Professor Niki Alsford granted research fellowship from American Society for Theatre Research
A University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) researcher has been granted international funding to explore Taiwan’s cultural heritage through performance.
Professor Niki Alsford, who is an expert is Asia Pacific studies, has been awarded a Targeted Area Research Fellowship, worth $1,000, from the American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR).
His two-year project, entitled ‘Maciuciu and the Whale: Amis Origin Performance and the Denial of Cultural Heritage’, will examine how the whale has been used in performance to communicate stories, rituals and other customs of indigenous Taiwanese peoples and how, through political isolation, some of this cultural representation has been lost within international organisations.
Professor Alsford, who is also the Head of the Institute for the Study of the Asia Pacific at UCLan, said: “I am humbled to have been nominated for this award and to join past recipients who I have long admired and respected. A special thanks goes to the board of ASTR for selecting me.”
He is one of 24 researchers from around the world to be given funding this year from ASTR, which focuses on theatre and performance research.
Presenting Professor Alsford with his award, Arnab Banerji, Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts, College of Communication and Fine Arts at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, said: “We’re really excited about the new knowledge that this research project hopes to unearth about a little-known Pacific island community.”