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Three ICOG researchers awarded NIAS fellowships

13 July 2022

Three researchers from the Groningen Institute for the Study of Culture, Dr Eleftheria Ioannidou, Dr Ksenia Robbe and Dr Megan Williams, have been awarded individual NIAS fellowships. This allows them to carry out projects at NIAS (Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Science) in an interdisciplinary, collaborative, slow-science environment.

NIAS offers individual fellowships to scholars who wish to carry out independent research in the humanities and the social sciences. For five or ten months, scholars are offered time and space to work on their own research project as part of an interdisciplinary community.

Eleftheria Ioannidou
In the project 'Performing Classical Visions: Uses of Antiquity in Fascism and Neofascism,' Eleftheria Ioannidou investigates propriations of antiquity in the contexts of historical fascism and the contemporary far right, looking at invocations of the classical past within live events.

The project consists of two parts. In the first part it investigates the attempts of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy to revive classical worlds, for example in classical re-enactments in monumental spaces. In the second part, Ioannidou examines the use of antiquity in the political gatherings and cultural events of neo-fascist movements in contemporary Europe. Ioannidou examines the mechanisms of live performance that are used to revive the ancient past and its importance in conveying the ideas of the neo-fascist movements regarding national, cultural and racial supremacy.

Ksenia Robbe
The project 'Other Transitions: Remembering the 1980-90s Crises and Reimagining Sociality in Russia and South Africa' examines how the media of literature, film and visual art in Russia and South Africa re-engage with the 1980s and 90s as objects of remembering and exploring what was lost and gained in the course of neoliberal transformations. It approaches these representations as the sites of imagining what transitions could be otherwise, in particular what work memory can do to repair and re-conceive socialities that have deteriorated over decades. The project advances research in memory studies by focusing on ‘the everyday’ as a site of re-engaging questions of justice and hope. By comparing cultural processes in South Africa and Russia during the 2010s, it conceptualises memory of transitions as a space for critical dialogues between Eastern Europe and the Global South.

Megan Williams
What impact did the late medieval spread of paper have on Eurasian diplomatic practices, ca.1460-1560? This question is at the heart of Megan Williams’s book project 'Unfolding the Place of Paper in Renaissance Diplomacy and Statecraft.'

Europe saw a significant shift from largely-oral to largely-written diplomacy ca.1460-1560. This shift is usually ascribed to emerging states’ security concerns. The new reporting practices so pivotal to this early modern diplomatic shift, however, presupposed a contemporaneous development in political communications and political knowledge- management which scholars have long taken for granted: the growing availability of paper.

Williams will be completing a research monograph which traces how this relatively-new material communications technology shaped diplomacy, political communications, and governance in a crucial period of Eurasian political change. Today we take for granted many habits of thinking about, ordering, and using information which have their roots in early modern paper-borne information management. The matter of media mattered in the past, and matters still today.

Last modified:13 July 2022 09.13 a.m.
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