Aga Khan University Academic wins British Academy research award

Congratulations to Dr Sarah Savant, Associate Professor at the AKU-ISMC, who has been awarded over 13,000 pounds by the British Academy as part of its Rising Stars programme.

Dr Savant, a cultural historian specialising in early Islamic history, won the grant for her proposal to devise and deliver a Digital Humanities workshop that introduces scholars of the Middle East to a new digital method that can detect the copying of texts into other texts. One of only 34 people to be successful, Dr Savant joins a group of distinguished Early Career Researchers who will use their awards to actively engage in career development through organising interdisciplinary events for other early career researchers.

Dr Savant will bring computer scientists, programmers, and scholars together for a three-day workshop in London, and believes that the method will enable them to study the form and content of textual traditions in wholly new ways. She said; ‘This is wonderful news and I am delighted to have been selected for this prestigious award. The case that interests me is Arabic at the origins of the textual tradition up to 1200: the number of surviving works surpasses the extant production of any other culture up to this time, except perhaps Sanskritic India or T’ang China, and the tradition is normative up to the present day.’

The event will introduce a small group of early career researchers to the fundamental skill set required to apply this method, and it will build upon a key developmental phase by a team of academics and programmers led by Dr Savant who are working on text re-use methods.

Interested applicants should contact Dr Savant by email for further information.