College to welcome two Leverhulme Early Career Fellows

The College of Arts and Law is set to welcome two Leverhulme Early Career Fellows in September.

The fellowships, which last for three years, are for Dr Matteo Barbato, who is coming from the University of Edinburgh’s School of History, Classics and Archaeology, and Dr Maria Roca Lizarazu, from the University of Warwick’s School of Modern Languages and Cultures.

During their time at the college, they will participate in the teaching of undergraduates and postgraduates and each will also undertake a research project.

Dr Barbato’s project, Anti-political-establishment ideology in Athenian democracy, will aim to advance the understanding of political power in democratic Athens by looking at how an anti-political-establishment ideology was embedded in its democratic institutions, and affected not only how political actors behaved but also the development of the institutions themselves.

As well as it expanding our understanding of the politics of Athenian democracy, it will also offer a novel standpoint for the study of today’s political world, drawing parallels between the situations and perspectives that existed both in ancient Athens and today, such as suspicious attitudes toward politicians, the perception of a divide between politicians and the people, and a distrust for experts.

The project will therefore benefit ancient historians exploring the often-overlooked issue of the Athenians’ attitude towards political power and the long-debated question of who ruled Athenian democracy, and political scientists studying modern-day anti-political-establishment parties.

Dr Maria Roca Lizarazu will take as its starting point the influx of refugees into Germany and the different perspectives on how they should integrate. She will examine how contemporary German-language literature intervenes in these larger socio-political debates about integration. German-speaking countries provide excellent case studies: in 2015 Austria was a major transit hub for refugees en route to Germany and Germany’s decision to accommodate more than 1 million refugees has sparked controversies about the possibilities and limits of integration.

Dr Lizarazu will look at contemporary German-language novels and examine how they and their protagonists portray and deal with themes such as arrival, contact and dis-/integration. She will then develop an innovative procedural model of integration, which takes into account conflicts, frictions and misunderstandings as key aspects of transnational exchange and encounter.