Collecting Worlds, Dissertating Geography: Disciplinary History and Knowledge Production in the Undergraduate Geography Dissertation
Candidates interested in applying for funded PhD study on this project are encouraged to make informal contact with the Supervisor(s) in the first instance.
How might we keep telling geography’s “small stories” from the bottom-up? This studentship project presents opportunities to think critically about the modern intellectual history of geography through one traditional element of undergraduate degree studies: the student dissertation.
Generally treated by lecturing staff as a conclusive or defining test of individual ability, the geography dissertation is also reflective of the wider student learning experience, encompassing cultures of fieldwork activity, data gathering, processing and interpreting, and presentational design. Evidently, every geography dissertation has a singular story to tell, and is representative of the student voice in university geography. But each dissertation also speaks to greater questions of disciplinary trends, character, range and change, and the ways in which diverse worlds, peoples and places, have been collected and documented by learning geographical researchers.
Based on an archival-interpretive approach, studentship activities will be centred on a large, single collection of undergraduate geography dissertations held by the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow. The School has retained a near-complete run of hard copy dissertations (regional; physical; human) submitted by final-year undergraduate Geography students, c. 1959-2015. Once chaotic, and only semi-catalogued, the dissertation collection has been recently re-housed and newly organised with a searchable database, making properly accessible a unique archival resource spanning almost sixty years of intellectual and pedagogic change in academic Geography through the praxis of undergraduate students.
Framed by scholarship in historical geography and the history of geography, the project can variously address matters of knowledge production, spaces of learning, scholastic convention, local tradition, trust and credibility, cultural representation, cartographic literacy, and disciplinary integration and fragmentation. Ultimately, the studentship seeks to understand how the exercise of doing a geography dissertation at University Glasgow has, variously over time, reflected or resisted canonical disciplinary narratives.
Candidates wishing to submit an application should prepare and submit the following documentation:
The application form which includes a personal statement in which you should detail the particular attributes and/or achievements which make you a suitable candidate to undertake the proposed project
• Your CV
• Your degree transcripts
• Two references in support of your application
The closing date for receipt of complete applications is Friday, 25 March 2016. Applications should be emailed to Adeline Callander, Graduate School Administrator ([Email Address Removed]).
A doctoral scholarship providing maintenance (c. £14,100 in session 2016-17) and fees (Home/EU rate only) at Research Council rates