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Digital humanities professor awarded British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship

The British Academy has awarded a Mid-Career Fellowship to Professor of Digital Humanities, David M. Berry.

Professor Berry – a Co-Director of Sussex Humanities Lab and a professor in the School of Media, Film and Music and in the Centre for Social and Political Thought - is currently examining the historical and philosophical geneaologies of the notion of an ‘idea of a university’.

Professor Berry said: “I’m very grateful for the opportunity the Fellowship gives me to undertake this research into the idea of a university at such a crucial time in relation to changes in the higher-education sector.

“The university, in various forms, has existed for over 900 years and has constantly changed and adapted to historical necessity and social and economic forces.

“The notion of an idea of a university was memorably described by John Henry Newman in 1852, just as the idea of a university was itself transformed by the German research university created by Wilhelm von Humboldt, the founder of the University of Berlin. Both of these influenced the emergence of the modern research university, beginning with the founding of Johns Hopkins University in 1876.

“Today, in a digital age, we are seeing the university once more having to adapt its form - and my research contributes to thinking about how the idea of a university can continue to have relevance today.

“As part of this research I will be visiting archives at a number of universities across the world to contribute towards a monograph on the idea of the university in a digital age.

“For example, Lincoln College, Oxford, has kindly invited me to visit in Michaelmas term to access their archives, and, of course, I will be making good use of the University of Sussex archives located in The Keep - part of which is an oral history which includes an interview with [Sussex co-founder] Asa Briggs.”

This year the British Academy has appointed 47 new Mid-Career Fellows, whose research areas span the humanities and social sciences. 

The Fellowships are designed both to support outstanding individual researchers with excellent research proposals, and to promote public understanding and engagement with humanities and social sciences.

They allow academics to focus on a major piece of research and to communicate their work to a wider audience, by obtaining time away from teaching and administration commitments.

The new Mid-Career Fellows are recognised as excellent communicators and ‘champions’ in their field, as well as for their distinguished publication record. Award holders are typically within 15 years of their doctorate.


Posted on behalf of: School of Media, Film & Music
Last updated: Friday, 25 August 2017

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