Two researchers announced as New Generation Thinkers

Two talented Oxford Humanities researchers have been named AHRC/BBC New Generation Thinkers for 2021. 

Every year, BBC Radio 3 and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) hold a nationwide search for academics with game changing ideas that will resonate with a wide audience.

The New Generation Thinkers are given the opportunity to communicate their research on BBC radio and television. They also have access to training and support from AHRC and the BBC.

Only ten Thinkers are selected, making Oxford the only university to receive two awards in this year’s cohort. They are: 

Dr Lauren Working (English), a Postdoctoral Researcher in the TIDE Project (Travel, Transculturality, and Identity in England, 1550 – 1700). Her first book, The Making of an Imperial Polity, explores how English colonial projects in the Americas, from Venezuela to Virginia, influenced taste and politics in early seventeenth-century London. Dr Working has published on topics including intoxicants and rituals of sociability, Jamestown archaeology, and Native American artefacts. She freelances for the National Portrait Gallery and is developing projects that use material culture to explore the entangled histories of colonialism and English heritage.

Dr Mirela Ivanova (History), a cultural historian of Eastern Europe in the premodern world, and a Junior Research Fellow at University College, Oxford. Her work explores what tools communities used to define themselves in the past, and how these definitions resonate in the contemporary history of Eastern Europe. Dr Miranova is particularly interested in moments of transmission and displacement, whether across languages or political cultures, and how such moments can reveal the tensions inherent in communities and their perceptions of themselves.

Professor Christopher Smith, AHRC Executive Chair, said: “New Generation Thinkers is a flagship scheme for the AHRC and is vital in supporting the next generation of arts and humanities researchers to connect with the public and challenge what we think we know. For over a decade, the New Generation Thinkers scheme has brought academic research to a wider audience as part of AHRC’s longstanding commitment to public engagement with impact. The New Generation Thinkers scheme continues to provide researchers with a unique opportunity to share their findings, push their research in new directions, and develop their communication skills.”

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