noni Jabavu in York and Beyond – Black Briton, South African, Globetrotter

Noni Jabavu as editor of New Strand magazine, 1961. Photo: Getty Images

My project shines a public spotlight on the acclaimed, now largely forgotten, British-South African writer Noni Jabavu (1919-2008). As a BBC broadcaster, columnist, editor of literary magazine The New Strand, and author of two highly praised memoirs, Noni lived in and visited scores of countries, speaking of “the peripatetic print” of her feet. She also wrote of belonging to “two worlds with two loyalties; South Africa where I was born and England where I was educated”.

The project brings to life part of York’s little-known black history, while exploring questions of identity and belonging in a life and world on the move. In collaboration with the Borthwick Institute for Archives, The Mount School, biographer Makhosazana Xaba, and scholar Dr Athambile Masola, I uncover Noni Jabavu’s footprint as an international schoolgirl in 1930s’ York, as well as investigating the multiple spheres of her prominent adult life on the go. The project brings together archival excavation, biography, scholarship, and the York civic community to illuminate the life and work of this intriguing figure and questions she provokes us to think about today.

Janet Remmington recently completed a PhD on black South African literary and intellectual history through the lens of travel, and plans a monograph based on her study. She is co-editor of the award-winning volume Sol Plaatje’s Native Life in South Africa: Past and Present (2016) and has published a number of journal articles, book chapters, and reviews on African textual cultures, history, and travel. In addition to her research and writing, she works in academic publishing.


Mary Emmett and Xiaojing Liu, Music

Exploring the Hunting Songs of the Lakeland Fell Packs

Mary Emmett has almost completed a PhD focused on the Hunting Songs of the Lakeland Fell Packs – a tradition which has never previously been academically researched. It has involved collecting over 300 songs, many of which share tunes with each other. When it came to cataloguing the collection, Mary discovered that there was no existing system that could effectively catalogue tunes so that they might be musically searchable. 

Mary will be working with Xiaojing Liu to develop a system that would solve this problem for future song researchers/collectors, part of which would be to create a programme which could be integrated into existing library catalogues.

Once they have developed the programme, they plan to present a workshop at Queen Elizabeth School in Kirkby Lonsdale, at University of York’s Library and Borthwick Institute, and to submit a paper about the system to the Music Encoding Conference.