Henry Moore Foundation Post-doctoral Fellows 2019-21

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

The Institute announces the appointment of two new Post-doctoral Fellows for 2019-21, Dr Rebecca Senior and Dr Elizabeth Johnson. 

The Henry Moore Foundation’s Grants Programme supports a small number of two-year Post-doctoral Research Fellowships in the field of sculpture studies. Managed by the Henry Moore Institute, the Fellowships assist scholars who have recently completed doctoral studies to prepare a substantial publication or similar research output.

We are thrilled to announce the appointment of two new Post-doctoral Fellows for 2019-21, Dr Rebecca Senior and Dr Elizabeth Johnson. Both will begin their Fellowships in September this year. The urgency of the subject of the monument is evidenced by the fact that both the newly-appointed Fellows have the monument at the heart of their research, albeit each with a very different focus and approach.

The problematics of monuments have seemingly never been as topical as in the current global climate. The turn of the millennium has seen actions as diversely motivated as the 2001 destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan by the Taliban, the international Rhodes Must Fall 2015 campaign against statues of British imperialist Cecil Rhodes, to this year’s protests over the confederate monument on Capitol Hill in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Elizabeth Johnson: The Nomadic Monument: The Monument in the Digital Age

Elizabeth’s research will be the first major critical study of the monument in contemporary art in the digital era. Her monographic study will identify and answer crucial new questions posed to the tradition of monumental sculpture in the wake of developments in terrorist iconoclasm, post-totalitarian symbolism, digital technology, postcolonial discourse and the economics of global capitalism. Elizabeth will be based at University College London.

Rebecca Senior: Allegories of Violence: British Monumental Sculpture 1760-1840

Rebecca's research project is both an extended version of her doctoral thesis and a response to the reality of current debates, which she sees as having reinvigorated the study of sculpture as a signifier of oppressive histories.

Allegories of Violence focuses on the allegorical mode’s distinct trajectory in monuments, and explores how it operated as a way of propagandizing British imperial dominance during sustained periods of warfare and colonisation between 1760 and 1840. Rebecca will be based at the University of Nottingham.


The monument has made frequent appearance in the Henry Moore Institute’s programme over the last decade. In 2008, as part of our ongoing series of Essays on Sculpture we published Nicholas Watkins’ text, A Kick in the Teeth: The Equestrian Monument to ‘Field Marshall Earl Haig, Commander-in-Chief of the British Armies in France 1915-1918’ by Alfred Hardiman.

The exhibitions Art in Public Places: an archive of the Public Art Development Trust (2009) and Hermann Obrist: Art Nouveau Sculptor (2010) each explored aspects of monumental sculpture. In 2016 we held the in-focus exhibition Olga Jevrić: Proposals for Monuments and in October 2018 we hosted a discussion around the proposed monuments of Vladimir Tatlin with artist Jyrki Siukonen and maker Henry Milner.

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