Introducing the RAI's Fellows-in-Residence for Trinity Term 2022

Every year, the RAI welcomes a group of Fellows-in-Residence. Fellows-in-Residence benefit from using the scholarly resources of the Vere Harmsworth Library, having a desk space in our building, presenting their work and receiving feedback at our Fellows’ Forums, and being part of our RAI intellectual community as well as that of the University more broadly. Read about the research projects of our current RAI Fellows-in-Residence below.

Alice Béja is Associate Professor of American Studies at the Lille Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po Lille) and a researcher at CERAPS-CNRS. Her research focuses on the US left at the turn of the 20th century; she has worked on the relationship of intellectuals with the US Communist Party in the 1920s and 1930s, on proletarian literature and on the construction of anarchism as an un-American ideology from 1880 to 1920, through the life and writings of Emma Goldman. Her current research project, “Cooking Up a Revolution; Radical Women, Cooking and Food at the Turn of the 20th century,” seeks to analyze food riots in the early 20th century as sites of intersecting political struggles (suffragism, unionism, socialism). At the crossroads of intellectual history, women's history and the history of social movements, this project focuses on how food became a gateway to politics for marginalized groups such as immigrant housewives and on how the symbolism of certain food items (meat, for instance) revealed a reframing of the economic and political expectations of the working classes during the Progressive era, strengthening the weight of consumers in the political arena and the role of women in advocating for bread and butter issues.  

Alice Beja

Nancy Martin is an Assistant Professor of Writing at Rutgers University. During her time at the RAI, she will be examining archival materials relating to the First World War’s armistice, including diaries, letters, and post-war memoirs. Drawing together the fields of literature, cognitive psychology, and medical humanities, she will consider how individual men and women represented the declaration of peace and its immediate aftermath. In particular, she will consider how the act of writing itself functioned in this particularly changed moment of both personal and historical significance. Just as it did at the war’s outset, the diary, letter, and memoir page offered its writer a space of refuge and control, a space for the reassertion and preservation of identity, and this at the close of a tumultuous four-year period of rapid change, sweeping propagandist claims, unprecedented violence, and mass death.

Nancy Martin

Janet Wilson is an emerita professor of English and Postcolonial Studies at the University of Northampton, and Visiting Professor of the Birmingham Institute of Media and English, Birmingham City University. Her research is in the fields of diaspora and postcolonial studies and focuses on the white settler colonies of Australia and New Zealand. Another strand studies contemporary literary representations of poverty, precarity and vulnerability. Projects within these two areas include study of the early reception in the UK and USA of the work of New Zealand modernist short story writer Katherine Mansfield; and an  updating and expansion of her monograph, Fleur Adcock (2007), to consider the recent writing of this New Zealand-born, UK-based poet. Janet is coediting an essay collection on New Zealand medievalism for which she will contribute a study of academic medievalism and decolonising the curriculum, focusing on 20th-century New Zealand medievalists in Oxbridge and North America. Recently Janet has published articles on refugee writing and the ethics of representation and she is currently co-editing a volume on Planetary Precarity and Future Habitability. In October 2019-April 2022 Janet was PI of the AHRC-funded Diaspora Screen Media Network that focused on Black British and British Asian visual screen studies. Janet is the editor in chief of the Journal of Postcolonial Writing, co-editor of the book series, Studies in World Literature (Ibidem-Verlag) and chair of the global network, Challenging Precarity.

Janet Wilson