We are very pleased to have been successful in securing four prestigious Leverhulme Fellowships in the most recent round. The successful projects all address thorny problems, bringing academic frameworks to bear on issues which have been very much in the news and at the forefront of contemporary debate.
Privacy law, gender justice and end users’ liability: ‘revenge porn’ and beyond – Professor Tsachi Keren-Paz (£48,078, 22 months). Unauthorised dissemination of nude images through the internet and social media is an increasing and serious problem. This invasion of privacy has three prominent social, technological and legal features: its gendered nature; the facilitation of the breach by both website operators and viewers; and the overlap with defamation.
Drawing on private law theory, feminist jurisprudence, and interdisciplinary law and technology studies, this study develops a theory of egalitarian digital privacy, focusing on the relationship between the social and technological features as key to both conceptualising the harm from revenge porn and determining the scope of liability for its creation.
The Sexual Ethics of Intimacy: the case of non-disclosure of gender history – Professor Alex Sharpe (£42,319, 18 months). The question of what we owe to each other in terms of disclosure of information prior to sexual intimacy is an important one. The project will address this question in the specific context of non-disclosure of gender history by transgender and gender queer people.
It will consider whether this example of non-disclosure should be understood as ethical omission, a view that appears to be largely embedded in legal and cultural terms, or whether it is the demand to know that ought to be the proper object of ethical scrutiny. In the process, the project will offer a series of queer readings of desire.
In the shadow of 9/11: Muslim girls’ narrative accounts of past, present and future lives –Professor Farzana Shain (£47,980, 22 months). A generation of British children has grown up in the shadow of 9/11 amid concerns about ‘security’ and ‘terrorism’. Yet, little is known about how children and young people understand the impact of the ‘war on terror’ on their own lives and the lives of others.
Focusing in particular on British teen girls who identify as Muslim, this Fellowship will contribute original research on young people’s accounts of growing up in the time of the ‘war on terror’. It will not be confined to questions of cultural belonging but will explore the girls’ educational and future aspirations taking account of socio-economic factors that underpin cultural experiences. The project will assess how Muslim girls currently, and in the future, expect to navigate a range of contradictory expectations on them.
Undocumented Migrant Young People in the USA, Political Activism and Citizenship – Dr Ala Sirriyeh (£47,357, 13 months). In 2001 a new civil rights movement – ‘the Dreamers’- emerged in the USA; part of growing migrant-led protest in the Global North, but unique in being led by undocumented young people.
Restrictive immigration and citizenship policies across the Global North mean that this generation who arrived in 80s, 90s and 2000s during a period of growth in international migration have grown up into adulthood in these nation states yet legally remain ‘non-citizens’. The Dreamers began as a campaign for a pathway to citizenship for undocumented young people who arrived in the USA as children and grew up there. Through a Southern California case study, this research study will examine how undocumented immigrant young activists’ understandings and experiences of citizenship shape, and are shaped by, their political activism in the ‘Dreamers’ movement in the USA.