Outstanding academics’ Fellowships will SHAPE public understanding and engagement

Mid-Career Fellowship recipients (left to right): Professor Fiona Edmonds, Dr Ala Sirriyeh and Professor Carolyn Pedwell
Mid-Career Fellowship recipients (left to right): Professor Fiona Edmonds, Dr Ala Sirriyeh and Professor Carolyn Pedwell

Three Lancaster University researchers are among 44 ‘outstanding mid-career academics’ to receive prestigious Fellowships from the British Academy.

The British Academy has awarded £5.8 million in Mid-Career Fellowships to academics whose research will promote public engagement with. and understanding of, the Social Sciences, Humanities and the Arts for People and the Economy (SHAPE) disciplines.

At Lancaster the recipients are Professor in Digital Media Carolyn Pedwell, who has just joined the team from the University of Kent, and Senior Lecturer Dr Ala Sirriyeh, both from the Department of Sociology, together with Professor in Regional History Fiona Edmonds, from the Department of History.

The Mid-Career Fellowships, worth a maximum of £160,000 each, will free researchers from normal teaching and administrative commitments, enabling them to pursue a major piece of research that advances understanding in their subject area.

These awards recognise researchers who have achieved distinction as excellent communicators and ‘champions’ in their fields.

Professor Pedwell comes to Lancaster University from the University of Kent where she was Professor of Cultural Studies and Media and a Senior Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies at Newcastle University.

She is the author of three monographs including, most recently, ‘Revolutionary Routines: The Habits of Social Transformation’ (McGill-Queens UP, 2021) and co-editor (with Gregory J. Seigworth) of ‘The Affect Theory Reader 2: Worldings, Tensions, Futures’ (Duke UP, 2023) and (with Simon Dawes) of ‘Lauren Berlant and Media Theory’, a special section of Media Theory (2023).

She will receive £135,520 for her project ‘Speculative Machines and Us: Intuition, AI, and the Making of Computational Cultures’.

She said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have this opportunity to extend my research on intuition and transatlantic genealogies of human-machine relations.

“With the post-millennial emergence of ‘artificial intuition’ enabled by sophisticated machine learning architectures, returning to post-war histories of cybernetics and digital computing can help us better understand contemporary and emergent AI, and their affective, political, and ethical risks and possibilities.

“The British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship will enable me to conduct vital archival research in the UK and North America, which will inform my book in progress, ‘Speculative Machines and Us: Intuition, AI, and the Making of Computational Cultures.”

Dr Sirriyeh joined Lancaster University in 2019 as a Senior Lecturer in Sociology and is a sociologist of migration with a primary focus on child and youth migration.

Her first monograph ‘Inhabiting Borders, Routes Home: Youth, Gender, Asylum’ (Routledge 2013) explores refugee young women's experiences of home in the context of their transitions to adulthood.

Her second monograph ‘The Politics of Compassion: Immigration and Asylum Policy’ (Bristol University Press, 2018) drew on fieldwork in the UK, US, and Australia to explore immigration enforcement and resistance, investigating the central and nuanced role of emotions in this context.

Dr Sirriyeh will receive £139,092 for her project ‘Britain's Child Migrants: Nation and Connected Migrations’.

Through her British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship she will focus on cases of children moving to and from the British Isles (1938-2024) and how these connect to the evolution and shaping of national politics of identity and citizenship in the context of Britain’s journey from empire to ‘Global Britain’.

She said: “I'm delighted to be awarded this fellowship which will give me the opportunity and time to consolidate and develop on over a decade of my work in this research area.

“In the book that I will write during the fellowship I will work across legal and policy categories to highlight and discuss connections between children in various circumstances who have been crossed by Britain's borders. I am also particularly looking forward to producing educational materials for primary school children from the research conducted during this fellowship.”

Professor Fiona Edmonds is Professor in Regional History in the History Department.

She is currently Deputy Head of Department and has been a long-serving Director of the University's Regional Heritage Centre, which celebrates the social and cultural heritage of northern England by engaging with the regional community.

She will receive £122,543 for her project ‘Brittany and the North: Cross-Channel Connections, Eleventh to Thirteenth Centuries’.

She commented: “I am delighted to be awarded a mid-career fellowship, which will enable me to complete my research into links between medieval Brittany and northern England.

“This fellowship gives me the time needed to bring together and develop various aspects of my previous research, and I am very grateful to receive this award.”

Back to News