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Colonial Histories of Resistance and Reimagining Potential Caribbean Futures (MCMAHON_AMA23CDCC)

   Faculty of Arts and Humanities

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  Dr Wendy McMahon, Dr Teresa Armijos  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project


The Critical Decade for Climate Change offers an opportunity to develop a global response with environmental justice, human rights, and resistance at its centre. To achieve this, it is urgent that we explore and understand the relationship between diverse conceptualisations of climate change, colonial histories, and divergent ideological, epistemological, and theoretical imaginaries. Contemporary Western and western-informed climate change discourse tends to be conceptualised in apocalyptic Judeo-Christian terms with the climate crisis the ultimate destruction. The finality of this leaves little hope and negates that the colonised world has already experienced such end of days (and for many years the effects of climate change) and has long developed creative and theoretical forms of resistance as imagined alternative futures.   

This project takes the Caribbean region as a case study and engages with decolonial critical and creative enquiry and practice to explore twenty-first century modes of imagining climate change in the (post) colonial context to investigate the relationship between Caribbean histories of colonisation and exploitation and concomitant narratives and theories of climate change, climate crisis, resilience, and response. Through engaging with histories, stories, and practices of resistance across the Caribbean, the project seeks to uncover and examine the ways in which alternative imagined futures to those of the dominant climate change discourse empower communities impacted by climate change in the present. 

Research methodology 

Humanities and social science methods (e.g. historiography; cultural criticism; narrative approaches; arts-based methods; interviews; participatory methods)  


You will benefit from training to help you develop your academic rigour and research project management. You will specifically receive training in qualitive methods, interview methods and coding, ethics, narrative analysis, and participatory methods. In addition, you will have access to post-graduate professional development programmes from the faculties of Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences. 

Person specification 

Applicants will have a strong degree and masters in a relevant subject (e.g. Caribbean Studies, Literary Studies, Historical Studies, Cultural Studies, Philosophical Studies, Environmental History, Environmental Humanities International Development, Development Studies) and some experience of interdisciplinary work. We welcome proposals for a comparative study investigating experiences across the different colonial histories of the Caribbean region.   

This project has been shortlisted for funding by the Critical Decade for Climate Change programme. For more information about the programme and details of how to apply, please visit  

For more information on the supervisor for this project, please visit the UEA website 

The start date of this project is 1st October 2023.

Funding Notes

This project has been shortlisted for funding by the Critical Decade for Climate Change programme, which will award PhD studentship funding from the Leverhulme Trust and UEA’s Faculties of Social Sciences and Science.

Successful candidates will be awarded a PhD studentship that pays tuition fees, a stipend (£17,668 p.a. for 2022/23), and funding to support research costs. Studentship funding is only available to applicants eligible for ‘Home’ fees status, including UK nationals and most EU nationals with ‘settled’ and ‘pre-settled’ status.

Further details of the Critical Decade programme can be found at:


McMahon, W., Armijos, MT., ‘Explosive Archives: Music, Resilience, and Recovery on Montserrat’. Forthcoming

Martin, A. , Armijos, MT., Coolsaet,B., Dawson,N., Edwards, G. A. S., Few, R., Gross-Camp, N., Rodriguez, I., Schroeder, H., Tebboth, M. G. L., White, C.S. (2020) Environmental Justice and Transformations to Sustainability, Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, 62:6, 19-30.

McMahon, W., Armijos, MT., ‘Stories and History: remembering and learning from past disasters in the Caribbean’. Forthcoming.

Richardson, BC., Economy and Environment in the Caribbean: Barbados and the Windwards in the late 1800s. University of the West Indies Press, 1997.
Sheller, Mimi. Island Futures: Caribbean Survival in the Anthropocene. Duke University Press, 2020
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