From the Director

Each month Professor Gregory Radick surveys new developments in and around the LHRI.

When I started as LHRI Director in the summer of 2014, the LHRI had a number of well-established traditions, among them this monthly newsletter.  As a reader, I always found it really useful.   But switching over to the writer’s side, I thought there might be room for a small addition:  a few paragraphs of Directorial introduction, to draw attention to upcoming events, explain the thinking behind this or that innovation, celebrate the research-funding successes of Faculty colleagues, and generally be upbeat about the interdisciplinary life of the mind and what the LHRI was doing to support it.
Thirty-plus “From the Director”s later, it’s the summer of 2017, and this is my last one, my final dispatch.  I hope you’ve enjoyed these little missives.   Much more importantly, I hope you’ve been at least occasionally intrigued or even excited by what the LHRI has got up to these past three years.  Physically it’s a different place now, with more space available for the use of postdoctoral fellows and visiting researchers, a coffee-machined lounge area on the top floor, and art on the walls.   The arrival of the Cultural Institute, occupying the south wing of the LHRI, makes visible the Faculty’s conviction that new knowledge and new partnerships go hand in hand.   From the autumn the seminar spaces will be humming with intellectual activity, much of it associated with still-youthful programmes including the Sadler Seminars, the work-in-progress seminars for the LHRI Fellows, and the “how-to-get-a-grant” workshops, along of course with the usual run of one-off seminars, reading groups, workshops, speculative lunches etc.  Beyond the LHRI’s premises, there’ll be new activity too, including the annual LHRI/BA Lecture in mid-October (see details below).
All of that – and much more no doubt, from the incoming Director, Prof. Alison Fell, and the continuing Deputy Director, Prof. Sita Popat -- is to come.  In the meantime, it’s a pleasure to congratulate Faculty colleagues on recent grant successes, including, in Design, Richard Blackburn and Chris Carr on multiple awards in support of textiles research, and Catherine Stones on an AHRC award on “lifting the lid on bacteria”; in English, Karl O’Hanlon on a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship to work on twentieth-century poetry and public life, and Tess Somervell on a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship to work on eighteenth-century poetry and the weather;  in FAHACS, Claudia Steinberg on her involvement in an AHRC award on hidden histories; in History, Fraser McNair and Devyani Gupta on Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships to work on, respectively, political and religious authority in Britain and France circa AD 1000, and the Indian opium trade in national and international perspective; and in SMC, Kate Oakley on her involvement in an ESRC award on sustainable prosperities.  

Finally, on matters grants-wise, please note that Philippa Bradley will be filling in for Vicky Smith in the Faculty Research Office, as Vicky has been seconded to another bit of the uni for a spell.
The LHRI newsletter traditionally takes August as holiday.  And so I say in its voice: see you in September!  And – if you’re still with me – I add in my voice: many thanks for reading, listening, emailing, attending, speaking, applying, helping, and all those many and varied other collegial activities on which the LHRI depends, and which make the position of Director such a pleasure and a privilege for anyone lucky enough to hold it.

Greg Radick / x33269