College of Arts and Law receives two prestigious Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowships

Two researchers in the College of Arts and Law have been awarded a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship. Each fellowship will commence in early 2022, and take place over three years.

The Birmingham campus in early summer, view of the Aston Webb building in Chancellors Court

Dr Rachael Shillitoe, of the Department of Theology and Religion, will deliver her project: ‘Doing good: the practice of everyday morality in childhood.’ The project examines the good and everyday moralities in childhood. With a particular focus on religion and non-religion, this localised, child-centred study will investigate children’s everyday moral worlds and children’s perspectives on the good.

Dr Shillitoe said: “I am absolutely thrilled to receive a Leverhulme early career fellowship and conduct this research at the University of Birmingham. This study builds on both my PhD and postdoctoral work in childhood studies and will take a child-centred approach to how children encounter and experience ‘the good’ across the different spaces and places they inhabit. I am excited to be undertaking this work at University of Birmingham, and to draw on the existing expertise and world leading research the department as to offer.’

Dr Silvana Tapia Tapia, of Birmingham Law School, will deliver her project ‘Toward a non-penal human rights framework to counteract violence against women.’ Existing research shows that criminal justice does not adequately respond to women’s needs and expectations on the ground, and the punitive turn in international human rights law and policy has been criticised for its tendency to enhance and legitimise the surveillance of groups that are already marginalised. This project interrogates this “human rights penality”, investigates how anti-carceral and feminist collectives are responding to it, and reimagines HR by identifying non-penal pathways to effective protection from violence against women.

Dr Tapia Tapia said: “In the context of a global crisis that has disrupted so many areas, including women’s academic production, receiving the news of a successful Leverhulme application has been wonderful. I am looking forward to starting this project, which will implement a participatory methodology that will allow me to produce new knowledge in collaboration with social movements. This knowledge, together with the fieldwork that will be conducted to examine the Inter-American and European human rights systems, will enable me to offer innovative perspectives to think about addressing violence against women, using human rights principles, but without neglecting women’s material needs or deepening the marginalising effects of criminal justice.”