Recipients of the 2023 Ignacio Ellacuría MPhil Thesis Grant Announced
The LSRI is pleased to announce the two recipients of the 2023 Ignacio Ellacuría MPhil Thesis Grant.
The Ignacio Ellacuría MPhil Thesis Grant is open to MPhil students across all departments and faculties at the University of Oxford who are engaging in fieldwork as a component of their thesis. The grant is named after Spanish-Salvadoran Jesuit Ignacio Ellacuría, who exemplified by his life, and death by the Salvadoran military dictatorship, a preferential option for the poor and for the earth, and a commitment to social transformation through intellectual inquiry.
Melanie Reixach-Wong, MPhil student in Development Studies at the Department of International Development, has been awarded the grant for her research focusing on themes of transitional justice for the Ovaherero and Nama peoples of Namibia in light of the 1904 genocide committed by German colonial forces. Melanie plans to use qualitative research methods including interviews, focus groups, and organizational ethnography to analyse grassroots demands and movements for justice from the perspective of the Ovaherero and Nama peoples in Namibia in the summer of 2023.
Melanie comments, “Being awarded the Ignacio Ellacuría MPhil Thesis Grant enables me to make my longstanding research plans a reality as I prepare to conduct fieldwork in Namibia, thus supporting my upcoming dissertation as part of the MPhil in Development Studies degree. I look forward to conducting qualitative research and growing as a researcher and academic and am extremely grateful to the Laudato Si’ Research Institute for their support!"
Bec Beutel, MPhil student in Development Studies at the Department of International Development, has been awarded the grant for her research, which aims to examine the role of cultural resurgence projects within First Nations Australian communities, as a mobilising mechanism for the political sovereignty of Indigenous peoples and their ancestral lands. Specifically, she will centre her research on how communities utilise and conceptualise the resurgence of their place-based epistemologies to build stronger cultural identities, and thus networks of resistance to colonial-capitalist dispossession and desecration.
Bec comments, "MPhils are largely unaccounted for within research funding opportunities, with most students often being expected to self-fund their projects. Therefore, having specific avenues like the Ignacio Ellacuría Grant has had an incredible impact on my ability to travel back to Australia for my research."
A big congratulations to both students and the LSRI wishes the very best with their upcoming fieldwork.