Page from diary manuscript depicting mountains.


Research Fellows

Dr Sophie Therese Ambler, Lancaster University

Dr Sophie Thérèse Ambler is a historian of the Middle Ages, with interests ranging widely across medieval Christendom, taking in the history of warfare, the Church, politics and society, through the prism of ideas and culture. She is Lecturer in Later Medieval History at Lancaster University, Deputy Director of the Centre for War and Diplomacy at Lancaster University, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

As a Research Fellow at The Ruskin, Sophie is working on an exhibition and related events programme on the subject of ‘Killing at a Distance’.

Killing at a Distance

Dr Barnita Bagchi, Visiting Fellow, Utrecht University.

Dr Barnita Bagchi's research investigates mobilities in transcultural utopian imagination in early 20th century India and Britain. Writings by South Asian, Indian, transcultural writer and community-builder Rabindranath Tagore, 1861-1941, and his entanglements and exchanges with British social dreaming in 1930-32 are at the centre. Tagore’s colleagues and associates M.K. Gandhi and C.F. Andrews, fellow-utopians, as well as John Ruskin, who influenced Gandhi, also figure prominently.

Barnita's research fellowship at The Ruskin explores the legacies of Ruskin’s ideas about political economy on the transcultural, utopian imagination of early 20th-century India and Britain.

Transcultural Utopian Imagination

Professor Mike Hughes, Lancaster University

Michael Hughes is Professor of Modern History at Lancaster University and a specialist on the history of Russia and Anglo-Russian relations. He has also written extensively on the role of the churches in international conflict in the 20th century, including the development of Christian Realist perspectives that address the challenge of applying absolute moral injunctions to complex conflicts, particularly in the modern period when technological change has increased the destructive potential of war.

As Research Fellow in The Ruskin, Mike is contributing to the collaborative cross-disciplinary project and exhibition, ‘Killing at a Distance’ linked to his research on the development of terrorism in Russia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, , led by Sophie Ambler (Centre for War and Diplomacy) and Sandra Kemp (The Ruskin), which takes as its starting point Ruskin’s polemical essay on war.

Killing at a Distance

Professor Judith Mottram, Lancaster University

Judith Mottram is Professor of Visual Arts at Lancaster University and Director of the Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts. Her research interests include colour, drawing and pattern, and the inter-relationships between subject knowledge, creativity, research and practice. She is a member of the UK HEFCE REF 2021 sub-panel for Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory, a Fellow of the Design Research Society, a member of the Coventry Cathedral Fabric Advisory Committee, and a Trustee of Lakeland Arts.

As a Research Fellow in The Ruskin, she is contributing to A Model Archive, exploring learning from design prototypes and related archive material. Her interest in colour and pattern and a concern for endangered subject knowledge is also contributing to the co-development of the research project, Blanket Technologies: Capturing Heritage Textile Techniques, with Sandra Kemp. The series of displays of Welsh Blankets in The Ruskin event spaces in 2019 and 2020 provide a backdrop to reconsidering the role of regional identity, tourism and functionality attributed to high value textiles.

A Model Archive

Blanket Technologies: Capturing Heritage Textile Techniques