Beckie Rutherford is an RHS Centenary Fellow, 2022-23, held jointly with the Institute of Historical Research, University of London. Beckie’s six-month fellowship will run from October 2022 to March 2023.
As a Centenary Fellow, Beckie will complete her Warwick University PhD entitled ‘Disabled Women Organising: Rethinking Agency within British Liberation Movements, 1976-2000’. Her research illuminates the neglected histories of three grassroots disabled women’s groups, plus the pioneering work of disabled women artists and writers.
Beckie’s thesis demonstrates the centrality of disabled women’s narratives to the broader landscape of liberation politics in modern Britain. It advocates a creative understanding of activist histories, accounting for the agency, and diversity uncovered within stories of disabled women organising.
Urvi Khaitan is an RHS Marshall Fellow, 2022-23, held jointly with the Institute of Historical Research, University of London. Urvi’s six-month Fellowship runs from October 2022 to March 2023.
Urvi’s Oxford University thesis — ‘Women and Work in the Indian Economy: Empire, Famine, and Labour during the Second World War’ — explores how women at the margins of colonial Indian society engaged with and experienced paid work. She investigates the ways in which lower-caste and Adivasi (indigenous) women in late colonial India negotiated a turbulent wartime economy in the eastern provinces of Bengal, Bihar, and Assam during the Second World War.
Constituting the bulk of the subcontinent’s female population — but peripheralized historically and historiographically not only by their gender but also by their caste, class, and location — non-elite women bore the brunt of economic shocks brought about by the war and the 1943 Bengal Famine. Economic displacement exacerbated precarity and intensified the intimate relationship between questions of work and questions of survival.
Daniel Banks is an RHS Marshall Fellow, 2022-23, held jointly with the Institute of Historical Research, University of London. Daniel’s six-month fellowship will run from January 2023 to June 2023 and will enable completion of his PhD thesis: ‘The Floating Revolution: revolutionary mobilities, organisation and practices in the western Mediterranean, c. 1856-1875’, based at the European University Institute, Florence.
Daniel’s work focuses on how a heterogeneous group of republican revolutionaries influenced the politics of nation-building and colonialism in the western Mediterranean from 1850 to 1875. By taking a sea-based approach, he brings together different national historiographies and argues for the relevance of previously overlooked actors.
To do this, Daniel’s dissertation concentrates on particular moments in which republicans took advantage of the connectivity and logistical possibilities offered by the Mediterranean’s maritime context to influence the course of events. Each of these incidents is analysed at a local level. But it is also placed in connection with the wider relevance of the republican movement and the transformation of the Mediterranean world as a whole. Ultimately, Daniel argues that political conflict between the republicans and other actors was a driving force behind the configuration of polities such as the French Third Republic, the restored Spanish monarchy and the Kingdom of Italy, while it was also a determining factor in the consolidation of Algeria as a European settler colony.
Sofya Anisimova is an RHS Centenary Fellow, 2022-23, held jointly with the Institute of Research, University of London. Sofya’s six-month fellowship will run from October 2022 to March 2023.
Sofya is a fourth-year PhD student at the University of St Andrews. Her thesis titled ‘Russia’s Military Strategy and the Entente, 1914-1917’ looks at how the participation in a coalition with Britain and France affected the strategic planning of the Russian high command during the First World War. The nature of the warfare developed in 1914-1918 made it impossible for any country to withstand the pressure alone, so in order to win military commands had to adapt quickly to the new conditions and learn how to cooperate with their Allies, and Russian Empire was not the exception.
Studying the inter-Allied relations in detail and finally bringing Russia into the analysis of the Entente strategy helps us better grasp the challenges faced by coalitions in general. It also broadens our understanding of the geography of the Entente engagement during the war, and brings us closer to a more balanced view of the 1914-1918 conflict that includes not only the Western front but also Eastern, Balkan and Ottoman theatres of war.