Quentin Skinner Bursary

Professor Quentin Skinner, Fellow of the British Academy and Barber Beaumont Professor of the Humanities at Queen Mary University of London, gave the BIRTHA Annual Lecture in 2007. Professor Skinner donated his fee toward a postgraduate bursary, and has to date very kindly continued to give an annual donation in support of the bursary.

This bursary (preference will be given to MPhil applications) for MPhil/MLitt/PhD study is offered to postgraduate students in any Arts discipline. It is aimed at research students whose projects are interdisciplinary or who have non-traditional academic trajectories. The value of this bursary is £2,500. Students from the United Kingdom, the European Union and elsewhere are eligible to apply.

Application details can be found on the Graduate School website.

Current and previous recipients:


Timothy Jacob-Owens, German Linguistics
This project will focus on the role of linguistic identity in the German-Danish national division of 1920. Following the Allied victory in the First World War, the Treaty of Versailles addressed the 1867 Prussian annexation of the formerly Danish Duchy of Schleswig, stipulating that the Duchy be split into three regions, the national allegiances of which were to be decided by separate referenda. These referenda, which resulted in the redrawing of the German-Danish border, were preceded by a period of fierce nationalist campaigning and debate. The research will focus on the importance of language – both as language use and in metalinguistic discourse – in this debate, in order to determine the extent to which linguistic identity informed and defined conceptions of national identity at this time. 


Emma Hammond, Classics and Ancient History
The research will explore the representation of nostalgia and its influences on time and narrative in ancient texts from Homer and Hessian through to, but not exclusively, Virgil and Ovid. The research will focus on a search for 'the hypochondria of the heart', as discussed by Svetlana Boym in her book The Future of Nostalgia, and will look to examine where this is found in ancient texts.


Francis Myerscough, Russian Music
The student's project seeks to understand what it might mean to love in a Soviet context by analysing mediations of the concept of love in the cultural arena, perhaps most obviously the love song. While this is in keeping with what Jan Plamper has described as the recent ‘emotional turn’ of scholarship in the humanities and social sciences, including Slavic studies, the ambiguous, abstract concept of ‘love’ is not a topic which has received attention. Neither have scholars tended to centre their analyses on what might be traditionally (if not always unproblematically) regarded as cultural “artefacts”. By combining these approaches, the student hopes to uncover something of the Soviet subject’s emotional world, and how this world could be constructed and navigated in music and other art forms.


Jessica Cheetham, Religion and Theology
A comparison of medieval self-mutilation and modern day self-harm


Arran Rees, Historical Studies
The Imperial War Museum’s role in memorializing and educating the public about genocide and war crimes.


Stacey McDowell, English
Keats and the Chameleon Poet


Richard Stone, Historical Studies
The overseas trade of Bristol in the seventeenth century