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From Viv Anderson to Black Lives Matter: Racism and Anti-Racism within British football fanzines and fan websites, 1970-present


   School of Health & Life Sciences

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  Dr T Gibbons, Prof N Copsey, Mr Kevin Dixon  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Teesside University and the British Library are pleased to announce the availability of a fully funded Collaborative Doctoral Studentship from October 2022 under the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership Scheme.

From Viv Anderson to Black Lives Matter, we capture how print and online fanzines/websites have both reproduced and challenged dominant racial discourses within British football from the 1970s to the present.

The student will spend time with both Teesside University and the British Library and will become part of the wider cohort of AHRC CDP funded PhD students across the UK.

Teesside University and the British Library are keen to encourage applications from a wide range of students and particularly welcome applications from black and minority ethnic candidates who are currently underrepresented in doctoral student cohorts.

The Research Project

‘From Viv Anderson to Black Lives Matter’ will capture how print and online fanzines/websites have both reproduced and challenged dominant racial discourses within British football from the 1970s to the present. Based on case studies of independent and club-based fanzines and websites drawn from the BL’s collections over a 50-year period, it will force us to reconsider existing scholarship. Through forensic analysis of responses to key historical moments (see below), it will expand our knowledge and understanding of diachronic expressions of racism and anti-racism within fan communities. Significantly, this will reveal how printed and digital cultures have developed over time and assess their impact on the present.

The project will have two distinct methodological components:

1. A series of case studies scaffolded around responses to key historical moments. Starting with Viv Anderson, the first black player to play for the men’s senior England team in 1978, these moments might cover the intervention of the National Front in the late 1970s/early 1980s; responses to Paul Ince, the first black player to captain the England football team in 1993; the emergence of antiracist groups and campaigns; the Bosman ruling in 1995 and the rise of non-British players in the leagues; the emergence of football-related Islamophobic social movements, such as the English Defence League and the Football Lads Alliance/Democratic Football Lads Alliance; through to the recent Black Lives Matter campaign.

2. Library-based research to identify relevant material with the holdings of football fanzines and within the UK Web Archive, comprising two overlapping phases. The first involves locating, collating, and further cataloguing of source materials drawn from British Library collections from the 1970s to the present day. The second involves inductive qualitative content analysis (Krippendorff, 2019).

This archival research could be supplemented with oral history (Leavy, 2011), involving semi-structured interviews with creators of, and contributors to, the fanzines and online communities, as well as with representatives drawn from anti-racist organisations (e.g., ‘Kick it Out’ and ‘Show Racism the Red Card’).

Research questions include:

• When, and why, did print fanzines first engage with racist representations?

• What role have both print and digital cultures played in the (re)production of racism within fan communities?

• When, why, and how did certain fanzines and websites challenge racism?

• What role have new digital technologies played in the creation, circulation, and experience of both racist and anti-racist content?

• What are the archival and methodological opportunities and challenges presented by the British Library’s holdings of print publications and archived websites (primarily the UK Web Archive), and how can these be addressed, and their access and profile enhanced?

• be a UK national (meeting residency requirements)

• have settled status

• have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements)

• have indefinite leave to remain in or enter

International applicants can find further guidance on international eligibility.

AHRC CDP doctoral training grants fund full-time studentships for 45 months or part-time equivalent. AHRC CDP doctoral training grants make provision of funding for student development activities to help the student extend their wider skills portfolio and improve their career prospects. Up to three months of funding may be used to pay for the costs incurred in taking up professional development opportunities. The studentship can also be extended for three additional months, up to four years, to provide further professional development.

The award pays tuition fees up to the value of the full-time home UKRI rate for PhD degrees, and a stipend of £16,062. This is a tax-free training grant which increases slightly each year. An additional London Weighting allowance of £1000/year will be applied for this studentship.

The successful candidate will also receive a CDA maintenance payment of £550/year.

Teesside University will cover the additional fees for international applications. Recruitment of a suitable candidate will be based on ability and potential, and not the candidate’s ability to access funding.

Further details on UKRI funding for doctoral training can be found on the UKRI website. Applicants must satisfy the standard UKRI eligibility criteria.

In addition, the successful student will be eligible for an additional research allowance courtesy of the British Library, up to £1,000 per financial year or part-time equivalent, for the duration of the project.

Application Deadline: 27/05/2022 at 5pm

Apply here


Funding Notes

This studentship is open to home and international applicants. The PhD studentship can be undertaken on a full-time or part-time basis.
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