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Women, Property and the Law: Mapping Sexual Inequality in the East Riding of Yorkshire, 1708-1974

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  • Full or part time
    Dr B McDonagh
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

To celebrate the University's research successes, the University of Hull is offering one full-time UK/EU PhD Scholarship or International Fees Bursary for candidates applying for the following project

Closing date: - 29th February 2016
Studentships will start on 26th September 2016
Supervisors: Dr Briony McDonagh [Email Address Removed] (01482 466734), Department of Geography, Faculty of Science and Engineering & Dr Amanda Capern [Email Address Removed] (01482 465867), Department of History, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Informal enquiries about the studentship can be directed to Briony McDonagh or Amanda Capern. Applicants might also like to look at the research cluster website –

Project summary:
Early modern and modern women were profoundly disadvantaged by the law: married women’s land and chattels belonged wholly to their husbands, while sons – and sometimes even nephews – inherited in preference to daughters. Yet scholars are increasingly pointing to a disparity between legal practice and women’s everyday experience of property ownership (McDonagh, 2009, forthcoming; Capern 2002, 2008/10, forthcoming; Erickson, 1993, 1999; Stretton and Kesselring, 2013) with single, married and widowed women all much more involved in land transactions than previously imagined. Two key uncertainties remain: firstly, about the actual scale of women’s property ownership and secondly, about the impact of various legal changes on female landownership. This project will resolve both uncertainties, using an innovative and interdisciplinary methodology to quantify and map (in a GIS) women’s landownership in a sample English county over an almost 300 year period. The project will involve research on title deeds, land registers and related estate papers and wills in Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire. Deeds provide an exciting opportunity to explore how women’s participation in the land market varied over both time and space as well as to assess how the emergence of strict settlement, the shift from dower to jointure and the Married Women's Property Acts of the 1870s and 1880s impacted upon the geographies of women’s landownership. The project will thus bring new evidence to bear on the gendering of property ownership and related issues of social justice over more than three centuries. This PhD project forms one part of a larger interdisciplinary research cluster (Gender, Place and Memory, 1400-1900) at the University of Hull headed by Briony McDonagh and Amanda Capern, and drawing in academics and researchers from Geography, History and English. The successful applicant will join a vibrant team of Postgraduate and Postdoctoral researchers working on women’s property and material culture; women and the law; gender and emotional attachment to land, landscape and environment.

To apply for this post please click on the Apply button below.

In order to qualify for this scholarship applicants should have a good undergraduate degree in Geography, History or a related discipline. A master’s degree and experience working with one or more of the following is desirable: archival materials; large quantitative datasets; Geographical Information Systems.

Full-time UK/EU PhD Scholarships will include fees at the ‘home/EU' student rate and maintenance (£14,057 in 2015/16) for three years, depending on satisfactory progress.

Full-time International Fee PhD Studentships will include full fees at the International student rate for three years, dependent on satisfactory progress.

PhD students at the University of Hull follow modules for research and transferable skills development and gain a Masters level Certificate, or Diploma, in Research Training, in addition to their research degree.

Successful applicants will be informed of the award as soon as possible and by 30th April 2016 at the latest.

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