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Two ADI Researchers Named as ARC Future Fellows

Two ADI Researchers Named as ARC Future Fellows

We are delighted to share that two ADI researchers have awarded 2023 Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowships scheme grants.

From animals and geopolitics in South Asian borderlands to the politics of medievalism, ADI Researchers have received more than $1.8 million in funding through two new 2023 Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowships scheme grants.

Australian Research Council Future Fellowships are awarded to the best and brightest of Australia’s mid-career researchers to undertake innovative research with potential future benefits for the nation.

ADI’s Associate Professor Yamini Narayanan and Dr Helen Young (Centre for Contemporary Histories) received the four-year fellowships in a competitive year for the scheme.

Associate Professor Yamini Narayanan and Dr Helen Young.

ADI Director Alfred Deakin Professor Fethi Mansouri said:

“This is a tremendous achievement for Yamini and Helen and reflects the excellence and impact of their work not just in Australia but internationally. ADI is very proud to host these projects and look forward to supporting both Yamini and Helen as they commence their prestigious fellowships within the Institute and CCH in order to complete successfully these timely and exciting projects.”

ADI’s success projects are:

A/Prof Yamini Narayanan: Animals and geopolitics in South Asian borderlands ($974,702)

A/Prof Yamini Narayanan

The project evaluates the impact of animals on the politics of South Asian borderlands, which are exposed to climate change, species decline and intensifying nuclear state rivalry.

Using a comparative multispecies ethnography of India’s borders with Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal, it will study the role of animals in reinforcing or subverting the power of sovereign states. Expected outcomes are new analytical and conceptual tools to understand these overlooked actors in geopolitics and the links between foreign, security and transboundary conservation policies.

This knowledge has potential application in demilitarisation and cooperation around transborder animal flows, benefitting security, ecosystems and Australian interests in South Asia.

A/Prof Narayanan said:

The fact that (other) animals are crucial actors in shaping geopolitical relations between nations, and in shaping border politics – with impacts and stakes on their own lives and statuses that changes on either side of political borders in shared ecosystems – is not widely understood. This project will delineate animals’ relations with four South Asian nations at international borders. The hope is to grow and consolidate the field of Animal International Relations.

Dr Helen Young: The politics of medievalism: persuasive narratives ($843,280)

Dr Helen Young

This project aims to understand how narratives about the medieval past help form identities and spread ideologies in the present, across the political spectrum, time and national borders. It aims to generate new knowledge about medievalism and its persuasive power.

It will shed new light on extremist exploitation of popular culture using an innovative interdisciplinary approach, digital analysis, and engaged partnerships.

This research will enhance capacity to identify extremist messaging and create new grassroots programs promoting political tolerance and resilience to extremist propaganda and far-Right ideology, generating social and cultural benefit by strengthening Australian security, social cohesion and national values.

Dr Young said:

This project explores medievalist narratives that are about the past but aim to shape the present and future by taking ideological positions and validating particular identities. It is interested in the politics of popular culture and political cultures and seeks to uncover how pro-social narratives invoke medieval pasts.

View the full list of this round’s winners here.


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