PhD Funding: ‘Rejecting and Recycling the Past in Reformation Canterbury’, AHRC/CHASE Collaborative Doctoral Award, University of Kent and Canterbury Cathedral (Deadline 13 January 2023)

This collaborative doctoral award will allow one student to intervene an emerging new humanities discipline, working at a World Heritage Site. Funded by CHASE, it is a collaboration between the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies at the University of Kent and the Archives and Library at Canterbury Cathedral.

This project takes an historical perspective on two issues of urgent present-day importance: the impulse or imperative to destroy certain cultural artefacts (iconoclasm) and the countervailing need to reuse and recycle. The historical lens is the sixteenth century when the destruction wrought by the Dissolution of the Monasteries was met with a concern to salvage and redeploy what remained. Canterbury Cathedral has many witnesses to this in its Archives and Library: fragments of medieval manuscripts reused in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.‘Fragmentology’ is a developing discipline in its own right, and one which can disrupt existing narratives by introducingnew evidence and fresh eyes. This award will place the successful candidate at the heart of this transformative work.

We encourage applications from a diverse range of candidates. Training in the core skills of palaeography and codicology, as well as in Latin, will be provided as required.

 While a substantial number of fragments in the Cathedral’s collections have been identified, there remain many that have not been. The first task of the student, therefore, will be to explore and excavate the collections for relevant examples. The student will be given full training in identifying, recording and analysing the fragments. The student will be encouraged to consider these fragments as evidence as wider cultures of discarding and salvaging.

We welcome applications from a diverse range of backgrounds. Having gained or be about to gain either a MA or professional experience in a relevant area, particularly one with training in palaeography and languages would be welcome but, if that does not describe you, do not be discouraged: if you are interested, do contact the lead supervisor (see below).

The studentship is subject to UKRI eligibility criteria, and will cover home or EU fees and stipend at UKRI rates for a maximum of four years full-time, or eight years part-time study, subject to institutional regulations.

Applications for this studentship must be made via the University of Kent application form

Potential candidates are encouraged to make informal enquiries, contacting the lead supervisor, Dr David Rundle


Published by charlottecook

Charlotte Cook graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in European History from Washington & Lee University in 2019. In 2020 she received her Master’s degree in History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, earning the classification of Merit. Her research explores questions of royal patronage, both by and in honor of rulers, in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century England. She has worked as a researcher and collections assistant at several museums and galleries, and plans to begin her PhD in the autumn of 2022.

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