Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas

Firka village, downstream from Abri

Research Fellowship in Urgent Anthropology: Sudan

The British Museum and the Anthropologists’ Fund for Urgent Anthropological Research offer a second Research Fellowship in Urgent Anthropology. The Fellowship provides (non-salaried) financial support for an eighteen month period of field research and writing, with a specific focus on Sudan.

The Research Fellowship in Urgent Anthropology is designed to facilitate ethnographic research on peoples whose culture and language are currently threatened. The programme’s primary aim is to contribute to anthropological knowledge through detailed ethnography, and also if possible help the peoples being described in their particular circumstances. The British Museum is hosting the fellowship programme for three years from 2014: this is the second fellowship.

The British Museum Urgent Anthropology Fellowship Programme has a specific focus, on threatened Nile Valley communities in northern Sudan. The 20th century riverine communities of northern Sudan and Nubia have been the subject of relatively little anthropological field research, and are facing radical transformations, brought about by a variety of infrastructural developments, including dam construction, large-scale agricultural development, the arrival of mobile technologies and changing foodways. These are village communities based on subsistence agriculture and date palm cash-cropping; Arabic is widely spoken, as is Nubian.

The British Museum currently runs three ongoing archaeological research projects, at Amara West near Abri; Kawa near modern Dongola ; Dangeil near the cities of Berber and Abidiya . The first fellowship is currently held by Dr. Karin Willemse, who is focusing on the Abri area, with the following research questions:

· How do Nubians living in the Abri area, and those in the diaspora (mainly Khartoum), construct a notion of “the” Nubian community in the sense of an imagined community in the way they talk, reminiscence about the Nubian past, present and future?

· How do ‘Nubians’ thereby refer to spatial, cultural (material, visual, virtual and moral), and historical aspects of ‘Nubian-ness’ based on one Nubian core-culture?

The second fellowship will be offered to an anthropologist proposing a fieldwork project in these areas of northern Sudan, thus availing of the necessary logistical support, assistance with research permits and access to communities. Preference will be given to projects with a different focus from that of Dr. Willemse.

The Fellowship makes it possible for a budgeted project to be carried out over about 18 months: this period to include both field research and writing-up. Fellows are required to spend part of their fellowship period in the field and part in the Museum, and where they are expected to contribute to its academic life. In the Museum, the fellows will be affiliated to both the Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas, and the Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan.

The Fellowship will provide £30,000 to be spent over 18 months, inclusive of all costs except overheads to be borne by the Museum for time spent in London, but exclusive of salary. The Fellowships, are awarded to post-doctoral applicants by open competition without restriction of nationality or residence. Applicants should send an application comprising project proposal (maximum 4 pages) including research plan and timeline, intended outputs and budget; a CV and two letters of reference. The budget should include all personal and research expenses (within Sudan and the UK), insurance, and costs of equipment necessary for the project.

The Urgent Anthropology Fund is managed through the Royal Anthropological Institute.

Please submit applications to AOA@britishmuseum.org

Closing date is 16 August 2015.