Photograph of Dr Rex Ferguson

Dr Rex Ferguson

Dr Rex Ferguson has been awarded an AHRC Networking Grant, for the project ‘The Art of Identification’.

In the modern period, the practical identification of individuals has taken a number of forms: from early-modern badges and insignia, to contemporary retinal scanners. Whilst this topic has been of recent interest in historical, social, scientific and biological scholarship, Dr Ferguson believes that the fundamental connections that exist between identification methods and the literary and artistic depiction of personal identity have been neglected.

This research network (awarded £35,342) therefore seeks to address this scholarly gap by examining identity documents alongside a range of written and visual media. The project will advance a fresh explanatory model for both identification practices and the artistic depiction of identity.

Dr Ferguson is holding workshops at the universities of Birmingham, St Andrews and Illinois for this interdisciplinary network. Participants include scholars from across the US and UK (encompassing field such as literature, the history of forensic sciences, art history and bio-archaeology), professional practitioners like archivists and museum curators, and PhD students. The one-year project started in July 2015.