Research beyond borders


Leave a comment

The arts in health: the icing on the cake?

In this latest Guest Blog, Daisy Fancourt, DaisyFancourtNew Generation Thinker 2017 and Senior Research Associate in the Department of Behavioural Science and Health at UCL  talks about the effect of arts on health. Interestingly, Daisy also appeared on BBC Breakfast on 19th July talking about the All-Party report “Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing” on the benefits of arts prescribing and arts in health.

Creative Health

 

On 17 March, I took part in my first interview as a 2017-2018 BBC/AHRC New Generation Thinker at the Free Thinking Festival at Sage, Gateshead. Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough, a previous New Generation Thinker herself, was my interviewer. She asked about my work: how I got interested in the field and what I’m working on. But then Eleanor asked a question I wasn’t expecting. “What’s the limit here. The arts can support our health in some ways, but surely they can’t, for example, fix a broken leg?”

art

This is a good question, not because the arts can fix broken legs, but because it is a question that comes from wanting to understand the scope of what research is showing: wanting to know how excited we should get about the new research papers coming out each month, but also where this excitement should stop because the arts do have a limit. They do not represent complete solutions to all health problems.

This question has stuck with me since. Although there is now a plethora of evidence showing the effects of the arts on a range of mental and physical health conditions [https://global.oup.com/academic/product/arts-in-health-9780198792079?lang=en&cc=in], it could be possible to see the use of the arts in health as the icing on the cake: a wonderful way of enhancing health within societies once the fundamentals of healthcare are in place, but unnecessary, perhaps even flippant, in the context of major health challenges. However, if we look around the world, we actually see the opposite. Sometimes, in the face of the toughest health challenges, there are still important roles for the arts. A pertinent example of this is the Ebola virus epidemic from 2013-2016.

During the outbreak in West Africa, some of the major challenges were the abundant rumours and misunderstandings about the disease. There were instances of people who were affected hiding from medical staff, Ebola survivors being outcast from their societies and even healthcare workers being murdered. [http://democracyinafrica.org/improving-public-health-messaging-on-ebola] To combat this misinformation and support public health messaging, one of the strands of action was to mobilise the arts.weowntv

Spread Knowledge to Stop Ebola’ programme was developed by WeOwnTV; a San Francisco-based non-profit organisation. It involved Sierra Leoneans themselves being trained in film making and creating short films in their own words to raise public understanding about Ebola. The films built on local oral traditions and storytelling and combatted misinformation. www.sierraleone.weowntv.org

Stop Ebola Now: Through Creative Storytelling’ was a programme with UNICEF Liberia that involved the development of a 5-episode radio serial drama that addressed the reality of the Ebola epidemic. The programmes were sensitive to local cultural values and perceptions of Liberian audiences. The programmes contained songs and jingles alongside drama to help fight myths, including those surrounding survivors to help them reintegrate into communities. www.mediaimpact.org/ebola/guide.html 

liberia

 

And Songs such as Ebola in Town by Rapper Shadow were released that warned about how Ebola could be caught. With the most crucial messages looped over an electro-dance beat, the rap song became popular in Liberia along with a ‘no-touching’ dance. Details of songs regarding Ebola can be found here

Of course the Arts can directly fix a broken leg. But they are also not confined to only being the ‘icing on the cake’. During emergency situations such as epidemics, the arts do have a role to play: they have the power to turn critical health messages into something accessible, emotive and sensitive to cultural traditions. They have the power to make people listen.

For more information on the use of the arts in Ebola response, visit http://arts.ufl.edu/academics/center-for-arts-in-medicine/resources/artist-repository/

To find out more about the use of the arts in health, my new book Arts in Health: Designing and Researching Interventions is now available to order: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/arts-in-health-9780198792079?lang=en&cc=in

Follow #ArtsinHealth

If you are interested in international collaboration, did you know AHRC allows international collaborators on most of its schemes?  Please see our Website for details of such opportunities.

New Generation Thinkers 2018 is now open for applications.  For more information please visit the website

NGTi


Leave a comment

International Funding Opportunities Closing Soon


Happy new year, and just a quick reminder that there are lots of international funding calls closing in the next month……

AHRC international development call

As part of the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), the AHRC have a call for Area Based Network Plus awards for Arts and Humanities based approaches to addressing global development challenges. It is expected that applications will have a strong collaborative element with ODA (Overseas Development Assistance) countries. The awards will be £1.5-2 Million and over 4 years, and offer a flexible model of scoping, partnership building and running funding calls. Closing date: 18 January 2017

European Commission Funding

The topics to be funded under European Commission Challenge ‘Europe in a changing World – inclusive, innovative and reflective societies’ work programme close soon. These topics are more closely defined than a research council theme, but are still more open than commissioned research. In 2017 there is particular arts and humanities interest under the theme ‘Understanding Europe – Promoting the European Public and Cultural Space’ For example topics include:

  • Contemporary histories of Europe in artistic and creative practices
  • Religious diversity in Europe – past, present and future
  • Participatory approaches and social innovation in culture

Most close 2 or 4 February 2017 (note some of these are now 2 stage processes so involve an outline proposal). If you need assistance with applying, the UK contact point for this challenge is Ben Sharman challenge6ncp@esrc.ac.uk

Hello Shenzen: Researching the Ethics of Makerspaces

The AHRC and British Council have a UK/China opportunity for research into the China Maker movement that closes 29 January 2017. Note: applications need to comply with Overseas Development Assistance (ODA)

International Placement Scheme

The AHRC International Placement Scheme offers the opportunity for doctoral and Early Career researchers to visit seven world leading institutions in the USA, Japan and China. Closes 19 January  2017 

 


Leave a comment

New UK/France Joint Funding Call – coming soon!

LABEXThe AHRC is pleased to announce an exciting new opportunity bringing together researchers based in France and the UK.

The call focuses on the relationship between history, heritage and memory; on representations and uses of the past in the present; shared histories and transnational perspectives; legacies of difficult and divisive pasts; the digital age and its effect on tangible and intangible heritage – and more.

The aim is to encourage collaborative transnational research involving UK and French scholars, as well as partners from the Heritage and other sectors.

The call is co-funded by the AHRC and France’s Cluster of Excellence Pasts in the Present, (a.k.a. LABEX PasP), under their themes ‘Care for the Future: Thinking Forward through the Past’ (AHRC) and ‘Pasts in Present: History, Heritage, Memory’ (LABEX PasP).

Projects should be 18 – 30 months in length. Applicants can apply for 60,000 – 80,000 Euros for the French component, and up to £100,000 for the UK component. It is hoped that around 6 – 10 projects will be supported.

Full call details will be published on Thursday 12th March 2015. The deadline for submission of proposals will be Thursday 2nd July 2015.

An AHRC-LABEX jiscmail group has been set up to help applicants find partners and share ideas.

More information on the call is available on the AHRC website and the LABEX Pasts in the Present website (in French)


1 Comment

HERA UK information day and update

HERAThe AHRC are running some information sessions on 4th February for UK researchers and Research office staff to find out more about the ‘Uses of the Past’ call. The event is kindly hosted by Kings College London, with 2 identical sessions (one in the morning and one in the afternoon). Please see the AHRC website for more details.

The call documents are on schedule to be published on 15th January. Unfortunately, following communication from the Ministerio de Economica y Competitivad of Spain, Spain are no longer part of the Uses of the Past call which is very disappointing. Practically this means that Spanish researchers will not be able to be included on applications as Project Leaders, Principle Investigators or Project members. All call documentation and further information is available on the HERA website.


Leave a comment

New online partner search tool for HERA ‘Uses of the Past’

If you are seeking partners for the new HERA call ‘Uses of the Past’ – HERAa new partner search has been launched.

This takes the form of an email group – you sign up to the list and can post your idea and receive emails from others who are searching for partners. This is currently being circulated so we recommend you sign up now and wait a few days to post your idea.

‘Uses of the Past’ will formally launch in January and it is likely that the project teams that will apply to this call will have to include researchers from 4 countries involved in this call ( Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and United Kingdom.)

Please note this partner search ist is un-moderated – you will have to ensure eligibility and fit to call. Some draft information is available on the HERA website.  .


Leave a comment

*NEW* HERA Funding Call and Match Making Event announced

HERAA new HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area) funding call ‘Uses of the Past’ has been announced, and the great news is that even more countries are involved. Italy, Spain, Latvia, Czech Republic and Switzerland are all part of ‘Uses of the Past’ as well as the previous 18 countries, meaning more flexibility in choosing the international arts and humanities researchers who you collaborate with on potential projects.

The detail still has to be agreed but an International Networking Opportunity has been launched to aid collaboration. Researchers can apply for up to 350 EUR to attend a match-making event on 29 January 2015 in Tallinn, Estonia.  The matchmaking event will give interested researchers (both Early Career and more senior), from a range of countries, the opportunity to explore the opportunities of the call and build new partnerships.

The deadline for registering your interest to attend the event is 5 November 2014, 14.00 CET (Central European Time).  You’ll need to complete an Expressions of Interest, consisting of a short project idea and CV.  Full information on how to apply can be found here.

The matchmaking event will be an exciting opportunity to meet around 300 other international researchers and learn more about this major new call, but if you don’t get invited to attend the event, or don’t apply at all, you are still able to submit an expression of interest.

Full details of the call will be published in January 2015 but a description of ‘Uses of the Past’ and some pre-liminary call information is available on the website link above. Each project is likely to need to include four research teams based in four different HERA Uses of the Past partner countries.  The countries taking part are Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.

A tentative timetable (subject to change) for the Uses of the Past call is:

January 2015 – full call published

April 2015 – deadline for outline proposals

July 2015 – outcomes for outline stage sent out

October 2015 – deadline for full proposals (if selected)

February 2016 – outcomes for full proposals sent out

June – September 2016 – expected start dates.

More information is on the website above, further developments will be posted here, and on the HERA and AHRC websites. You can also now follow HERA on twitter @HERA_Research, but if you have any UK specific questions please get in touch with Jessica Bacon, j.bacon@ahrc.ac.uk, 01793 416071.


Leave a comment

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.