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In Search of Past Time: Popular Perceptions of Time c.1550-c.1800

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  • Full or part time
    Dr I Atherton
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

This full-time three-year History PhD studentship, starting September 2020, is fully funded by the Economic & Social Sciences Research Council CASE studentship scheme (ESRC NWSSDTP), together with Keele University and Staffordshire Archives and Heritage Service. This is an invaluable opportunity for a student to undertake PhD research bridging academic and professional concerns, having a direct impact in a professional context whilst also producing a PhD thesis. The student will be supervised by Dr Ian Atherton, Dr Siobhan Talbott, and Dr Helen Saunders of Keele University, and Rebecca Jackson (Staffordshire Archives).

The studentship project

This project will investigate popular perceptions of time and their interaction with cultures of memory in the English Midlands, c.1550-c.1800 primarily through use of the c. 12,000 depositions and other papers of the Lichfield and Coventry consistory court. The court covered a wide area (Staffordshire, Derbyshire, north Shropshire, and north Warwickshire) allowing for comparison between very different socio-economic zones, from the Peak District to the rapidly industrialising areas of Birmingham and the Black Country. The project will enable a mature and informed understanding of popular time perception, exploring claims about the rise of clock and industrial time and thereby historicising analyses of changes in productivity.

The student will:
• produce a doctoral thesis reassessing popular time perception in early modern England
• collaborate with the Staffordshire Archive and Heritage Service in running its ‘Bawdy Courts’ blog
• create a touring exhibition about the project and the church court archive.
During the project the student will develop a range of transferable skills including in public engagement and database management, equipping them for a career in academia, the archives/heritage sector, or a germane profession.

Further information

Enquiries about this opportunity should be directed to Dr Ian Atherton, [Email Address Removed].

Candidates must have a first degree in History or a relevant discipline at first or upper second class level, and have obtained (or will have obtained by the start of the project) a suitable Master’s degree; relevant experience may be considered in place of qualifications. Candidates will need to demonstrate that they satisfy the ESRC eligibility requirements including research training. Please check eligibility,

Interviews are expected to take place at Keele University on 11 March 2020.

This ESRC studentship includes an annual tax-free stipend at RCUK rate (currently £15,009) plus a tuition fee waiver at UK rates. The full package is currently worth £19,336 per year for three years.

To apply, please go to
ensuring that the documents below are attached to your online application form
• a curriculum vitae (maximum 2 pages)
• a writing sample of 4,000-6,000 words
• a brief letter outlining their qualification for the studentship
• transcripts of undergraduate and Masters qualifications
• two academic references, which the candidate should request the referee to send by the deadline.

Closing date: Midnight, Tuesday 25 February 2020

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