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The Carlsberg Foundation awards DKK 7.4 million to Covid-19 research projects within the humanities

What role did our homes play during the corona crisis? And what have we read while society was shut down? These questions will now be further examined by Professor Mette Birkedal Bruun and Professor Tina Jane Lupton, both from the University of Copenhagen, who both receive grants from the Carlsberg Foundation. The grants are awarded as part of the Carlsberg Foundation's special corona effort, which now includes five research projects focusing on Covid-19-related issues.

In March, the Carlsberg Foundation awarded three Semper Ardens grants to Covid-19-related research within natural science and social science. Now, the Foundation is channeling another DKK 7.4 million into two projects within the humanities in light of the corona crisis, which brings the Carlsberg Foundation's total contribution to corona-related research to DKK 70 million.

STAY HOME and the experience of reading

The two new grants will study issues related to everyday life during the corona crisis. One grant goes to Professor Mette Birkedal Bruun, Department of Church History at the University of Copenhagen, who is awarded DKK 6.1 million for the project “STAY HOME: The home during the corona crisis - and afterwards”. The other grant goes to Head of Department at the Department of English, Germanic and Romance Studies at the University of Copenhagen, Professor Tina Jane Lupton, who receives DKK 1.3 million for the project "The Experience of Reading During Covid-19 Lockdowns: Denmark and the UK."

“In recent months during the corona crisis, we have been through an extraordinary period that has affected people's lives in many ways. At the beginning of the crisis, the Carlsberg Foundation acted swiftly and awarded a total of DKK 63 million for research within the social and natural sciences into Covid-19 related issues. Now, we are increasing our contribution by supporting two new research projects within the humanities. These will not only help us understand the importance of the home and what literature, citizens have been reading during the shutdown of society. The projects will also provide insight into everyday situations that extend beyond the crisis,” says chairman of the Carlsberg Foundation, Professor Flemming Besenbacher. He goes on to say:

“At the Carlsberg Foundation, we believe it is important to also examine the humanistic aspects of the corona crisis. And we believe that a science-based approach to the crisis and its consequences will better equip us to be able to cope and get through a similar crisis in the future. We are concerned with diversity in research, so I am also pleased that we now support a further two female professors with a grant.”

On Mette Birkedal Bruun's project

During the corona crisis, the home has played a key role. But it has also been put under pressure. A new focus has been put on the functions, boundaries, resilience, and vulnerability of the home. With the shutdown of society, the home has been given several new roles, which have been supported by intensified digital practices.

In the STAY HOME project, Professor Mette Birkedal Bruun and her multidisciplinary research team investigate what happens to the home as a physical, digitized, social and existential foundation, when put under pressure. What dilemmas are revealed through the corona crisis about the threshold between the home of individual citizens and their families and the surrounding community? And what opportunities does the crisis hold for the homes of the future and those who inhabit it?

The project involves studies of the home as a place where architectural organization, family dynamics, individual existence, and digital practices meet, collide, and negotiate. A historical angle will also be applied to the contemporary material.

The ultimate objective of the research project is to identify the opportunities and risks that the corona crisis has uncovered or created. The study will create insights that can benefit the design of the homes of the future - as architectural, social, digital, and existential spaces. As such, the project aims to leave concrete traces in, for example, architecture and family crisis management.

The project is multidisciplinary and involves partners from the IT University, Aalborg University, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation (KADK), and the National Museum.

Learn more about Mette Birkedal Bruun's project

On Tina Jane Lupton's project

Has more time during the corona shutdown led to more reading? And what have we read while the community has been shut down? These are some of the questions that Professor Tina Jane Lupton's research project wants to examine. The project aims to specifically examine the way we have been reading in Denmark during the shutdown compared to England. Through these two case studies, Tina Jane Lupton hopes to uncover the relationship between reading practice, the perception of having or not having the time, as well as different perceptions of work-life balance in our lives.

Tina Jane Lupton will create an open archive of interviews with readers, reading groups and institutions that understand current reading trends. From August, questionnaires will be sent out to Danish readers via bloggers, libraries, and congregations to involve as many readers as possible. The project will also involve conversations with informants and the organization of both individual readers and reading groups. In the research project, Tina Jane Lupton wants to study our ways of reading (online, on phones, fiction) and the ways in which they are connected with our modern experience of time.

Learn more about Tina Jane Lupton's project

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