Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 3.97M | Year: 2013
The strong temporal dynamics of the East African landscape and natural-resource distributions have always encouraged people to innovate and adapt to changing conditions. However, increasing population growth, changes in patterns of land tenure, industrialization, weak systems of governance, and global climate change have exacerbated previously localized environmental problems such as soil erosion, depletion of water catchments, loss of forests and grazing land, falling soil fertility and biodiversity. Novel approaches for resolving these challenges are thus urgently needed. Based on the premise that the past is key to understanding the present and planning for the future, this ITN will establish a leading European training network devoted to combining state-of-the-art research methods to tap into under-appreciated knowledge of how indigenous peoples have previously adapted to East Africas intrinsically unstable climate and land/water resources. By bringing together ecologists, archaeologists, anthropologists, geographers, historians and agronomists the ITN will provide cross-disciplinary training to a new generation of researchers, enabling them to interpret data relating to past and present socio-cultural and ecological dynamics from across the environmental and social sciences and the humanities. Organized by researchers from seven European universities in partnership with Bayer East Africa and U&We, the ITN will co-operate closely with academic counterparts, private-sector stakeholders, NGOs and local communities in East Africa. It will highlight how detailed awareness of the complex history of human-environment interaction in East Africa is central to well-founded and ecologically sustainable resource management, thereby restore the important function of indigenous know-how crucial for devising development policies and climate-risk management for specific areas, and train a new generation of future ecosystem-service managers, policy makers and entrepreneurs.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 4.04M | Year: 2013
The Digital Scholarly Editions Initial Training Network (DiXiT) is concerned with one of the most dynamic and pioneering research areas at the intersection of the humanities and computer sciences focused on digital scholarly editions. While the digital turn has challenged the theoretical understanding of and the methodological approach to the core research activity in most of the humanities, there is hardly any university institution which is able to provide the infrastructure and the resources in order to train the next generation of young scholars and researchers in all subjects and methods of this quickly developing field according to the needed standards. Therefore, only an international training network can provide this infrastructure and the scholarly resources for doctoral training and supervision. For this reason ten leading European institutions from universities and academies closely collaborating with the private sector and cultural heritage institutions intend to form one of the most innovative training networks for a new generation of scholars in the field of digital scholarly editing. DiXiT training programme offers a combination of network-wide training modules (Camps & Conventions) and local specialist training in connection with individual research projects, which not only will stand out in Europe, but will be able to compete with the worldwide leading centres and networks in the field of Digital Humanities research, cultural heritage, software and publishing industries. Moreover, DiXiT will help to create a training trajectory for the emerging supra-disciplinary field of Digital Humanities and thus anchoring it in an institutionalized, structured education scheme. The participating SMEs have a genuine interest in the achievement of the objectives of DiXiT because they actually need to recruit new professions in the domain of digital scholarly editions, with international and cross-disciplinary preparation, which is still not fully available on the professional market. This provides sound basis and guarantees a concrete approach to the exploitation and sustainability plan of the project.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERC-STG | Phase: ERC-StG-2014 | Award Amount: 1.48M | Year: 2015
This project will undertake the first systematic investigation of the various literary documents that circulated simultaneously in more than one language in Tuscany, and especially Florence, between the mid-13th Century and the beginning of 15th Century. During that period, Florence was both a prominent literary centre in the vernacular, and home to a renewal of classical Latin eloquence. While both fields are well studied, their interaction remains largely unexplored. This research, at the convergence of several disciplines (literature, philology, linguistics and medieval history), has a strong pioneering character. It aims at changing the perception of medieval Italian culture and interpretation of the break between medieval Culture and Humanism. For this reason, the project will develop research in varying degrees of depth. First, it will provide the first catalogue of bilingual texts and manuscripts of medieval Tuscany. Organized as a database, this tool of analysis will stir innovative research in this field, some of which will be immediately promoted during the project. Secondly, two case studies, considered as important and methodologically exemplary, will be researched in detail, through the publication of two important set of texts, of secular and religious nature : 1. The vernacular translation of the Latin Epistles of Dante Alighieri; 2. A collection of polemical, historiographical, devotional and prophetical documents produced by the Tuscan dissident Franciscans in last decades of the 14th Century. Finally, the entire team, led by the PI, will be involved in the preparation of a synthesis volume on Tuscan culture in the fourteenth century viewed through bilingualism, entitled Cartography of bilingual culture in Fourteenth-Century Tuscany. From this general map of the Italian culture of the time, no literary genre nor field (be it religious or lay) shall be excluded.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2014 | Award Amount: 778.50K | Year: 2015
The project INCAS aims at creating a top-level research and advanced training network on institutional change in Asia, in comparative perspective with Europe. The coordinator, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (France), promotes this network together with Oxford University, Freie Universitt Berlin, in collaboration with Waseda University (Japan). The partners have chosen Japan as a reference point because of its comparability with Europe as shown by previous studies, its historical influence on development and further institutional changes in Asia, and the expertise accumulated within our research team. Our approach, which refers to the literature on comparative capitalism, is fundamentally interdisciplinary by nature, as it aims at gathering economists, economic historians, political economy specialists, sociologists, and lawyers, who are specialized in various fields such as finance, labor economics and sociology, Asian studies, etc. Our major aim is to propose a new theory of institutional change that better takes into account diverse dimensions that have been overlooked by previous attempts such as: the historical experience of institutional change in Asia that went hand in hand with growth and development; the relations between (especially financial) liberalization and corporate diversity; the interaction between political economy, socio-economic and legal variables. It requires not only the interdisciplinary approach described above but also an empirical investigation that mobilizes a database for corporate characteristics. Each institutional member of INCAS has developed its own research strategy on a similar object (institutional change in Asia and Europe) and the goal of this project is to organize a knowledge transfer within our team (and later outside the research team) in order to build a comprehensive research program.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-IF-EF-ST | Phase: MSCA-IF-2014-EF | Award Amount: 185.08K | Year: 2015
The aim of the project is to study the ways in which the institutions of the early modern Spanish Empire identified the legitimate heirs of mobile individuals coming from the Iberian peninsula who died suddenly, often without making a will, while they were in the monarchys extra-European territories, thousands of kilometres away from their home towns and the places where their heirs lived. In the context of a global scale empire, and in the absence of reliable official documentation such as civil and property registers, both the property and identity of these mobile individuals was extremely uncertain. Who were the deceased? What property did they own? Who and where were their heirs? When they died thousands of kilometres away from Europe, how did the institutions transmit the inheritance to their legitimate heirs? How could the courts be sure who they were? How could heirs demonstrate their identities in order to safeguard their rights to succession? For those hundreds of thousands of subjects of the Catholic Monarchy now on the move around four different continents and for their families too identifying themselves and demonstrating their identities was an urgent and growing need. Demonstrating their identities in court was a fundamental pre requisite for heirs claiming inherited property and, even more importantly, ensuring legitimate property inheritance was a central priority of the institutions themselves. Over the course of the sixteenth century, in fact, the Catholic Monarchy set up specific courts, the so-called Juzgados de Bienes de Difuntos (courts charged with handling the estates of the dead), to take temporary possession of goods left without owners and for the purposes of identifying their legitimate heirs. This project will analyse the extraordinary and as yet little used documentation produced by these courts and concentrate its attention on the case of colonial Mexico, a crucible of empire building.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-IF-EF-CAR | Phase: MSCA-IF-2015-EF | Award Amount: 185.08K | Year: 2016
The project aims at an in-depth inquiry into a 17th-century unpublished manuscript bearing the translation of Petronius Satyricon into Italian. The translation represents a unique document, not only because it is likely to be the first version of Petronius into a modern language, but also because it proves the diffusion of the Satyricon even within the public of popular readers. The Satyricon - commonly ascribed to Petronius Arbiter (c. 27-66 AD) - is one of the earliest works classifiable as a novel and is considered a masterpiece of the Latin literature, if not of literature itself. Because of its erotic and irreverent contents, in the age of the Counter-Reformation the Satyricon was included in the list of the books forbidden by the Catholic Church. But, for the very same reason, in the 17th Century, Petronius enjoyed great success among French and Italian libertine lites (freethinkers). Surprisingly enough, the Italian translation proves that Petronius forbidden novel also reached un-latined readers. In fact, the material features of the manuscript show that the translation was copied by a professional scribe for clandestine diffusion and that it actually circulated across Italy. Moreover, the quality of the translation shows that its anonymous author was not a person of letters or a scholar, since in several passages he completely misunderstands Petronius text. Further, the Italian used by the translator displays regional (Venetian) elements that are far from the Italian literary tradition. The research will be conducted by the means of an interdisciplinary approach, combining the research methods of philology, linguistics, history of the book, history of literature and socio-cultural history. The project will bring a substantial contribution in the field of Early Modern History, showing the emergency of the new public of popular readers and concretely tracking down the circulation of heterodox ideas in the Age of the Counter-Reformation.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-IF-EF-ST | Phase: MSCA-IF-2014-EF | Award Amount: 173.08K | Year: 2015
My research project aims at contributing to understanding the role played by mass communications in contemporary humanitarian crises, through a comparative study of representations of pain in the history of Western iconography. The main objective is to analyse a corpus of humanitarian communications and identify their models in the history of the iconography of past centuries. Specifically, I intend to study the relationship between the images of contemporary humanitarianism and representations of the Passion in the history of Western visual arts. My hypothesis is that Christian iconography constitutes a database of images on which the media rely implicitly to create situations charged with pathos and suffering and to suggest a moral attitude to the audience. The qualifying methodology of my work is to compare images from different historical periods. Using the approach of Visual Studies I will be able to increase the knowledge of Christian iconography in the light of humanitarian communications, and to understand the effectiveness of the latter in a direct comparison with the repertoire of the Passion in Western art. The research will focus on a set of multimedia documents (NGOs campaigns, films, paintings...). The general hypothesis will be developed according to four sub-objectives: 1) To analyse the narrative, passional and axiological organisation of Christian iconography as expressed in exemplary works. 2) To analyse humanitarian communications of European catastrophes. 3) To analyse humanitarian communications concerning Africa. 4) To study Humanitarian communications as re-interpreted by contemporary artists. This research project is a significant opportunity to advance the European scientific tradition in Visual Studies. Through the achievement of the sub-objectives, I will study the cultural roots of humanitarianism, improving the understanding of communications in traumatic situations and contributing to the implementation of EU polices and practices.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-IF-EF-ST | Phase: MSCA-IF-2014-EF | Award Amount: 185.08K | Year: 2016
Aesthetic behaviours and expressive activities carry out a crucial role in human cultural evolution. Aesthetic cognition is important for intersubjective attunement already in early childhood, and attends to cultural emergence and transmission of ideas, practices and norms. However, anthropological scholars havent ever investigated the cognitive dynamics whereby aesthetic behaviours shape the symbolic processes of constitution and re-enactment of cultural heritage. The proposed research project seeks to address this lacuna by dealing with key issues relating to the role of aesthetic behaviours in cultural transmission. The study focuses on how aesthetic and expressive elements are mobilized in the course of social interaction creatively transforming and communicating knowledge. The originality of the proposed approach lies in the interdisciplinary methodology that has not been used in previous studies of the subject matter. For the first time, a naturalistic and cross-cultural model of aesthetic behaviour will be applied to the context of cultural evolution. Existing naturalistic studies of aesthetics are characterized by a reductionist approach, whereas research on cultural transmission suffers due to the divide between cultural and evolutionary perspectives. This project aims to overcome the traditional opposition of evolutionary psychology versus ethnography through an interdisciplinary study of the multimodal, expressive, symbolic, and non-verbal practices whereby human beings collectively perform and share knowledge. The principal result of the project will be the first systematic and comparative analysis of aesthetic behaviours as operative components of cultural transmission. This result will be of interest to a broad scientific audience and will enhance several branches of European research and education, including aesthetics, cultural evolution, anthropology of art, and cultural heritage, by combining research methods derived from different disciplines.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-IF-GF | Phase: MSCA-IF-2014-GF | Award Amount: 201.02K | Year: 2016
In contemporary warfare the power to destroy cities exists alongside with the power to built urban places ex nihilo. In the 70s and 80s, various Latin American States forcedly displaced people to villages created as an instrument of counterinsurgency; at the same time massacres and forced disappearances occurred in these regions. How does the simultaneous creation of strategic villages and clandestine burial sites affect the ways of inhabiting and imagining space in the aftermath of political violence? My study aims at analysing for the first time the connexion between mass violence and the forced creation of built environment. Based on qualitative fieldwork undertaken in Tucumn (Argentina) and Ayacucho (Peru) and framed within social anthropology, sociology and human geography, this research will produce a seminal in-depth study of the daily life among the strategic villages in Latin America, by analysing the experience of subjects that were forced to inhabit there.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IOF | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IOF | Award Amount: 360.58K | Year: 2014
My proposal focuses on the uses of Spinozas thought in French and German sociological literature from the last three decades of the 19th century up to the end of the First World War. It was in these countries and this period that sociology was progressively institutionalized as an academic discipline. Sociologys claim for institutional and epistemological autonomy provoked an inevitably tension with political philosophy. The quest for a different conception of normativity was at the core of this querelle. In opposition to the classical conception of political normativity, sociologists posited that moral and legal norms were not imposed by legislators or established by philosophers, but should be analysed as the historical effects of the societys power to self create. Spinoza was a crucial reference for the early sociologists Tnnies and Worms, Simmel and Tarde and their endeavor to provide a theoretical foundation for the new discipline. Interestingly, however, this reference progressively disappears from the sociological debate from the 1890s onwards, and Spinozism was replaced by normative and Neo-Kantian approaches, as, partially, in Durkheim or definitely in Weber. In this project I intend to provide the first rigorous historical investigation of Spinozas uses in classical sociology, thus offering a new paradigm for the philosophy of social sciences. My project aims to answering two sets of questions: 1. Why were classical sociologists drawing on Spinoza? What theoretical devices did Spinozism provide and how did these conceptual tools match the theoretical and epistemological expectations of classical sociology? 2. How are we to interpret the fact that Spinozism was defeated by Kantianism? How can Spinoza and Kant be considered as supporting alternative conceptions of social normativity shaping the realm of classical sociology and how does this alternative still operate in contemporary debates on the philosophy of social sciences?