In addition to supporting the work of early career scholars with its own schemes, MHRA also provides funding to the British Academy to increase the number of BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grants available to modern linguists. These grants are flexible, but typically provide funding for travel and subsistence over a period of one or two years. The scheme is administered by the British Academy, and researchers in the Modern Humanities (whether or not members of MHRA) are warmly encouraged to apply: for more details, see this page at the BA website.

On completion of a funded project, the grantholder writes a brief report, and some notes drawn from recent project reports appear below. We hope that they will be helpful to applicants in giving an idea of the range of projects funded by MHRA via the BA/Leverhulme scheme.

Claire Warden (De Montfort University), Migrating Modernist Performance: British Theatrical Travels through Russia

This project examines the fruitful relationship between British and Russian theatre during the early decades of the twentieth century. It focuses on a diverse range of performance happenings, from polemic agitprop skits to appropriations of Chekhov's plays, from celebratory pageants to challenging symbolist dramas, from vibrant ballets to cinematic living newspapers. Here, the grant mainly funded travel to Moscow and St Petersburg, and resulted in seminars, papers and a public bilingual talk at the Electrotheatre Stanislavsky, broadcast on the Internet.

Fabienne Viala (University of Warwick), Reparations for Slavery in the French Caribbean

An investigation of how the French Caribbean Départements respond to the claim for global reparative justice. Guadeloupe, in particular, is undergoing a multifaceted redefinition of the ways in which slavery shall be remembered, after 170 years of institutionalised amnesia. Public space is being reshaped by political and national memory; contemporary art is an international platform for embodied resilience and multidirectional memory; and citizen-led societies in Guadeloupe are recovering a complex racial heritage. Here, the grant mainly funded travel to the French Caribbean, and led to three papers, a radio phone-in and the main focus of a forthcoming monograph.

Anna-Louise Milne (School of Advanced Study, University of London), Plural Cultures - Plural Spaces

A series of three international study days in association with the Paris-based Institute for Islamic Cultures, gathering scholars in Paris and London from Islamic Studies, sociology, comparative literature and international politics. Questions included the relation between art and faith, access policies to faith-based centres, and community versus local authority-led urban innovation. Funding was mainly needed for accommodation and travel, and the study days, besides their own benefit, have led to a special number of the journal Francospheres.

Jo Catling (University of East Anglia), Unheimliche Heimat - W.G. Sebald's Essays on Austrian Literature in English translation ('Silent Catastrophes')

The German author W.G. Sebald’s fictional output has, since his death in 2001, achieved an extraordinary level of critical attention, mainly through the reception of his four books of prose fiction in the Anglophone world. This project, however, locates Sebald’s work in the context of his working life, exploring crosscurrents between his fictional and academic works. Funding mainly assisted travel to the Sebald archive at Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach and to Europäisches Übersetzerkollegium Straelen, and the project's main output is a translation into English of Sebald's essays for a commercial mass-market publisher.

Kathrin Yacavone (University of Nottingham), Portrait of the Writer: Photography and Literary Culture in France

A combined cultural history of photography and textual authorship, this project explores multifaceted relations amongst renowned literary critics, theorists, novelists and poets – Sainte-Beuve, Balzac, Hugo, Baudelaire, Proust, Gide, Blanchot and Barthes – and innovative portrait photographers, including Félix and Paul Nadar, Gisèle Freund and Daniel Boudinet. The overarching aim is to show that far from being a mere visual appendage to the above-mentioned authors’ published works, photographs were a highly effective and influential means of authorial (self-)construction. The grant funding made possible four research trips to Paris, and to archives such as the Maison de Balzac, Maison de Victor Hugo and the Musée Rodin; and the findings of the project are presented in a forthcoming monograph.

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