PhD Studentship in Digital History: Identity and the Media in the Anglophone World, 1700-1900

Loughborough University

Application details:
Reference number:  CAL17-SPGSS-MB
Start date: 1 October 2017

Primary supervisor: Dr Melodee Beals
Secondary supervisor: Dr Peter Yeandle

Intro (standard):
Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014) and an outstanding 66% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average figure of 43%.

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Graduate School, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

Find out more:

Project Detail:
In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, newspapers and magazines played an important role in the creation, and shattering, of shared identities within the English-speaking world. The development of news and information networks was essential for the economic success of settlement communities as well as their ability to maintain or cast off cultural ties. Yet, these networks were fundamentally shaped and limited by the practicalities of trans-oceanic communication and changing interpersonal connections between receiving and sending communities.

This PhD project will provide the successful candidate the opportunity to examine British, US and/or colonial periodicals for indications of mutual affection/animosity, shared/diverging experience and converging/diverging public spheres. Particular areas of focus may include the role of

  • transportation and communication networks
  • ethnicity and race
  • occupation and economic networks
  • religion and cultural identity
  • and/or geography

in the development of settler or imperial identities. The candidate will work with specialists in 19th-century media and the digital humanities to develop a project that integrates physical and digitised periodical collections, alongside personal manuscripts, ephemera and other artefacts of cultural identity, to better understand transoceanic communication and culture. Proposals engaging with the digital humanities are particularly encouraged and specific support and training in digital methods will be provided.

The successful candidate will also have the opportunity to contribute to the T-AP funded project Oceanic Exchanges: Tracing global information networks in historical newspaper repositories, 1840-1914, working with digital humanities scholars from Finland, the Netherlands, Germany, the UK, Mexico and the United States to illustrate the global connectedness of nineteenth-century newspapers.

As part of your application you will be required to submit a detailed research proposal (approximately 2,000 words).

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Entry requirements:
Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in history or a related subject. A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in the digital humanities is essential.

Funding information:
The studentship is for three years and provides a tax free stipend of £14,553 per annum for the duration of the studentship, plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate.  International (non-EU) students may apply however the total value of the studentship will be used towards the cost of the International tuition fee in the first instance.

Contact details:
Name: Dr Melodee Beals
Email address:
Telephone number:  +44 (0) 1509 228 378

How to apply:
All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select ‘Politics, History and International Relations’.

Please quote reference number: CAL17-SPGSS-MB

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Midlands of England