Faculty success as three projects each receive £80k AHRC funding awards

Three projects involving academics from across the Faculty have each received funding from the AHRC Translating Cultures and Care for the Future Innovation Awards on International Development.

The grants have been awarded as a joint initiative between the AHRC's Translating Cultures and Care for the Future themes, and are funded by Global Challenges Research Fund. Applicants were required to demonstrate that their proposed projects have an innovative, collaborative and adventurous approach, as well as a research focus in keeping with the concerns of the Fund, such as global health and agriculture, resilience to natural disasters, forced displacement and international conflicts. Only 13 projects were successful, and Leeds was the only university to receive more than one award.

Troubling the National Brand and Voicing Hidden Histories: Historical Drama as a tool for International Development and Community Empowerment

Professor Paul Cooke (LCS), Professor Stephanie Dennison (LCS) and Professor William Gould (History)

The aim of this project is to support marginalised communities in Brazil, India and South Africa to challenge the way these nations present themselves to the world, thereby raising awareness nationally and internationally of these communities' precarious place in society and to support them in campaigning to effect change in their lives. It will begin with an investigation of how all three nations use their history as an important asset within their 'nation-branding' and 'soft power' initiatives, focussing on the privileged place frequently given to historical dramas made for the large and small screen. Through a process of co-production the project team will then work with marginalised communities to make a series of videos responding to these representations of their countries.

Mobilising Multidirectional Memory to Build More Resilient Communities in South Africa

Professor Stuart Taberner (LCS) and Dr Matthew Boswell (English)

This project will explore how the memory of the Holocaust and the memory of the 1994 Rwandan genocide are today mobilised in post-apartheid South Africa as tools for confronting SA's traumatic past and for promoting both reconciliation and greater awareness of, and commitment to, human rights in the present. The project will examine the work of the South African and Holocaust Genocide Foundation (SAHGF) and specifically its explicit mobilisation of Holocaust memory - responding to the SA government's mandating of Holocaust education in the national curriculum under the heading of human rights - to prompt debate on SA's colonial and apartheid pasts and on the stark social, political and racial divides that continue to afflict the country today.

International Development and Intellectual Property: The Impact of Seed Exchange and Replacement on Innovation among Small-Scale Farmers in India

Professor Gregory Radick (PRHS) and Dr Mrinalini Kochupillai (Max Planck)

One of the major challenges facing global development is the question of how to arrange the laws and customs surrounding intellectual property (IP) in order to encourage innovation. Bringing together Radick's theoretical and conceptual work on IP over the long-run of the history of science and technology, Kochupillai's legal-empirical studies of IP and innovation concerning plant varieties in India, and the resources of the Art of Living Foundation, this project will study a sample of innovative Indian farmers in order to explore the comparative advantages and disadvantages of two ways of organising innovation in a developing nation.