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The Body as Archive: Using the senses to retell histories of Ireland

   Centre for Culture and Creativity

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

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  Dr Roisin Higgins  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Irish historiography is at an exciting juncture. Historians have become more willing to write from a place of ambiguity and to question existing narratives of the state and society. Yet, to date, sensory history has made little impact. Beyond Ireland, a burgeoning body of literature on sensory history has deepened understanding of how information is transmitted and received, and how the senses mediate between interior lives and exterior connections. Focusing on the senses - and their relationship to the surrounding society - provides a way of piercing through existing and received political narratives. This focus allows historians to write of past experiences that fall outside articulate language and to tell stories of unexplored aspects of Irish life. Attention to this complex sensory landscape provides a way to excavate societal structures and interactions at a deep, often unconscious level, allowing for analyses of personal and/or collective experiences of both the everyday and the extraordinary.

Applicants are invited to submit projects that use a sensory methodological approach to re-examine an aspect of modern Irish history. Using the body and its senses as archive, proposals may explore areas such as trauma (for example conflict, famine or emigration); inequality (by examining, for example, class, gender, disability or ethnicity); space (for example, home, work or geography). This is an indicative rather than an exhaustive list. Comparative histories and inter-disciplinary work will also be welcome. 

A good BA and MA in History or another relevant discipline(s) are prerequisites. 

Entry Requirements

Applicants should hold or expect to obtain a good honours degree (2:1 or above) in a relevant discipline. A masters level qualification in a relevant discipline is desirable, but not essential, as well as a demonstrable understanding of the research area. Further details of the expected background may appear in the specific project details. International students will be subject to the standard entry criteria relating to English language ability, ATAS clearance and, when relevant, UK visa requirements and procedures.

How to Apply

Applicants should apply online for this opportunity at:

Please use the Online Application (Funded PHD) application form. When asked to specify funding select “other” and enter ‘RDS’ and the title of the PhD project that you are applying for. You should ensure that you clearly indicate that you are applying for a Funded Studentship and the title of the topic or project on the proposal that you will need to upload when applying. If you would like to apply for more than one project, you will need to complete a further application form and specify the relevant title for each application to a topic or project.

Applications for studentships that do not clearly indicate that the application is for a Funded Studentship and state the title of the project applied for on the proposal may mean that your application may not be considered for the appropriate funding.

For academic enquiries, please contact [Email Address Removed]

For administrative enquiries before or when making your application, contact [Email Address Removed].

Funding Notes

The Fees-Paid PhD studentship will cover all tuition fees for the period of a full-time PhD Registration of up to four years. Successful applicants who are eligible will be able to access the UK Doctoral Loan scheme to support with living costs. The Fully Funded PhD Studentship covers tuition fees for the period of a full-time PhD Registration of up to four years and provide an annual tax-free stipend of £15,000 for three years, subject to satisfactory progress. Applicants who are employed and their employer is interested in funding a PhD, can apply for a Collaborative Studentship.
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