news
Published: 18 January 2017

Lecturer in Spanish awarded AHRC Research Grant

Dr Lucy Bell (University of Surrey), in collaboration with Alex Flynn (University of Durham), has been awarded a Research Grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Dr Lucy Bell (University of Surrey), in collaboration with Alex Flynn (University of Durham), has been awarded a Research Grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

  • Awarded under the Overseas Development Agency Global Challenges Research Funding stream

  • Research will explore how new relations, communities and meanings are created by the transformation of recycled cardboard into low-cost books in Latin America. 

  • Grant will allow Bell and Flynn to carry out interdisciplinary research in Mexico and Brazil, with the help of a postdoctoral research assistant.

The AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) enables academics in the Arts and Humanities to carry out research that will contribute to the economic and welfare development of countries in the DAC list.

Bell and Flynn have been awarded a total of £249,910 to carry out their project on ‘Precarious Publishing in Latin America’. This funding will allow them to examine editoriales cartoneras (waste-picking publishers) in Mexico and Brazil from literary and anthropological angles, with the aim of providing a better understanding of how new relations, communities and meanings are created by the transformation of recycled cardboard into low-cost books.

The project involves an exciting set of impact activities in the UK, Brazil and Mexico. These include an exhibition for the general public and a series of book-making workshops for school groups in São Paulo, as well as the creation of cartonera collections with project partners at the British Library, Senate House Library and Cambridge University Library.

Dr Lucy Bell comments, “I am absolutely thrilled to have been awarded this grant, and particularly excited to get the opportunity to work with a brilliant anthropologist, Alex Flynn, a number of librarians from top UK libraries, and of course the cartonera publishers themselves, who will be at the heart of this project.”

Professor Bran Nicol, Head of the School of English and Languages (SEL) at the University of Surrey, said: “I’m delighted for Lucy. This is a notable achievement in one of the AHRC’s most high-profile schemes, and will bring just over £116k to SEL. It is just reward for Lucy and her co-Investigator Alex’s hard work on the bid”.