PhD Opportunity: Writing and Material Culture 1560-1660

MEMS and the School of English are delighted to announce a unique doctoral opportunity. It has arisen as a result of the award of an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) grant entitled The Cultural Lives of the Middling Sort: writing and material culture 1560-1660. The project is led by Professor Catherine Richardson at the University of Kent (Principal Investigator); Dr Tara Hamling at the University of Birmingham (Co-Investigator) and Professor Graeme Earl at King’s, London (Co-Investigator). More information on the wider project, which examines the cultural lives of the literate, urban ‘middling sort’ in early modern England, analysing the broad range of written and material forms with which they were engaged as producers and consumers, is available here.

The studentship will be in an area related to the project – developing an aspect of early modern studies that explores either the literature or history of the period as it pertains to individuals of middling status (working people of status but below the level of the elite, including professional and mercantile individuals in an urban context, and larger farming and craft households in rural areas). The project could be focused on their own writing or social lives, or the places, products and processes which take them as subject or target audience – print, theatre, town hall etc. Professor Richardson is very happy to discuss possibilities in advance with interested candidates. The student will benefit from a close and vibrant working relationship with the project and its team of PI, Co-Is and RAs, and the skills development opportunities offered by its digital work and public engagement agenda.

Studentship Selection Criteria for 2019/20 are based on the following:

Research Proposal
~The proposal is clearly written and demonstrates engagement with an academic field at a high level of sophistication.
~The project demonstrates original thinking in its field.
~The methodology proposed clearly demonstrates the viability of the planned research.
~The planned research is described in a way that inspires confidence that it will definitely be completed within three years.
~The links to the wider AHRC research project are made clear.

Preparedness for Research
~The applicant demonstrates understanding of appropriate research skills required for successful completion of the project.
~The applicant has appropriate training at Master’s level or equivalent to undertake the project.
~The applicant’s references fully support the applicant’s preparedness for doctoral study.

Suitability of Research Environment
The applicant has given clear thought to the fit between their project and their proposed research environment, within the project but also more broadly in relation to the work of the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies at Kent and the project partners’ interests at Birmingham, King’s London, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the Weald and Downland Museum.

How to apply
Students wishing to be considered for this scholarship must apply for a PhD place at the University of Kent by 17 May 2019. Applicants are advised to discuss their research project with Professor Richardson as soon as possible.