Ferguson Centre Director awarded an AHRC Research Networking for International Development (GCRF) grant

Centre Director Dr. Sandip Hazareesingh has been awarded an AHRC Research Networking for International Development (GCRF) grant for a 12-month pilot project on ‘Changing Farming Lives in South India, Past and Present’. The project’s main aim is to explore the potential of various aspects of history, film, and sound, to document and support small farmer creativity and resilience to food, biodiversity and climate issues in south India. It will be carried out in collaboration with a Karnataka-based NGO, Green Foundation, which works with local smallholders to promote biodiversity conservation and sustainable agriculture. The AHRC peer reviewer for the project wrote: ‘This is an ambitious project which has the potential to produce long-term beneficial contributions to knowledge of significant cultural practices, as well as contributing to the sustainability of those practices through a heritage record of them’.

John Slight awarded Trevor Reese Memorial Prize

The Institute of Commonwealth Studies (ICWS) has awarded Dr John Slight the Trevor Reese Memorial Prize for his publication for his book ‘The British Empire and the Hajj’, which explores the interactions between imperialism and Islamic practice.

Established by the institute in 1979 the prize, awarded every three years, recognises the author of a piece of work that has made a wide-ranging, innovative and scholarly contribution in the field of Imperial and Commonwealth History. It is dedicated to Dr Trevor Reese, a distinguished scholar of Australian and Commonwealth history, who was Reader in Imperial Studies at ICWS until his death in 1976. He was the author of several leading works, and was both founder and first editor of the Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History.

Professor Philip Murphy, the institute’s director, said: “The panel of judges has identified an extremely worthy recipient of this year’s Trevor Reese Memorial Prize in John Slight’s excellent book. It is a remarkably thorough and engaging piece of multi-archival scholarship, and a major contribution to our understanding of how the British Empire interacted with the Muslim world. I would like to offer my warmest congratulations to Dr Slight.”

Commenting on his award, Dr Slight said that “I am very honoured to receive this prize. The interactions between imperialism and Islamic practice form an important part of the imperial experience, which I explored in ‘The British Empire and the Hajj’, but is a phenomena that extends far beyond the case of Britain alone. I am extremely pleased that this particular historical story has been recognised by the Institute of Commonwealth Studies.”

New collaborative Studentship with the Imperial War Museum

Thomas Probert will be joining us in October, to study ‘The Impact of Post-war counterinsurgency on British Service Personnel’. The doctoral supervisory team is Karl Hack (History), Alex Tickell (English), and Simon Innes-Robins (Imperial War Museum).  Thomas has an MSc in War and Psychiatry, and experience of service in the British Army, and so brings a wide range of experience and training to bear. This is a particularly exciting collaboration for us, combining as it does History, English, and heritage and memory.

Funding success for Rosalind Crone

Rosalind Crone has been awarded ÂŁ177,131 from the AHRC for an Early Career Fellowship to research on  ‘Educating Criminals in Nineteenth Century England’.

Further details on the project can be found here:



Funding success for Karl Hack and Alex Tickell

Karl Hack (and Alex Tickell of the OU English Department) have been awarded an AHRC-funded collaborative studentship with the Imperial War Museum, to the value of £55,000.

Consequently, Kathryn Butler will be joining us in October 2014 to start a thesis on ‘The Impact of postwar counterinsurgency on the psyche of the British military’.


Prize: History student wins OU poster competition

Congratulations are due to Alice Smalley, a History research student, who won the Arts category in the recent OU Postgraduate Poster Competition and goes forward to compete in the Midlands Hub final on 12 July. Her entry demonstrated the use of GIS to determine where crimes reported in the 19th-century illustrated Police News actually took place.


OU Teaching Award

The module ‘Understanding Global Heritage’ (AD281) and Elluminate have been in the OU news recently. In 2009 Dr Susie West and IET’s John Pettit led the introduction of the live voice-based conferencing system, Elluminate, in AD281, working with Heritage tutors Kate Crawley, Stella Gambling and Brian Gurrin and the AD281 ALs.

This month John received an OU Teaching Award in recognition of his lengthy record of innovation in teaching and learning, including his work on AD281. The Arts Faculty is continuing to innovate in the area of Elluminate, with a large-scale pilot under way in the current presentation of AA100 The Arts past and present. Both John and AD281 tutor Richard Marsden are working in this pilot.


Research award for ‘Museum, Field, Metropolis, Colony: Practices of social governance’

Rodney Harrison is one of the partner investigators on the research project ‘Museum, Field, Metropolis, Colony: Practices of social governance’, which was recently awarded $AUD238,000 funding over three years by the Australian Research Council Discovery Projects.

The project will comprise a comparative international study of the role played by anthropology museums in the cultural governance of both colonial and metropolitan populations during the early fieldwork phase of anthropology. It will address these questions in relation to Australian, New Zealand, French, British and North American museums in the first half of the twentieth century.


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