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Human Geography: ESRC Wales Doctoral Training Partnership PhD Collaborative Studentship ‘The Everyday Affects of Protest: Engaging the Politics of Citizenship at the Museum’


Project Description

Swansea University, supported by the ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership for Wales (Wales DTP), invites applications for funded PhD study, available to start in October 2020. The following collaborative studentship is available in the Human Geography pathway of the Wales DTP:

‘The Everyday Affects of Protest: Engaging the Politics of Citizenship at the Museum’ (working title) in collaboration with St Fagan’s National Museum of History

Context and Rationale:

Although protests often suggest a moment when people decide to take ‘heroic action’, ordinary life also folds around protest. Drawing on geographers’ interest in the politics of everyday life (Hall, 2019; Hitchen, 2018), and a unique opportunity to work with St Fagans National Museum of History – a museum of peoples’ histories – this project asks how engaging the political geographies of protest through ordinary affects (Stewart, 2007), ‘little things’ (Thrift, 2000) and ‘affective atmospheres’ (Closs Stephens, 2016) produce other entry points for conceptualising and engaging the politics of citizenship, nationhood and memory.

It invites a candidate to engage a selected protest from the 20th century and take inspiration from the brand new and permanent gallery, ‘Wales is…’ Exhibits include the miners’ strikes of the 1980s, the flooding of Tryweryn in 1950s, and forthcoming, histories of Black Welsh citizens).

Aims and Research Questions:

The aims are: i) to develop new angles on protest through uncovering and generating stories that foreground the everyday; ii) to examine how focusing on everyday affects yields other approaches to knowledge; and iii) to ask what this enables in terms of how publics engage questions of citizenship, nationhood and memory at the museum.

Potential research questions:

- What can we learn about a protest through its everyday, uncelebrated aspects?
- What knowledge and understanding does such an approach yield?
- How does uncovering the everyday affects of protest generate new understandings of citizenship, nationhood, memory and space?

The project will further reflect on the museum as not only an archive for stories of protest but as also as a site of protest, involved in engineering affect (Waterton and Dittmer, 2013) and disrupting dominant ‘ways of seeing’ (Tolia-Kelly, 2016). It will ask:

- How might we curate a story of protest through a focus on everyday life and what is the potential impact of such an approach?

Methods and Design:

Principal data collection will rely on a selection or combination of i) oral histories and ethnography; ii) discourse and analysis of AC-NMW archival documents, objects and audio-files (under the guidance of the Keeper); and iii.) interviews and participant observation. The studentship will proceed through regular supervisory meetings with the two main supervisors and regular opportunities to engage publics through the Museum’s participant forums.

Social Impact:

This project includes a unique opportunity to co-curate part of the ‘Wales is…’ Gallery, to present research and put research into practice.

Eligibility
Residential eligibility:

Full awards (fees plus maintenance stipend) are open to UK Nationals and EU students who can satisfy UK residency requirements. You must:

- be ordinarily resident in the UK, meaning there are no restrictions on how long you can stay, and
- have been ’ordinarily resident’ in the UK for at least three years prior to the start of the studentship grant. This means you must have been normally residing in the UK (apart from temporary or occasional absences), and
- not have been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education. (This does not apply to UK nationals and EU nationals who were ordinarily resident in the EU immediately before the period of full-time education).

Due to funding restrictions, these scholarships are not open to international candidates.

Academic eligibility:

ESRC studentships are highly competitive. Candidates should have an excellent background in the social sciences, holding a 1st or upper 2nd class degree; applications from those also holding a relevant research training Master’s degree (or an equivalent background in research training) will be considered for a ‘+3’ award.

Employment:

Full-time ESRC studentship award holders cannot hold either a full-time job, or a permanent part-time job, during the period of their award. Part-time ESRC studentship award holders cannot hold a full-time job.

Welsh language:

The ability to speak Welsh would be desirable for this studentship.

Funding Notes

The studentship provides the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees and an annual stipend. There will be additional funds available for research expenses.

Studentship awards commence in October 2020 and will cover your tuition fees as well as a maintenance grant (currently £15,009 per annum for 2019/20 for full-time students, updated each year) and includes access to an additional Research Training Support Grant (RTSG). There are other opportunities and benefits available to studentship holders, including an overseas fieldwork allowance (if applicable), internship opportunities, oversea institutional visits and other small grants.

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