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  Locative Mixed Reality for Literary Archives (Advert Reference: RDF21/ADSS/DES/RICHARDSON)

   Faculty of Arts, Design and Social Sciences

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  Dr A Richardson  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

The growing use and availability of Mixed Reality (MR) geolocated technology devices – available on an increasing number of mobile devices, has opened up opportunities for exploring new ways for experiencing and engaging with cultural data within the urban environments, fostering new ways of engaging audiences and enriching experiences within the city spaces. Although a number of heritage and tourism projects have begun to explore these technologies, much less research has been done to explore the use of locative MR technologies for visualising the literary heritage connected to city spaces -  despite an increasing number of geolocated literary resources being developed and made available. There remains unexamined potential offered by locative technologies for generating novel and engaging ways to bring the literary texts back ‘onto the streets’,  creating opportunities for developing culturally enriching ways of experiencing texts, which broaden audience participation and appreciation of the literary heritage associated with particular urban environments.

The Portuguese Atlas of Literary Landscapes ( is a notable example of a geo-located Digital Literary archive. An ongoing project since 2010, developed at NOVA-FCSH, Lisbon, its vast, and growing, digital resources collate literary texts with geo-spatial references which highlight vast Portuguese cultural assets regarding natural environments and landscapes. Working in collaboration with the Digital Humanities Lab at NOVA-FCSH this PhD studentship will use the Atlas of Literary Landscapes as a key focus for its investigation, to explore the potential of locative technologies for visualising the literary descriptions within a spatial context – helping to identify the associated problems, opportunities and challenges. Collaboration with, and visits to, the partner group at Digital Humanities Lab, Lisbon, for user studies and development will be used to inform the design, testing and development process.

It is envisaged that outcomes from the research will include prototypes of digital MR artefacts which: explore methods for connecting key texts and extracts back within their city environment, examine new user experiences of the data from within the archive, and contribute towards the wider discussion into the application of more immersive digital tools in the field of digital humanities.

It is expected that the PhD candidate will bring skills in interaction design / interactive technologies and will have a strong interest in developing research within cross-disciplinary context.

 The supervisor for this project is Dr Andrew Richardson.

Eligibility and How to Apply:

Please note eligibility requirement:

·      Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.

·      Appropriate IELTS score, if required.

·      Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see 

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. RDF21/ADSS/DES/RICHARDSON) will not be considered.

Deadline for applications: 29 January 2021

Start Date: 1 October 2021

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community.

Computer Science (8) Creative Arts & Design (9)

Funding Notes

The studentship is available to Home students and includes a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates (for 2020/21, this is £15,285 pa) and full tuition fees.
* please note: to be classed as a Home student, candidates must meet the following criteria:
• Be a UK National (meeting residency requirements), or
• have settled status, or
• have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or
• have indefinite leave to remain or enter.


Richardson, A, 2020, The Application of Creative Coding Methods for the Development of Interactive 3D Visualisations of Literary Texts. Mapping Time, Mapping Space, Mapping Text British Library
Richardson, A 2019, ‘Creative Experiments into the Spatial Visualisation of Literary Texts’ Digital Humanities 2019
Richardson, A 2019, ‘Mapping The Prelude: A Visualisation of Wordsworth’s Poetry’ IEEE VIS 2019, Vancouver, Canada
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