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UCL & Shakespeare's Birthplace Trust: Collaborative Doctoral Award

Applications are invited for a Collaborative Doctoral Award PhD studentship, to be undertaken at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (SBT) and University College London (UCL). This full-time studentship will commence in October 2018. The named supervisors for this project are Professor René Weis of UCL and Dr Paul Edmondson of SBT. 

Project overview:

No other town in the United Kingdom boasts a local studies collection as rich and as focussed as Stratford-upon-Avon’s. Shakespeare has proved a catalyst of exceptional power for generating an extraordinary breadth of historical research. Collections of national and international significance have accrued in the archives of The SBT, encompassing both local history and Shakespeare Studies (especially in the areas of literary biography and cultural materialism). These include hundreds of notebooks, letters, transcriptions, maps, sketches, drawings, and other images. As we approach the centenary of the Dugdale Society (named after the pioneer who has some claim to be the first Stratford-upon-Avon antiquarian, Sir William Dugdale 1605-1686), the time seems right for us to propose a fresh overview and critique of the papers and collections relating to the Shakespearian antiquarians who devoted their energies to Stratford-upon-Avon, the better to understand their respective achievements. But the thesis will also identify new directions for research arising out of a deeper understanding of these important and underused archives. University College London, too, houses a cache of papers by the great nineteenth-century Shakespearian and Stratford-upon-Avon antiquarian, James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps, a resource which will play an underpinning part in this new collaboration between UCL and SBT.

Remarkably, many of these papers have to date not been systematically explored. It is expected that the proposed research will reveal hitherto unnoticed, or long-forgotten, Shakespearian nuggets in the papers of the individuals themselves, or else will make critical connections between their work that in turn will afford new insights into Shakespeare’s life and that of his home town. The overarching framework of the proposed research is the systematic investigation of the papers, diaries, and publications of the Stratford antiquarians, in search of new information.

Studentship details:

The successful student will be granted privileged access to the archives held at the Shakespeare Centre, and take up the equivalent benefits, along with a work space, of a full-time member of staff. He or she will also enjoy all of the resources that UCL has to offer.

The studentship includes a stipend at current Research Council UK rates of circa £17,000 per annum (pro-rata for part-time students, plus fees at home/EU rates) for three years (five years for part-time). The awarded candidate will also be entitled to a £550 per annum stipend top-up.  As a LAHP student, the successful candidate will have full access to the LAHP Doctoral Training Partnership development activities and networking opportunities, joining a cohort of about 80 students per year. Studentships can be either full or part-time.

Applicants should have a good undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline, and a Masters-level qualification or equivalent which meets AHRC requirements for research training. Applicants with relevant work/professional experience who are considering doing a PhD are also encouraged to apply.

Closing date: 6 April 2018, 17:00 GMT

If you would like to discuss this project informally, please email the LAHP Director, Clare Pettitt:

For more information please follow the link.