Friday, 29 August 2014

Calling all Burmese scholars

Applications are invited for the Charles Wallace Burma Trust Visiting Fellowship which will
be hosted by the Centre of South Asian Studies, University of Cambridge, in partnership with
the Charles Wallace Burma Trust and the British Council in Burma.

The Fellowship is intended to enable a Burmese scholar to conduct research on any aspect of
modern Burmese history and society, and is open to scholars working in all disciplines
related to this field.

The Fellowship is for a period of three months during the Lent Term, 2015 (13 January to 13

The aim of the Fellowship is to advance the scholarly achievements of the visiting fellow,
and thereby establish productive academic links between Cambridge and Burma.

Candidates who have had financial support from the Charles Wallace Burma Trust in the past
five years will not be eligible.

Provided they are qualified in other respects, candidates with little or no prior international
experience are strongly encouraged to apply.

At the conclusion of the Fellowship period, the Fellow will be required to submit a report to
the Committee of Management of the Centre of South Asian Studies and to the Secretary of
the Charles Wallace Burma Trust outlining what he or she has achieved.

An all-inclusive monthly stipend of £1,400 is offered by the Trust to cover costs at
Cambridge, together with a contribution towards a return economy air fare from Burma, and
the cost of the candidate’s UK visa. The Fellow is expected to make his/her own travel

The British Council in Burma will offer advice to the Fellow about securing a UK visa, and
provide some pre-departure briefing.

If you know of anyone from Myanmar (Burma) who might be interested in applying, please direct them to the relevant part of the Centre's website:

Deadline for applications is 31 October 2014

Candidates are invited to submit the following by email to:
  • a letter of application setting out as precisely and as clearly as possible the programme of research to be undertaken
  • the names of scholars already in Cambridge working in a similar or adjacent/related subject and with whom the fellow would hope to work
  •  a full CV with a list of publications; and
  •  ask not more than two academic referees to email directly in support of his or her application by the closing date of 31 October 2014.
Please note that, in order to comply with work permit regulations, the successful applicant
will be asked to submit a signed, original copy of his/her application and original, signed

The selection will follow the Centre of South Asian Studies’ policy and procedure for
Academic Visitors and is subject to the approval of the Charles Wallace Burma Trust and the
British Council in Burma.

The closing date for applications is 31 October, 2014. The Fellow is expected to take up the
post at the beginning of the Lent Term 2015 (13 January 2015).

Applications and enquiries should be sent to:
The Administrator, Centre of South Asian Studies, Alison Richard Building, 7 West
Road, Cambridge, CB3 9DT, UK

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Archives of art curator Donald Bowen

RCMS 360_4_1 Indian quarters, 1943
Cambridge University Library's Royal Commonwealth Society Collection has published an on-line catalogue of an important recent acquisition, the archives of Donald Bowen (1917-), artist and Curator of the Commonwealth Institute’s Art Gallery. The collection includes memoirs and correspondence documenting Bowen’s early training at the Chelsea School of Art, the Byam Shaw School of Drawing and Painting, and tuition with the artist and occultist Austin Osman Spare. Bowen describes his military training and service during the Second World War, including the Battle of Arras and evacuation at Dunkirk, and his commissioning into the Royal Engineers. Bowen served in India between 1943 and 1947, travelling widely. One of the treasures of the collection is an album of drawings in pencil and related media depicting India’s people, landscapes, architecture, plants and animals.

RCMS 360_3 Exhibition of Oshogbo and West Nigeria artists, 1974
In 1953, Bowen joined the Imperial Institute (later the Commonwealth Institute), initially as Exhibitions Officer, and became Curator of its Art Gallery in 1962. He provides an insider’s view of the institute’s move to its iconic new building in Kensington High Street, which opened in the same year. Its purpose built galleries soon won a central position in the contemporary London art scene. Between 1962 and his retirement in 1979, Bowen organised more than 200 exhibitions of paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture, the crafts and other media, working with established and emerging Commonwealth artists, many of whom had never exhibited in Britain before. Correspondence, memoirs and other material vividly reflect the planning, organisation and impact of the exhibitions.

RCMS 360_5 Trafalgar Cemetery, Gibraltar, 1988

As an acknowledged expert on Commonwealth Art, Bowen travelled extensively, and the collection records an educational visit to West Africa in 1968, and a lecture tour of Canada in 1969, undertaken after an invitation to address the Canadian Society for Education through Art. A second volume of original art work includes pencil drawings executed during the visits to West Africa and Canada.

To view the collection catalogue, please follow the link:

For information about accessing the archive in Cambridge University Library, please see:

Post by John Cardwell, RCS Archivist.