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Literature in an Age of Protracted Displacement

  • Funded PhD Programme (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Programme (Students Worldwide)

Profile Description

Supervisor(s): Professor Lyndsey Stonebridge

Application Deadline: Friday 1 March 2019

School: School of English, Drama, and American and Canadian Studies

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship focusing on transnational literatures and narratives in contexts of protracted displacement under the supervision of Professor Lyndsey Stonebridge.

Narratives of exile and displacement pose problems for conventional taxonomies of literature. Cutting across national literatures and languages, on the one hand, these narratives are migratory. Yet, at the same time, they are not straightforwardly global or cosmopolitan. The history they tell is also of restriction and entrapment: of not being able to move, return, or settle.

What might it mean to construct a refugee literary history today? How might such a history produce new meanings of displacement, community, or being? How might the practice of reading and/or teaching literature be transformed by – or transform – the experience of protracted displacement? How do global south perspectives challenge conventional canons of literary exile? How might creative writing be used in the teaching/production of new refugee and migratory narratives?

Applications are invited for a three-year PhD studentship in the School of English, Drama, and American and Canadian Studies (EDACS) and the Institute of Research in Superdiversity (IRiS) which will address one or more of these questions with reference to transnational migration/refugee literature (including fiction, poetry, drama, creative non-fiction, and film) from 1900. The PhD may include a placement either with University partners abroad or with UK-based NGOs/educational institutions.


Candidates should have a good (2.1 or equivalent) Bachelor's degree and a Masters (at least a Merit or equivalent). They should be willing to experiment with interdisciplinary methodologies, to undertake language training as necessary, and to work abroad in situations of protracted displacement.


Applications should be clearly marked ‘HumHumPhD' and sent to the College of Arts and Law Graduate School:

Applicants are required to submit the following:

• An 800-word proposal describing how your proposed research fits into the theme and a short bibliography of texts.
• Writing samples to include: academic writing, for example, essay, chapter, working paper (no more than 5000 words) AND an example of another form of communicative writing, for example, journalism, blog, creative writing, report, funding bid (no more than 1000 words).
• A CV (no longer than 4 pages), including the names and emails of two academic referees.

A formal application to the University of Birmingham may be required at a later date.
Interviews will be in May 2019.

Funding notes:

The studentship is available for three years full-time and will cover PhD tuition fees for UK/EU/Overseas students, plus a stipend £14,777 per annum (2018/19 Research Council rate).

Contact for enquiries

Funding Notes

Some or all of the PhD opportunities in this programme have funding attached. Applications for this programme are welcome from suitably qualified candidates worldwide. Funding may only be available to a limited set of nationalities and you should read the full programme details for further information.

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