AHRC/Techne-funded PhD Studentship

(University of Roehampton and The National Archives)

“State Secrets and the Public Archive: Cold War Spycraft and the Literary Heritage of British Espionage”

Applications are invited for an AHRC/Techne-funded, three-and-a-half-year PhD studentship to be hosted jointly by The National Archives and the Popular Literature and Culture Research Group in the School of Humanities at the University of Roehampton. The studentship will commence in October 2021, with an option to study part time if required.

The National Archives contains unique documents, rich in detail, relating to British espionage and Cold War spycraft, including MI5 Security Service files, Prime Minister’s Office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office records, and propaganda/disinformation policy documentation. This PhD presents a unique opportunity to explore the crossovers between spy fiction and the cultural history of British spycraft, utilising The National Archives’ collections to explore the intersections between fiction and fact.

The specifics of the PhD topic will be decided in consultation with the student and supervisors, but it is expected that the project will make a significant contribution to evaluating the authentic elements of spy fiction and explore previously under-researched questions on the strong linkage with archival sources.

While previous archival experience is desirable in the candidate, the project offers exciting professional development opportunities and the successful applicant will contribute to a well-established public engagement and outreach programme at The National Archives, including contributing to exhibitions and disseminating research to diverse audiences. The successful applicant will also contribute to the thriving research culture at both the University of Roehampton and The National Archives through internal seminars, updating guidance on Intelligence records, and through open access research outputs. 

The supervisory team will be Dr. Ian Kinane (author of Ian Fleming and the Politics of Ambivalence and general editor of the International Journal of James Bond Studies), Professor Ian Haywood (co-author of Brave New Causes: Women in British Post-War Fictions), and Mark Dunton (Principal Contemporary Specialist, The National Archives). Further expertise will be available from The National Archives Team.

We encourage applications from people of all backgrounds and identities, and we are especially keen to hear from candidates of global majority ethnicities who are currently underrepresented. We welcome applications from candidates with a masters in a relevant subject and/or equivalent professional experience. The University of Roehampton’s EDI policy can be found here; while The National Archives EDI policy can be found here.

Scheme notes and award holder Terms and Conditions can be found here.

For expressions of interest and general inquiries, please contact Dr. Ian Kinane (ian.kinane@roehampton.ac.uk) by 5th February 2021. Applicants please note that the final deadline for applications via the University of Roehampton portal is 19th February 2021, with interviews scheduled to take place the following week. Please also note that interviews will be held virtually.

* techne is open to both 'home' and international students. Please see the UKRI statement on eligibility here.

Techne Collaborative Doctoral Award 2021 – Diverse Shakespeare: New Writing From Shakespeare’s Globe

Applications are invited for a fully-funded, three-year creative/critical PhD to be hosted jointly by Shakespeare’s Globe and English and Creative Writing in the School of Humanities at the University of Roehampton, London, UK. The PhD will begin in October 2021.

This creative/critical project answers the urgent call for new, inclusive narratives about ‘the Shakespearean’ and their effective communication beyond the academy. It is an exciting opportunity to engage with Shakespeare’s Globe’s world-leading expertise in new writing and in the interpretation of Shakespearean culture and performance for a wide public.

Recent scholarship has transformed understandings of who, precisely, could perform early modern theatre, expanding this beyond the adult men of the Elizabethan and Jacobean playing companies to include women, girls, boys and gender nonconforming performers. In extending this research to create new narratives about ‘the Shakespearean’, this PhD project will interrogate the historiography of Shakespearean theatre and the role of both the archive and contemporary performance culture in its construction. The precise topic and genre of new writing will be decided by the student in conjunction with supervisors, but the project will be framed by these goals. Specific topics might include the performance cultures of the boy-actor, or the performance participation of women, queer or gender nonconforming performers. With the support of the supervisory team and the creative resources of Shakespeare’s Globe, the student’s original research will

a) analyse the records of the participation of women, children or gender nonconforming individuals in early modern performance culture (as per the chosen focus) to compose an original creative work, and through the project communicate these findings to a wider public;

b) produce a contextualising analysis that reflects on

  1. the use of early modern narratives for contemporary writing and / or
  2. new writing at Shakespeare’s Globe.

The creative work may take the form of a play or piece of dramatic literature, poetry, fiction, an extended creative non-fiction work or a hybrid piece. The student’s experience at Shakespeare’s Globe will inform and shape both the creative and critical aspects of this project, examining the intersections between creative practice, archival research and literary scholarship.

Roehampton is the UK’s most research-intensive modern university. The successful candidate will work alongside the Leverhulme Trust Research Project Grant, Engendering the Stage: The Records of Early Modern England, led by Professor Clare McManus (Roehampton) and Professor Lucy Munro (King’s College London). This project is itself part of the larger international Engendering the Stage project with colleagues at McMaster University, Canada (for an indication of our work, see https://engenderingthestage.humanities.mcmaster.ca/ ). Roehampton’s Graduate School runs a Research Student Doctoral Training Programme that provides training in research skills, critical thinking, academic writing, project planning and career development.

At Shakespeare’s Globe, the student will be supported by the Globe’s Writer(s) in Residence. Globe Higher Education and Research will provide the training and the platform to bring this research to a broader public, through public-facing events such as workshops, Research in Action events, and festivals focused on issues of social justice, inclusion and the cultural access of marginalised communities. Hence, training in both research and public engagement is built in from the start, enhancing employability. We expect the project to provide an outstanding opportunity to generate practice as research. The project provides excellent career opportunities.

This project will attract students with experience of creative practice and postgraduate early modern studies. An interest in social justice and cultural access for neglected communities is desirable. In order to encourage intersections with the lived experience of people of colour and to build capacity for future scholars of colour, we actively encourage applications from groups currently under-represented in academia.

The supervisory team is Professor Clare McManus and Jeff Hilson (Roehampton) and Dr. Will Tosh (Research Fellow and Lecturer, Shakespeare’s Globe). Further expertise will be available from Shakespeare’s Globe creative and research team.

Expressions of interest and any other queries: please contact Professor Clare McManus no later than 17th February 2021: c.mcmanus@roehampton.ac.uk.

Application deadline 19th February 2021

View the full advert.