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‘All the Watery Margins’: Water and the American Civil War


   Energy and Environment Institute

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  Dr Rachel Williams, Dr D Atkinson  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

This PhD scholarship is offered by the Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarship Centre for Water Cultures, an interdisciplinary research centre exploring humanity’s relationships with water in the green-blue regions of the world, past, present and future.

It pioneers a new, humanities-led, interdisciplinary and transhistorical research area – the green-blue humanities – and equips a new generation of PhD students to take this agenda forward and transform our understanding of humanity's relationships with water.

For more information visit the University of Hull website. Or if you have a direct question about the project, please email [Email Address Removed] rather than contacting the supervisor directly. This is to support our inclusive recruitment practices (please see ‘How to apply’ on the University of Hull website for more information). Our Water Cultures Professional Services Team will liaise with Supervisors and ensure you receive responses to your queries.

This project combines approaches from social and environmental history and historical geography to understand water as a destructive, productive, restorative, and symbolic force during and after the American Civil War (1861-65), interrogating responses to and representations of water by a range of groups and perspectives.

The following research questions will interrogate the interplay between the practical and symbolic uses of water during and after the conflict:

  1. How did coastal, inland, and estuarine water bodies and wetlands constitute sites of conflict and danger for military and naval personnel? How did they also function as refuges and routes to safety and liberation for deserters, guerrillas, and self-emancipating enslaved fugitives?
  2. How did the struggle to access clean, safe water shape military and civilian experiences of the war? How did water scarcity and polluted/diseased water threaten the physical and emotional health of civilians and soldiers on both sides?
  3. How was water mobilised in cultural and political debates about cleanliness and purity during the war and in processes of reconciliation and memorialisation after its end?

If you have any queries about this project, please address them to [Email Address Removed], rather than contacting the supervisor directly. This is to support our inclusive recruitment practices (please see ‘How to apply’ section below for more information). Our Water Cultures Professional Services Team will liaise with Supervisors and ensure you receive responses to your queries.

Webinar

Watch this recording of our recent webinar, for more information about the funded projects available through the Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarships Centre for Water Cultures. You will be able to hear an introduction to the Centre, to the individual projects from the lead supervisors, as well as the Q&A.

Entry Requirements

You should have a good undergraduate degree (at least a 2:1 Honours degree, or international equivalent) in a relevant subject such as History, Human Geography, American Studies or Cultural Studies.

A Masters in a relevant subject is desirable, but not essential.

If your first language is not English, or you require Tier 4 student visa to study, you will be required to provide evidence of your English language competency. Information on the tests that we accept can be found on the University of Hull website.

How to apply

Applications are via the University of Hull online portal. Detailed instructions on how to apply are given on the University of Hull website. Please note, you must also download a Supplementary Application form, complete and submit it as part of the online application.

Eligibility

The Centre for Water Cultures welcomes applications from international candidates.

While the Leverhulme Trust funds fees at the UK rate, we are able to offer a limited number of international fee waivers to support EU and International applicants. These are likely to be attached to no more than 30% of our scholarships.

Applicants already holding a PhD (or equivalent qualification) will not typically be considered as eligible for a Centre for Water Cultures scholarship. Applicants in this position wishing to apply must make a compelling case for their motivations in their completed supplementary application form.


Funding Notes

Doctoral scholars appointed to interdisciplinary projects within the Centre for Water Cultures will be supported by PhD scholarships, funded for 48 months. These cover fees at the UK rate, a maintenance grant of £17,668 per year (2022/23 rate), and a research and training support grant.
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