Current BII Research

Current BII research projects include:

Philosophy and Borders working group​

The Philosophy and Borders working group aims to provide a forum for researchers, at Oxford University and beyond, working on the various moral issues that global migration gives rise to. The group will meet termly to discuss work in progress by graduate students, early career- and more

established researchers.

Development of AI based algorithm to optimise migraine treatment.

In the UK, 6 Million people suffer from migraine. Currently there is no cure and patients have to go through an exhausting trial and error to find the right medication for them. We aim to develop an AI powered algorithm that allows us to find the best treatment for a patient based on their genome and digital biomarkers.

ComFLab - Enabling a high end container cleanroom through computational fluid dynamics

Professional science facilities are rarely found outside conventional research institutions. However, their availability may greatly help the generation and dissemination of science and technology in our societies. At the core of ComFLab is the design of an open, high-end biochemistry laboratory in a shipping container. The project uses advanced numerical methods in computational fluid dynamics to optimise air circulation in the container and maximise control of contaminant dispersion. This is a fundamental requirement in the realisation of the first, open, low ISO class biochemistry container laboratory and a step forward towards a more flexible way of doing science.

Variation and Change in Emoji Usage: A Computational Approach to Dynamic Semiotic Systems

Language is mostly being studied in two separate fields, traditional linguistics on the one hand and computational linguistics on the other. Our project will address the chasm between these lines of research by investigating how semiotic systems change if new items are added. Specifically, we will use machine learning to analyse semantic dynamics in emoji usage. Apart from the study, we want to establish a broader basis for co-operation between linguists and computer scientists by conducting a workshop on computational approaches to language change. We hope that the project will inspire future work bridging the gap between sciences and humanities.

Thinking with Jean-Luc Nancy

With his work spanning over dozens of books, hundreds of articles and numerous collaborations with artists, Jean-Luc Nancy is one of France’s most active living philosophers. His thinking addresses a broad range of issues: from politics and community, the arts and the body, to Christian theology and even theoretical cosmology. This project aims to take stock of Nancy’s work and influence in terms of specific contemporary challenges, whether these are intellectual, cultural or religious. To that end, we are gathering prominent scholars of his work, together with postgraduate students, artists and Nancy himself, for a three-day conference in Oxford

Theme and amusement parks as a site of inter-disciplinary research into the construction of childhood leisure

Amusement parks and theme parks are usually dismissed as frivolous or children’s entertainment and, unlike films or art, have received scant academic interest. They are both a highly popular form of leisure but pose a challenge to scholars in how to analyse what is a multimedia experiential ephemeral phenomenon. This gestational project, drawing from multiple disciplines, seeks to establish possible methodologies for analysing theme parks, bringing together scholars from the UK, other parts of Europe and the United States to ultimately consider how the theme park acts as a site where certain constructions of childhood, and childhood ‘fun’, are created.

19th-Century Architectural Additions to Syriac Monasteries and Churches in Mardin Provine: A Photographic Documentary

The 19th century saw high levels of interaction between Western Orientalists and the Christian Syriac community of the Ottoman Empire, which today inhabits South-Eastern Turkey. This resulted in the creation of a new type of ecclesiastical architecture that persists to this day and shapes the Syriac way of life. Our project aims to document these hitherto understudied changes by producing architectural records and drawings while compiling a photographic documentary. Although preservation of memory is our primary objective, our project will also critically reflect on the role played by Western Orientalism in transforming the cultural landscape of the Christian community of Mardin, and the Ottoman Empire in general.  We will do so at a time when these communities’ way of life is under threat.