DIGITAL HUMANITIES AND TRANSFERABLE SKILLS TRAINING
Helen Webster (Research Associate, CRASSH)
I am leading a six-month project on the digital humanities and Transferable Skills Training (TST). The project focuses specifically on the transferability of digital skills, and aims to increase awareness among
early-career researchers of how the digital skills they have learnt in one context (social, academic or professional) can be applied in another.
EARLY CAREER FELLOWS Felicitas Becker (History, Peterhouse)
Recorded Sermons and the History of Islamic Reform in East Africa
I will study recordings of Muslim sermons to examine changes in East African Muslim congregations and their place within the region’s polities in the C20th. Audiotapes have been in use in Tanzania and Kenya since at least the 1980s as a means of spreading various, but especially reformist, doctrinal viewpoints; recently DVDs have become popular. The recordings provide rare information on the history of an under-researched but crucial constituency in East Africa’s history. My aim is not only to translate preachers’ views, but to contrast and contextualise them with the historical record, trace how the views were formed, and understand why they are persuasive enough for the tapes to be traded widely and much referred to in religious debate. The result will be an inside view of C20th East African history from a perspective that rarely enters Anglophone public discourse: that of relatively little-educated Swahili-speaking Muslims. It will also demonstrate that the way in which apparently deracinated, stock- in-trade Islamist views are deployed and become relevant depends on place-specific societal contexts.
Mina Gorji (English, Pembroke College) Poetics of Mess: Accidental Readings
Writing in The Spectator Addison described the appeal of ‘accidental readings’: he discovered poetry on scraps of paper in pie-linings, kites and candle- fringes. It was not simply the chance encounter with a poem that interested him but also the accidental congruence between a poem’s subject and its subsequent material use.
I am interested in the moment when a poem seems to find its occasion, by accident. What is the role of accident in poetic composition? What happens when the world of things obtrudes on and shapes a poem? I will draw on philosophical investigations of accident (such as Ross Hamilton’s), Roger Chartier’s thinking about inscription and erasure and Didi- Huberman’s discussion of the semiotics of the stain.
I will consider the forms and meanings of accident in poetry from Addison to Hardy, offering an account of poetic composition which combines an interest in the materials with and in which writers work with an interest in the relation between form and subject.
Kimberley N Trapp (Law, Newnham College)
Competing Security and Economic Perspectives in International Law’s Response to Globalisation
Security and economics are two different lenses through which the international legal responses to the challenges of globalisation might be examined. Security was long the dominant perspective of the international legal system. In the second half of the C20th, international law has slowly moved beyond these foundations in an attempt to respond to the full complexity of globalisation. These developments in international law have reinforced the increasing import of economics in the globalisation narrative. However, the development of international economic law has focused on trade and investment liberalisation with limited regard for alternative conceptual frameworks.
The aim of my project is to strengthen the lines of communication between specialists and generalist international lawyers. I will focus on the regime interaction between general international law and the increasingly specialised field of international economic law with a view to evaluating the systemic consequences of fragmentation on the capacity of the international legal system to respond to the different priorities of the security and economic perspectives on globalisation.
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