Two academics from Goldsmiths, University of London are among 30 researchers to share £3.5 million in British Academy funding for innovative new work in the humanities and social sciences.
The highly sought-after Fellowships allow academics to focus on a major piece of work by obtaining time away from teaching and other commitments. In previous years, research undertaken by Mid-Career Fellows has led to critically-acclaimed books, big-budget documentaries and BBC radio shows.
Dejan Djokić is Professor of Modern History and Director of Research for the Department of History at Goldsmiths. His research interests lie in the modern history of the Balkans, in particular the political, social and cultural history of the former Yugoslavia.
Professor Djokić has been awarded £112,600 by the British Academy for the project Tito's Last Soldiers: 14th Military Police Battalion and the end of Yugoslavia, 1990-91. In a novel approach to history writing, he is combining methods of collective biography, autobiography, oral, social and micro history, with the intention of producing a book, public talks, and a stage play which reach audiences beyond academia.
His work traces Yugoslavia’s break-up through the experiences of army conscripts - members of the last Yugoslav generation - stationed in Slovenia at the time the war broke out in 1991. It draws on interviews with former soldiers across Yugoslavia’s complex ethnic and social make-up, as well as his own documents and recollections as an army conscript.
Awarded £109,700 from the British Academy, Dr Michaela Benson’s project, Britain and its overseas citizens: from decolonisation to Brexit, explores who counts as British when ‘Britishness’ is conceptualised as being allied to an island nation, geographically bound by its borders. Britain’s overseas citizens are absent from such understanding, but what happens if these overseas citizens take centre stage within understandings of Britishness? The project will result in a monograph and a podcast series titled Who do we think we are? A story of Britain and its overseas citizens.
Dr Benson is Reader in Sociology at Goldsmiths and a leading scholar in research on British emigration and migrant lives, focussed on questions of citizenship, identity and belonging. She is Managing Editor of the journal The Sociological Review, and research leader for the project BrExpats: freedom of movement, citizenship and Brexit in the lives of Britons resident in the European Union.
Mid-Career Fellowships cover a period of 6-12 months and are designed both to support talented individual researchers with excellent research proposals, and to promote public understanding of – and engagement with – subjects in the humanities and social sciences.
The awards provide opportunities for scholars who have already established a significant track record as an excellent communicator and ‘champion’ in their field, and who are normally within no more than 15 years from completing their PhD. Mid-Career Fellows are required to demonstrate a commitment to public engagement and to communicate their project to a broad audience.