About BRIHC

BRIHC is the umbrella research institute of the School of History and Cultures. It promotes and facilitates research and research-led teaching across the School and beyond, both through the support of research initiatives and through the organisation of events that foster cross-disciplinary conversations.

Over the course of the academic year 2021/22, BRIHC is hosting three online forums for scholarly exchange:

BRIHC Seminar Series 

For staff, students, and everyone, at Birmingham and beyond.

A series of academic talks, roundtables, and discussions from world-leading researchers. The BRIHC Seminar Series runs across the academic year and reflects the whole scope of scholarly fields represented in the School of History and Cultures.

BRIHC Humanities Lab 

For PGRs in SHaC

The Humanities Lab group meets weekly and seeks to provide an informal space for postgraduate students across SHaC to come together and discuss the BRIHC events, readings, and members’ current research.

BRIHC Friday Writing Group 

For PGRS, ECRs and staff in SHaC

The writing group is open to PGRs, ECRs, and staff from across the School. The group offers a way to find time to dedicate to research and writing but also allows you to meet colleagues from other departments across SHaC and find out about their research.

BRIHC also organises many other events, such as book launches, networking events, reading groups etc.

BRIHC Team

Director: Dr Kate Smith

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Research Development Officer: Elizabeth Cook

portrait of Elizabeth Cook

BRIHC Scholarship holders (PhD)

  • Rose Debenham: ‘Self-Fashioning at Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp, 1982-2000’ (Supervisors: Chris Moores, Zoe Thomas)
  • Ginette Hartley: ‘Making it: The evolution of a Birmingham middle-class metal-working family, the Phipsons, c1750-1850.’ (Supervisors: Malcolm Dick, Karen Harvey)
  • Felix Tombindo: ‘Conservation, Landscape and Belonging on the Shores of Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe’ (Supervisors: Maxim Bolt, Reginald Cline-Cole) 

Current visiting scholars

Emma Belanger 

Emma is a 2021-2022 US Fulbright grant recipient, conducting independent research on Birmingham’s Chinese immigrant community. Growing up in Denmark, Greece, and the US, as well as studying Spanish, Chinese, and Russian in school, Emma developed a keen interest in modern languages and history. In 2020, Emma graduated from Hamilton College with a BA in Chinese and Russian Studies. At the same time, Emma became interested in the Fulbright program, applying for and winning a grant to conduct research at the University of Birmingham as a visiting scholar. Under the supervision of Dr. Shirley Ye, Emma’s independent research project will explore the history and development of the Chinese immigrant community in Birmingham and the larger UK. In addition to learning more about the history of Chinese immigrants in the UK, Emma also hopes to explore how contemporary changes, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, have had an impact on this community. 

Basak Derinel

Basak is a legal scholar who specializes in Roman Law and Civil Law. Basak’s research mainly focuses on Roman Law and its effect on modern private law. Basak’s book on the juridical situation of unborn child in Roman Law and in Turkish Law has been published recently by Jovene Editore, Naples (2020). Her current research seeks to examine how Augustan legislation contributed to the definition and establishment of gender in the early Roman empire. Basak’s research has been supported by the Italian Ministry of International Affairs, Municipality of Rome, Max Plank Institute and University of Hamburg.

Ander Salinas

Ander is a PhD student at the University of the Basque Country. He is currently working on his thesis titled ‘Administrative Transformations and their Effects over the Relationship between Monarchy and Nobility in the Kingdom of Navarre during the 13th century’. However, despite focusing mainly on the Navarrese territory, he defends the need of a comparative vision amongst the different European kingdoms, since there are similarities in the way nobility was introduced in the new state-structures that were raising since the 13th century. For this reason, he is very interested in adjacent topics as the construction of the State and the relationships between monarchy and nobility in the European context over the Middle Ages.  

Muhammet Enes Midilli

Muhammet is a PhD candidate in the Department of Islamic History at Marmara University and a research assistant in the same department at Istanbul University. Muhammet is a researcher of the intellectual history of the pre-modern Islamicate world with a focus on the Syro-Egyptian region roughly between the twelfth and sixteenth centuries. He studied theology as an undergraduate (BA) at Marmara University. In his MA thesis titled “An Institution of Learning in the Early Mamluk Period: The Mosque of Ibn Tūlūn (1296-1382)”, he proposed that the mosque in Mamluk Cairo had become waqf-based learning institution like madrasas. Also, he tried to contextualize the formation of comprehensive learning institutions in Cairo, which were primarily established by the ruling elite and offer extensive courses and positions to scholars.

Muhammet’s doctoral project attempts to evaluate how and through which patterns Jerusalemite ulama acquired specialized knowledge and scholarly positions during the Mamluk period. The study primarily focuses on al-ʿUlaymī’sal-Uns al-Jalīl fī Tārikh al-Quds waʾl-Khalīl and al-Sakhāwī’s al-Dawʾ al-Lāmiʿ li-Ahliʾl-Qarniʾt-Tāsiʿ. While the former has a section specifically dedicated to the list and brief biographies of Jerusalemite scholars, the latter covers only some of them but describes their education and career in a more nuanced way. The “Cairo-centrism” has long dominated the scholarship on the intellectual history of the Mamluk period, so that he attempts to add a local point of view on the social and scholarly practices of ulama during the same period. 

Former BRIHC Postdoctoral Fellows

Former BRIHC Visiting Scholars

  • Mariña Bermúdez Beloso (University of Santiago de Compostela)
  • Fuka Fujita (Kyoto University)
  • Shu Huiling (Huaqiao University)
  • Mingzhao Hu (Huaqiao University)
  • Yuxiu Tan (Jilin Normal University) 

Previous BRIHC Scholarship Holders (Masters)

  • Georgia-Mae Evans
  • Eleanor Greening
  • Dominic Judd Page
  • Tabitha Lambert-Bramwell
  • Olivia Marsh
  • Samuel Wood