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Editing Ann Radcliffe (The Romance of the Forest [1791])

Department of English

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Assoc Prof Tom Duggett Applications accepted all year round Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The PhD studentship is part of a project to produce a scholarly edition of Ann Radcliffe’s breakthrough ‘Gothic Romance’, The Romance of the Forest (1791). Radcliffe was known in the Romantic period as the ‘Great Enchantress’, and her Romances were formative influences on significant writers from Walter Scott to Samuel Taylor Coleridge; Thomas De Quincey to Jane Austen. The Romance of the Forest was the work that established Radcliffe’s reputation, and is also the work that best showcases the word-painting of Romantic scenes and descriptive techniques for evoking ‘Gothic’ states of mind for which she became – and remains – famous. The edition will revolutionize availability and understanding of this important text.

The PhD studentship will involve conducting original research on the life, works and contexts of Ann Radcliffe, including but not limited to The Romance of the Forest (1791). The products of the research will be an original dissertation, suitable for subsequent book publication, plus contributions (with acknowledgement) to a new published edition of The Romance of the Forest.

The candidate should have a first class or upper second class honours degree, and a master’s degree (or equivalent qualification), in English Literature. It is desirable (but not essential) for candidates to have existing knowledge of the literature and culture of the Romantic period in general, and of Gothic fiction and Radcliffe’s life and works in particular. Knowledge and interest in the theory and practice of scholarly editing are also desirable. Candidates without this (or an equivalent) background should explain clearly in their personal statement how they will be able to adapt to participate in this project. Evidence of good spoken and written English is essential. If the candidate’s first language is not English, she or he must be able to demonstrate that they have qualified at an English-medium University, and/or be able to demonstrate English language proficiency to the equivalent IELTS score of 7.0 or above. This position is open to all qualified candidates irrespective of nationality.

For more information about doctoral scholarships and the PhD programme at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU), please visit:

How to Apply:
Interested applicants are advised to email [Email Address Removed] with the following documents for initial review and assessment (please put the project title in the subject line).

• CV
• Two reference letters with company/university letterhead (alternatively, you may ask your referees to forward these letters independently, using your name and the project title in the subject line)
• Personal statement outlining your interest in and qualifications for the position
• Proof of English language proficiency (degree certificates from English-medium institutions, and/or documentation showing an IELTS score of above 7.0 or equivalent)
• Verified school transcripts in both Chinese and English (for international students, only the English version is required)
• Verified certificates of education qualifications in both Chinese and English (for international students, only the English version is required)

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Dr. Tom Duggett ([Email Address Removed])
personal profile:

Funding Notes

The PhD studentship is available for three years subject to satisfactory progress by the student. The award covers tuition fees for three years (currently equivalent to RMB 80,000 per annum) and provides a monthly stipend of 5,000 RMB as a contribution to living expenses. It also provides up to RMB 16,500 to allow participation at international conferences during the period of the award. It is a condition of the award that holders of XJTLU PhD scholarships carry out 300-500 hours of teaching assistance work per year. The scholarship holder is expected to carry out the major part of his or her research at XJTLU in Suzhou, China. However, he or she is eligible for a research study visit to the University of Liverpool of up to three months, if this is required by the project.
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