Summer projects at the RAI

At the RAI, the summer might seem the quietest time of year – but it is also the time when postgraduates and fellows are busy undertaking research, finessing publications, or taking part in public engagement activities. Tara Stubbs, the RAI’s Academic Programme Director, showcases some of the projects underway this summer.

Prof. Caroline Kennedy-Pipe, Vacation Visiting Research Fellow (Loughborough University)
Caroline is currently working on the origins of the Cold War and how the breakdown of the Grand Alliance was influenced by events in northern Europe during the 1940s. There is current interest in the British Government in military activities in Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, concerning in particular how British interests ‘clashed’ with those of the United States in the North Atlantic. Post-war Denmark is examined in the project, and Soviet motivations towards Finland and the Baltic States form the backdrop to a discussion of broader Soviet interests in the region. This work is situated in the ‘newer’ historiography of the Cold War, which emphasises regional actors as influential in the development of post-war politics.
Caroline is the author of Stalin’s Cold War (Manchester University Press), Russia and the World (Edward Arnold Press) and The Origins of the Cold War (Palgrave Publishing). She is also currently working on Russian attitudes towards the High North.

Prof. Barry McCarron, Vacation Visiting Research Fellow (New York University)
Barry is conducting research for his forthcoming book, tentatively titled The Global Irish and Chinese: Empire, Foreign Relations, and the Shaping of Modern Immigration Policy. This is the first book to examine connections between Ireland and China and relations between Irish and Chinese in the United States and the British Empire in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa during the long nineteenth century. Barry is spending the bulk of his time at the Vere Harmsworth Library and the Weston Library, which contain significant collections of books, manuscripts, and archival materials related to his monograph. Barry is also collaborating with RAI and Oxford scholars who study the histories of Sino-Western relations, global migration, and the United States and the Pacific world.

Dr Tessa Roynon, Supernumerary Research and Teaching Fellow
Following the highly successful International Ralph Ellison Symposium at the RAI in September 2017, Tessa and her colleague Marc Conner (Washington and Lee University) are currently completing the proposal for their co-edited essay collection, Global Ralph Ellison. This collection will feature eight new and major essays on Ellison in transnational perspective, for example on the history of the translation and reception of his work in Russia; in Germany; or in South Africa. They are currently helping their eight contributors revise their abstracts for the final proposal.
Additionally, Tessa is continuing to work on her seven-chapter book entitled The Classical Tradition in Modern American Fiction, which is forthcoming with Edinburgh University Press. This is a study of the ways in which modern American novelists ranging from Willa Cather and William Faulkner to Toni Cade Bambara and Percival Everett reference the cultures of ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, for example in their representations of racial and/or ethnic politics and identities.  Over the summer, Tessa is focusing on editing the chapters on Faulkner and Robinson in particular, and reading 25 classically allusive novels by other American authors.

Dr Pete Millwood, Postdoctoral Visiting Research Fellow
Pete has been appointed as a Teaching Fellow at the London School of Economics. He will be teaching the modern international history of East Asia, including coverage of the deep involvement of the United States in that region since the country's founding. This summer, Pete is continuing his ongoing research towards his first book project, under the working title Below the Summit: How Acrobats, Basketball Players and Biologists Remade US-China Relations, 1969–1978. This project, on the transnational history of US-China relations, has been the focus of his research at the RAI.
Pete is an historian of the international and transnational history of the Chinese world during the Cold War. He completed his doctorate in History at Oxford in 2017 and has previously held fellowships at Tsinghua and Peking universities, both in Beijing, and at the Library of Congress.

Dr Kristin Grogan, Esmond Harmsworth Graduate Scholar in American Literature
After submitting her D.Phil. in March, this summer Kristin is taking some much-needed time away from academic work to travel in southern Africa, Germany, and Italy. At the end of September she will begin a new job as Junior Research Fellow at St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge, where she will turn her thesis into a monograph and begin her next project, on American poetry and anarchism.

Prof. David Sehat, John G. Winant Visiting Professor of American Government, 2017–18 (Georgia State University)
David was at the RAI until the end of July, finishing a chapter of his book, which concerns the beginning of sociological jurisprudence and how that development began a secularizing movement within American law. In early August he and his family travelled back to Atlanta where, for reasons that he can’t fathom, his son’s school started back on 1 August – so he’s making an early start to the new academic year.

Tara Stubbs
RAI Academic Programme Director
August 2018

 

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