Category Archives: PhD

PhD Studentships in Cultural and Historical Geography

The Department of Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London is delighted to invite suitably qualified candidates with research interests in cultural geography, historical geography, or the GeoHumanities to apply for doctoral funding under the auspices of the AHRC’s technē Doctoral Training Partnership and the ESRC’s South East Network for Social Sciences (SeNSS).*

The Department of Geography has a long-standing reputation in cultural and historical geography and its staff currently take a leading role in a number of the sub-disciplines’ key bodies (e.g., the Historical Geography Research Group and the Social and Cultural Geography Research Group of the RGS-IBG), journals (e.g., cultural geographies, Journal of Historical Geography, and GeoHumanities), and seminar series (e.g., the London Group of Historical Geographers). The Department is also home to the interdisciplinary Centre for the GeoHumanities. The Department has formal partnerships with the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland) and the University of Padua (Italy), providing the opportunity for PhD students, where appropriate, to undertake exchange visits as part of their studies.

We would welcome enquiries from students interested in working in the following areas:

  • histories of geography; historical geographies of science;
  • history of cartography; the geography of the book;
  • histories of travel, tourism, and pilgrimage; cultures of exploration;
  • heritage, landscape, and memory; collecting and collections; museum geographies;
  • historical geographies of religion and sacred spaces;
  • cultural and historical geographies of the Mediterranean, especially Greece and Cyprus;
  • creative geographies; geographies of art and activism; creative experiments;
  • geographies of air and atmosphere; elemental geographies; sonic geographies;
  • citizen science; geographies of listening; feminist geographies of radio.

Interested candidates are invited to contact the Director of Graduate Studies (Admissions and Recruitment), Dr Innes M. Keighren (Innes.Keighren@rhul.ac.uk) to discuss supervisory possibilities.

Further details about the Department of Geography’s vibrant Social, Cultural and Historical Geography Research Group are available on its homepage: https://intranet.royalholloway.ac.uk/geography/research/researchgroups/schg/home.aspx The Group’s blog, Landscape Surgery, details the activities of our postgraduate researchers: https://landscapesurgery.wordpress.com/

* Applications to SeNSS and technē are governed by specific eligibility criteria (see, respectively, http://senss-dtp.ac.uk/application-faqs/ and http://www.techne.ac.uk/how-to-apply-for-a-techne-ahrc-studentship) and are dependent upon candidates applying successfully for admission to study at Royal Holloway, University of London.

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Year 1 Presentations: 29th May 2018

Following on from last weeks post, this weeks Landscape Surgery saw the next round of first year presentations, with each surgeon presenting their PhD research:

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Emily Hopkins: 

Creating the ordinary city: Creative policy and the making of place and community in small cities

The ‘creative city’ continues to be used as a tool in urban development policy, with little sign of abating: 47 cities are now listed as part of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s Creative Cities Network (UNESCO, 2015).  However, studies have focused on the extraordinary narratives of iconic ‘global’ cities, like London, New York and Berlin. My research aims to extend existing ideas on creativity and its social, cultural and economic conceptualisations within urban communities and infrastructures. It counters current foci by attending to the ‘ordinary’ city, as an urbanity that intertwines with creative policy and cultural regeneration decisions, which is increasingly occurring in middle-sized UK cities. The case study is Coventry, a city in the West Midlands of the UK with over 300,000 residents – a place I know well, as my home city. In December 2017, Coventry won the title of UK City of Culture 2021. This will involve a year of cultural and artistic events to entice local civic pride, while attracting millions of pounds worth of regeneration investments, both private and public. This multi-dimensional thesis will use in-depth ethnographic methods and participatory action research to study the vernacular creativity, everyday communities and localised cultural ‘place-making’ processes to evolve discussions on creativity in cities, encouraging the appreciation of ordinary urban space in the midst of regeneration.

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Year 1 Presentations: 22nd May 2018

On Tuesday, Landscape Surgery saw the first round of Year 1 surgeons presenting on their research:

Rachael Utting:

Collecting Leviathan: curiosity, exchange and the British Southern Whale Fishery (1775-1860)

My research project is titled Collecting Leviathan: curiosity, exchange and the British Southern Whale Fishery (1775-1860). The project looks specifically at the collecting activities of whalers and whaling surgeons within the BSWF and at the role played by these individuals in supplying the trade in curiosities in Britain during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. My presupposition is that during the regular layovers for fresh food, water and wood, the whalers also engaged in exchange relations to acquire indigenous artefacts which were retained for personal interest or sold as curiosities upon returning home. By analysing these moments of exchange and encounter through whaling logs, journals, auction house records and public and private correspondence, I propose to build an understanding of the networks of exchange spreading out from the London dockside and thereby enhancing our knowledge and understanding of early British collecting practices. To evidence this, I am reviewing journals (and to a lesser extent) logbooks relating to the BSWF to look for examples of cross cultural trade.

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