11.01.2016 change 11.01.2016

Prestigious ERC grant: Polish researcher will study the reception of antiquity by young people

Photo: Fotolia / Paolo Gallo Modena Photo: Fotolia / Paolo Gallo Modena

How young people - children and teenagers - perceive antiquity, will be one of the subjects of research of Prof. Katarzyna Marciniak from the University of Warsaw. For her work she received the prestigious Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council (ERC).

The European Research Council (ERC) awarded the Consolidator Grant to Prof. Katarzyna Marciniak from the "Artes Liberales" Faculty of the University of Warsaw. These funds are intended for researchers at the stage where they perpetuate an independent research group or project. "Prof. Marciniak is the first person in Poland in the field of humanities to receive a grant in this category " - the University of Warsaw commented on award on its website.

The awarded project: "Our Mythical Childhood ... The Reception of Classical Antiquity in the Children\'s and Young Adults\' Culture in Response to Regional and Global Challenges" will receive funding for five years. Prof. Marciniak’s team, whose members include scholars from Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia, will deal with the reception of antiquity in the culture of children and youth.

"We treat the antiquity, not as ancient past, but as part of our modern times, which is subject to constant change, reflecting social, political and cultural transformation. We will explore, among others, the reception of Aesop\'s fables in different regions of the world, mythological references in Harry Potter books, and references to ancient history in computer games in the context of shaping the identity of young people" - explained Prof. Marciniak, quoted in the release.

"An important element of the project is its social dimension. We will prepare materials that will allow to use mythological stories in the education of disabled children. We will also prepare, in cooperation with the National Museum in Warsaw, animations based on Greek vases. As part of the project I’m also planning experimental classes for students of the Faculty +Artes Liberales+" - added the winner.

Prof. Catherine Marciniak is a classical philologist and Italian studies expert. According to the University of Warsaw website, the researcher heads the Centre for the Study of Classical Tradition at the Faculty "Artes Liberales". She is a member of the Academy of Young Scholars PAS. Her research interests include Cicero and reception of ancient tradition with special emphasis on the twentieth and twenty-first century. She is a Scientific Ambassador of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Young Ambassador of the Polish Language, laureate of the Research Award of "Polityka" and numerous grants and fellowships, including Harvard University Loeb Classical Library Foundation Grant and the Humboldt Alumni Award.

The ERC awards funding for three major types of projects lasting up to 5 years. Starting Grant (up to 1.5 million euros) is for people from 2 to 7 years after the doctorate, Consolidator Grant (up to 2 million euros) - for scientists from 7 to 12 years after the doctorate, and Advanced Grants (up to 2 5 million euros) is available to independent scientists with well-established achievements, conducting their own research. In addition, scientists who have already won an ERC grant can apply for a Proof of Concept grant (max. 150 thousand euros) to develop their idea for market needs.

Within seven years of the EU\'s 7th Framework Programme (2007-2013), scientists working in Poland won only 14 of 4.5 thousand large ERC grants and a single Proof of Concept grant. In the new framework program, Horizon 2020, Poles so far won two Starting Grants, two Consolidator Grants (including Prof. Marciniak) and one Proof of Concept grant.

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