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Looking back to plan ahead: cultural heritage for inclusive climate action in the Critical Decade (HAOUR_UAMA21CDCC)


Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Prof Anne Haour , Thursday, April 15, 2021 Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
Norwich United Kingdom African Studies Archaeology Development Studies History Anthropology Geography

About the Project

This project is advertised as part of the Critical Decade for Climate Change – Leverhulme Doctoral Scholars programme. At UEA we are generating a new cohort of 21st Century climate thought leaders with the agile and interdisciplinary skills needed to lead a paradigm shift in how we respond to climate change. These programmes will train researchers to look at real-world data in near real-time to generate unique insights into why societies succeed or fail to respond to the threat of climate change. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an online interview, currently planned at the end of May 2021. 

Background  

We know that culture matters in responses to climate change, but current knowledge is fragmented and contested, while fundamental information – e.g. what messaging triggers proportionate responses, the role of various actors, how information is used – is frequently under-represented or missing in assessments of climate impacts. Specifically, questions considering human perceptions and lived experiences must ensure historical and cultural dimensions are fully integrated into climate risk research. These considerations enable widening the scope beyond established framings, creating opportunities for inclusion of knowledges, pluralism and responsibility. 

This project, at the intersection of climate change research, development studies, archaeology and heritage management, begins the process. Conducting novel observations on how a sense of place influences responses to climate risk, the project will offer traction on why societies succeed or fail in addressing climate threats. Recognising and accounting for qualitative perspectives is required to understand real-world complexity and enable socially just climate action reaching across the natural and social sciences to the lessons and stories of history.  

Methodology 

Through desk-based study, the project will provide cross-linkages for analysing literature on intangible/tangible heritage in coastal West Africa, and mobility as a response to climate risk. The student will collate presently dispersed literature across disciplines, including grey literature, photographic archives and Open Access remote sensing data, and ground the assessment by fieldwork in coastal Ghana. Capturing change by comparing two different sets of data – historical and real-world – the project will provide evidence of approaches, triggers and actors around the notion of place. Through storytelling and exhibitions, the project will translate findings creatively into messages beyond conventional scientific and statistical approaches. 

Training 

The pathbreaking Critical Decade LDS training programme will create a cohort spirit and foster an interdisciplinary mind, and a co-developed Career Development Plan and Training Needs Assessment will outline milestones for research and training. Networking and interactions, linking to vast collaborative networks through the supervisors and Steering Group – including within Ghana – will enrich the student’s personal and professional outlook.  

Person specification 

A 2:1 Bachelor’s degree and a relevant Master’s degree (ordinarily with a minimum average of 60%; or international equivalents) in Arts & humanities, human geography, environmental social science or equivalent; good interpersonal skills (experience of sub-Saharan Africa work helpful but not obligatory). 

The type of programme is PhD. Start date is 1 October 2021. The mode of study is full time. Studentship length is 4 years


Funding Notes

Successful candidates who meet eligibility criteria (including English language requirements) will be awarded a 4-year studentship covering tuition fees, a maintenance stipend (£15,285 per year in 2020/21) and a research and training support grant. More funding information is provided here for prospective applicants. View Website

References


1. Haour, A. ed. 2018. Two Thousand Years in Dendi, northern Benin: archaeology, history and memory. Leiden: Brill/Journal of African Archaeology Monograph Series.
2. Haour, A., Coulson, I., N’Dah, D. and Labiyi, N. forthcoming. Coastal heritage and archaeology in Republic of Benin, West Africa: an archaeological glimpse into past lifestyles. Azania.
3. Barclay, J., Wilkinson, E., White, C., Shelton C., Forster, J. et al. 2019. Historical trajectories of disaster risk in Dominica. International Journal of Disaster Risk Science, 10 (2), 149-165.
4. Forster, J., Vaughan, N., Gough, C. et al. (2020) Mapping feasibilities of Greenhouse Gas Removal: Key issues, gaps and opening up assessments. Global Environmental Change, 63. 102073 (IF: 10.427).
5. Aryee, V. A. and Apoh, W. 2018. Climate change and the mitigating tool of salvage archaeology: The case of the Fort Kongensten site at Ada Foah, Ghana. Legon Journal of the Humanities 29(2).

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