Projects & Research

The Centre for Cosmopolitan Studies welcomes inclusion on project grant applications, as a host for events, or through collaboration with one or more Centre members. The Centre has a wealth of experience and knowledge of organizing and delivering project workshops, knowledge-exchange activities, and individual research collaborations.

CCS/European Research Council

The Centre recently collaborated on the European Research Council grant on ‘Emptiness’, led by CCS Research Associate, Dr Dace Dzenovska (Oxford University). This included two international workshops in Oxford (2019) and St Andrews (2023). The 2019 workshop led to the publication of a special collection on ‘Emptiness’ in Cultural Anthropology journal’s ‘Theorizing the Contemporary’ section (2020) with St Andrews CCS staff, Dr Daniel M. Knight, Professor Christos Lynteris, Professor Nigel Rapport, Dr Stavroula Pipyrou, Ms Gabriela Manley, and CCS Research Associate, Dr David Henig. The 2023 event, held at The Burn, was entitled “Life on the Edge” and formed one of two CCS conferences that year. Dr Ana Gutierrez Garza, Dr Richard Irvine, and Dr Daniel M. Knight were the St Andrews staff involved, alongside recent St Andrews graduate, Dr Gabriela Manley.

CCS/Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters

The Biennial Colloquium in Social Anthropology, partially funded by Research Council Norway, took place in Trondheim in autumn 2019, with the topic ‘Cosmopolitan Networks‘. Led by CCS Visiting Professor, Jan Ketil Simonsen and Professor Lorenzo Canas Bottos (both Norwegian University of Science and Technology), the event was hosted by The Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters and included CCS members Dr Daniel M. Knight, Professor Nigel Rapport and Dr Huon Wardle, as well as former University of St Andrews student and CCS Research Associate, Shuhua Chen. The workshop led to a full Research Council Norway grant proposal on ‘Feedback from the Future’, with a special issue of Anthropological Forum journal to be published in 2024.

CCS/Danish Research Council

The Centre was part of an international consortium awarded DKK 8,390,452 (£ 990,000) by the Danish Research Council for a project entitled, ‘An Anthropology of Distortion: Ethnographic Explorations of Paradoxical Connections’. The consortium includes anthropologists at Aarhus and Copenhagen Universities.

The project explores the theme of distortion as an aspect of social interaction, examining the relationship between human intentions and their consequences. The research aims to elucidate the complex and paradoxical nature of human relationality: how social process may not be addressed only through the lens of systemic practice. While there is a large existing social-scientific literature that focuses on the unintended consequences of human action, recognizing the importance of the unforeseen in social life, ‘An Anthropology of Distortion’ approaches the disjunction between intentions and outcomes in a different way. Distortion is here conceptualized as a phenomenon in its own right, whose appreciation is key to a complete description and mapping of any and every instance of social interaction and exchange. Distortion is a description of radical difference erupting onto the social scene: the project centres on the emergent or mutatory nature of social life and how such radical discontinuity can nevertheless be anchored to antecedent conditions.

Professor Nigel Rapport’s particular role in the project entails undertaking research into some of the artistic production of the British painter, Stanley Spencer. ‘Distorted Vision: The creative representations of Stanley Spencer’ will involve Rapport in examining distortion in the context of artistic creativity and moral norms. Controversy has accompanied Spencer’s unsurpassed body of twentieth-century work for its purported obscenity, its ‘blasphemic’ vision, and for what has been seen as the astonishing deformity of the people and scenes portrayed as Spencer sought to engage with social reality and identify the authentic nature of persons and relations.

CCS/Ladislav Holy Memorial Trust

The Centre is fortunate to receive regular financial support from The Ladislav Holy Memorial Trust. The LHMT contributes to the running of events, organization of conferences, and in inviting speakers, including for annual CCS and Holy Trust keynote lectures. On behalf of CCS, the Director would like to express his sincere gratitude for LMHT’s continued support.

In addition:

Drs Paloma Gay y Blasco and Huon Wardle are developing a research study exploring how ideas about nationalism, cosmopolitanism, race, ethnicity and culture intersect in the making of families through intercountry adoption.

Dr Mattia Fumanti works on poverty, upward mobility and youth in Namibia, especially in urban settings. His present research explores the relationship between urbanism and capitalism, and the relationship between popular culture and the exclusivity of elite cultures. He is a recipient of a coveted Leverhulme Trust grant.

Dr Daniel M. Knight held a Leverhulme Trust project (2016-19) focused on the temporal complexity of renewable energy initiatives in austerity Greece, addressing how economic uncertainty has created dynamic spaces for entrepreneurial opportunism while renewables are locally perceived as neo-colonial programs and new extractive economies.

Dr Stavroula Pipyrou  held a three-year Leverhulme project (2014-17) “An Intergenerational Analysis of Forced Child-relocation in Italy”, looking at the silenced stories of displacement in Cold War (1950s) South Italy shedding light on a hitherto overlooked historico-political period of turmoil. Child displacement is directly associated with historical macro-silences and the lack of systematic ethnological studies on the events that took place during the Cold War period in Italy. She has also a Scottish Funding Council GCRF grant for work on minority education in Brazil.

Dr Adam Reed works on developing an anthropological contribution to debates in urban theory, specifically through ethnographic explorations of forms of knowledge of the city of London. More recently, he has also begun a research project on ethical subjects in Britain, intended as a means of unearthing the anthropological dimensions of debates in moral philosophy.