Research beyond borders


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Researching Heifetz at the Library of Congress

In this guest blog, Dr Dario Sarlo explains how the chance to work with unique archival material at the Library of Congress provided him with opportunities for international research collaborations and to share his research worldwide.

It all started back in 2006 with a letter from the AHRC – well, a rather bulky packet, actually. I had won an AHRC doctoral award at Goldsmiths, University of London to support my research into the legacy of the violinist Jascha Heifetz. When I accepted my doctoral award, I had no idea just how it would shape my career.

Heifetz 1A year into my PhD, I won another AHRC competition. This time, for a 6-month International Placement Scheme (IPS) Fellowship to study the archives of the Jascha Heifetz Collection at the Library of Congress’ John W. Kluge Centre. I had always hoped to spend time in this extraordinary institution,so the IPS Fellowship was a perfect opportunity. During my IPS Fellowship I examined tens of thousands of archival items, and the work I did became the basis of my thesis, which I completed in 2011.

I made many useful and rewarding international connections whilst in the USA, resulting in two exciting side projects: I co-edited a translation of a 600-page Heifetz biography by the Russian author Galina Kopytova, which was published by Indiana University Press in 2013 (Jascha Heifetz: Early Years in Russia): I also provided extensive research for a New York film producer’s documentary Jascha Heifetz: God’s Fiddler.

Although I achieved everything I set out to on my AHRC IPS Fellowship, there was still a great deal of research I wanted to carry out at the Library on Congress, so after I received my doctorate, I applied for one of the Kluge Center’s own Postdoctoral Fellowships. I am the first AHRC IPS Fellow to return with this award and I am sure that my experience as an AHRC IPS Fellow was a factor in me winning the Kluge Centre Fellowship.

During my 2013-14 Kluge Centre Fellowship, I have returned to the Library of Congress’ archives to complete a monograph based on my doctoral research: The Performance Style of Jascha Heifetz will be published by Ashgate in 2015.Image

Last month, as part of my Kluge Centre Fellowship, I organised and participated in an international panel discussion on Heifetz. I was joined at the event, which took place here at the Library of Congress, by two distinguished guests: Ayke Agus from Los Angeles (author of Heifetz as I Knew Him, 2001) and Arthur Vered from London (author of Jascha Heifetz, 1986). Rare Heifetz materials I have been researching here were exhibited to the public. The whole event was filmed and will be webcast by the Library of Congress – an incredible platform from which to share my research with an international audience.

None of this could have happened without the AHRC and the IPS award! The opportunities that the International Placement Scheme offered are still impacting on my career 7 years later.

Dario Sarlo

www.dariosarlo.com @DarioSarlo

The 2014/15 AHRC IPS Library of Congress Fellows will be announced in July 2014. More information on the AHRC International Placement Scheme and its host institutions can be found on the AHRC website.

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New call for British Council workshop grants to give early career researchers opportunities to build international connections

britishcouncil_researchlinkslockup_630x354The British Council has launched a call for workshop grant proposals as part of the five-year Researcher Links initiative to encourage international research collaboration between ambitious early career researchers from the UK and 18 countries around the world.  A ‘call to action’ has been issued for leading researchers to propose themes for bilateral workshops to be held in one of the 18 partner countries, which will bring together early career researchers to discuss their research and start to build international relationships.

Unless specified otherwise in the guidelines, all research areas are covered, including the natural sciences, humanities and social sciences. The call guidelines and application form can be accessed online.

The call will be open from 17/04/2014 until midnight (BST) of 09/06/2014.

Countries eligible for 2014 Workshop Call

The countries involved at this stage are; Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam.


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World class new hosts for AHRC’s International Placement Scheme

The AHRC is delighted to announce that Yale Center for British Art and the Harry Ransom Centre are joining the AHRC International Placement Scheme (IPS).

Home to the largest collection of British art outside the UK, Yale Center for British Art is an exceptional resource for understanding the story of British art, culture and life. Collections include 2,000 paintings and 200 sculptures from the medieval to the contemporary; 20,000 drawings and watercolors and 30,000 prints; 35,000 rare books and manuscripts; a reference library and archives with over 30,000 volumes; and two conservation studios. Works include masterpieces by Stubbs, Gainsborough, and Turner, as well as major artists who lived and worked in Britain.

Specialising in literature, photography, film, art, and the performing arts, the Harry Ransom Center’s extensive collections include 42 million manuscripts; nearly one million rare books; 5 million photographs – including the first ever photograph; and 100,000 works of art. It holds one of the world’s strongest collections of 20th and 21st century British and American literature; as well as the holdings of key cultural figures – from The Magnum Photos Collection to Robert De Niro’s archive.

The AHRC IPS provides UK PhD students and early career researchers with funded research fellowships of up to six months at world-leading overseas research institutions. IPS fellows receive a travel and living stipend and enjoy dedicated access to their host’s exceptional collections, facilities and staff expertise, as well as opportunities to network and present their work to peers.

Also joining the IPS this year is The Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian is the world’s largest museum and research complex, consisting of 19 museums and galleries, and nine research facilities. 

Visit the AHRC website to find out more.