PhD Studentship: Anglo-Saxon England and the Continent: the manuscript evidence

lindisf1[1]The British Library and The University of Leicester

The British Library and the University of Leicester are pleased to invite applications for a three-year AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership PhD Studentship, available from 1 October 2015. The project will be supervised by Professor Joanna Story, professor of Early Medieval History at Leicester, and by Dr Claire Breay, Head of Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts, at the British Library.

The successful candidate will undertake a thesis on Anglo-Saxon England and the Continent centred on the rich manuscript resources at the British Library. The culture of Anglo-Saxon England before the Norman conquest is highly distinctive, not least through the use of the Old English vernacular as a language of written record; but Anglo-Saxon political, religious, economic, linguistic, literary and artistic history cannot be properly understood without reference to contemporary connections with Europe. These cross-Channel connections were always significant, and are manifest in many different ways in manuscripts preserved at the British Library.

Applicants may propose projects that respond to this theme, and which are centred on British Library manuscripts. Potential projects include: ‘Anglo-Saxon England and Rome’; ‘Networks of Knowledge’; ‘Letters to the English’; Perceptions of the Past in Anglo-Saxon England: continental kinship’; ‘Methods of making’.

This studentship coincides with the three-year period of research and preparation for a major British Library exhibition on the Anglo-Saxons that opens in October 2018, and which explores the history, art, and culture of this period through the medium of extant manuscripts. This offers the student an exceptional opportunity to participate in the development of an international exhibition and the Library expects the student to contribute to related publications (in print and online), public events, and academic conferences.

Person specification

We are seeking a highly promising student who will relish the opportunity of combining academic research with the experience of working as part of a professional team of curators and researchers. This studentship is likely to appeal to individuals with a background in early medieval history, book history, literature, language, or interdisciplinary methods for  understanding early medieval material culture. Prior experience of research using early medieval manuscripts will be an advantage, and the successful applicant will demonstrate commensurate skills in relevant languages and palaeography. A commitment to communicating the results of research to a wider public audience is key in the context of the British Library’s exhibition.

Applicants must have a first-class or high upper second-class honours degree (or equivalent qualification) and meet the University’s standard English Language entry requirements. It is expected that applicants will have a related Master’s degree with merit or distinction, or be able to show evidence that they will achieve this by September 2015.

The studentship is available for full-time study only, and applicants must be able to commence their studies in October 2015.

How to apply

To apply you need to complete the standard University of Leicester online application form here: http://www2.le.ac.uk/study/research/phd/history .In place of the research proposal requested on this form, you should provide a statement of up to 1,000 words on:

  1. How you propose to develop the project theme using the British Library collections
  2. How your education and experience to date has prepared you for this research position, and how you will develop the opportunities offered by the 2018 exhibition.

Applicants should also submit:

  1. A 4-5,000 word sample of their written work

Eligibility

The successful candidate must meet Research Council eligibility criteria based on UK residency. See paragraphs 42-44 on pp. 11-12 of the RCUK Terms and Conditions for Postgraduate training grants:
http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/RCUK-prod/assets/documents/documents/TermsConditionsTrainingGrants.pdf

Informal Enquiries

Informal enquiries relating to potential research projects or eligibility should be sent to Professor Jo Story: js73@le.ac.uk

Closing Date:                       Friday 10 April 2015, 17:00 (London time)

Interview Date:   5/6 May 2015, at The British Library

For details of the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership scheme at the British Library please visit http://www.bl.uk/aboutus/highered/hecollab/collabdoctpar/

For more information about the research project offered here and the collaboration with the British Library please consult the Further Particulars, here [http://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/history/postgraduate/collaborative-doctoral-award-opportunities].

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