AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctoral Award with the University of Exeter and BT Archives: The Cultures of Radio Research in India, circa. 1890-1947

University of Exeter

This project seeks to challenge assumptions that scientific research into, and the technical development of radio in India during this period was lacklustre. ‘The Cultures of Radio Research’ builds on and moves significantly beyond this literature in depth and scope and will plug significant gaps in our understanding of Indian radio science, and the larger questions of research and development in the British empire before the Second World War and the relationships between imperialism and telecommunications. 

The project will involve the close and systematic analysis of a wealth of under-researched primary source material, and a critical study of the extensive secondary literature in the fields of the history of science and technology, the history of India, and global and imperial history. By far the largest amount of primary research material for this project is located in Britain and was primarily written and/or published in English. However, it is anticipated that the successful applicant may need to make at least one trip to India to study material in repositories there.  The principal research collections are in the British Library, BT Archives, University of Exeter, Porthcurno Telegraph Museum (Cornwall), Bodleian Library (Oxford), Calcutta University Library, the Indian Institute of the Sciences (Bangalore) and All India Radio Archives (Mumbai).

The successful applicant will be spending a considerable amount of time in BT Archives where they will be studying some of the collection’s underexplored and uncatalogued materials and gaining experience of professional archive management and public engagement activities associated with BT Archives and the Science Museum.  They will also be expected to present aspects of their research in workshops, seminars and conferences organised by the University of Exeter and by BT Archives.

The dissertation supervisors are Dr Richard Noakes (University of Exeter), Dr Gajendra Singh (University of Exeter) and Mr. David Hay (BT Archives, London).  The successful applicant will also receive support from Dr. Alison Hess (Science Museum, London).

The PhD will commence in January 2017. UK/EU level tuition fees will be paid as part of the studentship, together with an annual maintenance grant of £14,296. Please note that this studentship is open to UK/EU students only.

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South West England