Traditional narratives about property and finance relegate the role of women to that of passive actor. Yet recent evidence from the Yorkshire Registers of Deeds challenges that accepted norm (Heggie, 2019 & BA Grant, 2021). Illiterate women successfully borrowed money, negotiating the legal process without being able to read or write; women loaned funds to men and women alike; married women conducted property transfers without their husbands. Evidence is available of women’s agency over their own financial decisions. Indeed, their strategies as savers, money lenders, borrowers and property owners allowed some women to transcend received gender roles and expectations. Significant legislative and social change in the late nineteenth century, such as the growth of formal lending from the savings bank and building society sector, and the recognition of married women’s agency through the various Marriage Acts (1870, 1882 & 1892), impacted on women’s relationship to property. When the demand for women’s suffrage was finally, if only partly granted in 1918, it was female property owners who were given that right ahead of other categories.
This project examines financial transactions and gender roles in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, drawn from the Registers of Deeds for the County of York. Applicants will be encouraged to focus on a specific time frame within the wider period. It welcomes proposals that change the narrative and make visible the non-conforming, transgressive and disruptive females who challenged legislative and societal constraints to become property owners.
Candidates should have a BA (2:1 or above) and a Masters degrees in an appropriate discipline(s), such as History, Women’s Studies or Gender Studies.
Applicants should hold or expect to obtain a good honours degree (2:1 or above) in a relevant discipline. A masters level qualification in a relevant discipline is desirable, but not essential, as well as a demonstrable understanding of the research area. Further details of the expected background may appear in the specific project details. International students will be subject to the standard entry criteria relating to English language ability, ATAS clearance and, when relevant, UK visa requirements and procedures.
How to Apply
Applicants should apply online for this opportunity at: https://e-vision.tees.ac.uk/si_prod/userdocs/web/apply.html?CourseID=1191
Please use the Online Application (Funded PHD) application form. When asked to specify funding select “other” and enter ‘RDS’ and the title of the PhD project that you are applying for. You should ensure that you clearly indicate that you are applying for a Funded Studentship and the title of the topic or project on the proposal that you will need to upload when applying. If you would like to apply for more than one project, you will need to complete a further application form and specify the relevant title for each application to a topic or project.
Applications for studentships that do not clearly indicate that the application is for a Funded Studentship and state the title of the project applied for on the proposal may mean that your application may not be considered for the appropriate funding.
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