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Research Associate

MOLA - Museum of London Archaeology

12-month fixed-term contract

The Project

‘Bartmann goes global’ - the cultural impact of an iconic object in the early modern period.

The Vacancy

We are seeking an enthusiastic and talented candidate, educated to PhD level, to join the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded project ‘Bartmann goes global’ - the cultural impact of an iconic object in the early modern period, led by Jacqui Pearce, at MOLA. Starting in February 2024, “Bartmann goes global” is a 3-year, international collaboration between MOLA and Principal Investigators (PIs) Professor Natascha Mehler at Tübingen University and Professor Michael Schmauder at the LVR-LandesMuseum Bonn, and includes a German research team based at LVR - Amt für Bodendenkmalpflege im Rheinland (LVR-State Service for Archaeological Heritage in the Rhineland), the LVR-LandesMuseum Bonn, Bonn University, Tübingen University, and external partners in The Netherlands, Sweden and the United States of America.

The project focuses on the iconic Frechen Bartmann, an early modern stoneware jug typically decorated with the face of a bearded man, found in archaeological contexts (including shipwrecks) of the period and museum collections across northern Europe and beyond. It examines the vessel in its full cultural and historical context, from its design and technological impacts to its representation in the archaeological and historical record. By studying the relationships between producer/source, market and consumer and the range of cultural contexts in which this stoneware is found c. 1550–1750, the project seeks to achieve a broader academic, professional and public understanding of the importance of the Bartmann jug across the globe. This will position it as a resource for understanding technological development, cultural significance, means of communication, trade and globalisation in early modern Europe.

The successful post holder will be critical in supporting and delivering the British part of an Anglo-German-Dutch work package focused on the review of archival sources related to Frechen stoneware production, trade and consumption. You will be working under the guidance and supervision of Vanessa Harding, Emeritus Professor of London History, Birkbeck, University of London and supported by Nigel Jeffries at MOLA.

The main objectives of the work package will be to establish a representative overview of a) records for levels of production; b) the quantity, valuation, shippers and ports of origin of stoneware imports to English and Dutch ports (and if possible, beyond); c) to trace patterns of (re)distribution via coastal trade and re-exports; d) to record the terminology/descriptors used for stonewares. Concerning consumption, the aims will be to establish robust data for the frequency of references to German stonewares in 17th-century inventories; the quantities and valuations of such items; the terminology and descriptors used in these sources; and the social contexts in which they are found, including evidence indicating particular uses.

You will therefore have a track record of research in early modern British archives, ideally both those created by and for government and those produced at a local level. You will be able to read early modern manuscript texts written in English and some familiarity with Latin. You will have demonstrable experience of gathering and analysing quantitative and qualitative data, organising your findings in spreadsheets and/or databases, and presenting conclusions in forms that are meaningful to different constituencies. 

You will be working with Vanessa Harding in delivering part of this key project work package by studying English archival sources related to the following concerns:

  • Trade: The principal sources are a fragmented series of port books in The National Archives, Kew (TNA, E 190) recording imports, exports, re-exports, and coastwise shipping. The postholder will survey and sample port books from London (1564–1697) and other east and south coast ports, and search for surviving records of individual merchants/traders and other mercantile associations involved in the stoneware import or re-export trade. Secondary literature relating to changing patterns of Anglo-European trade in the later 16th century and beyond, and the formation and activities of English chartered and joint-stock companies will also be consulted.
  • Consumption: the postholder will survey and sample inventories of household goods and assemble a dataset of stoneware references by using postmortem probate inventories in TNA and other archives; and the inventories of domestic goods, stock, and business debts and credits, mostly dating from 1660 onwards, taken for the City’s Court of Orphans in London Metropolitan Archives (LMA).
  • Furthering our cultural understanding of the Bartmann in Britain: building on the research outlined above, the representation of these vessels in British culture outside the trade context will be traced through English descriptors such as ‘Pope jugs’, ‘D’Alva jug’, ‘Bellarmine’ and ‘greybeard’, using written sources, primarily accessed through online collections. Textual sources include transcriptions of early modern texts; digitised texts of printed sources, and, where feasible, printed editions not available digitally.

The successful candidate will have proven experience of critically applying research techniques and methodologies related to consumption and material culture. Outputs include a report providing a clear understanding of the terms and identities this product had in early modern England, and another which analyses the findings, supported by statistics in spreadsheet or database form, with an account of methodology and search criteria, and a bibliography of sources consulted for each.

This job will offer the opportunity to work both with MOLA’s own archaeological experts involved in the project, and as part of a project team and partners around the world.

For any queries, please contact senior specialist for medieval and later pottery and the MOLA lead for the project, Jacqui Pearce (jpearce@mola.org.uk), MOLA project team member Nigel Jeffries (njeffries@mola.org.uk) and Vanessa Harding, Emeritus Professor of London History, Birkbeck, University of London (V.Harding@bbk.ac.uk).

More information

This is a fixed-term, full-time role for 12 months (1 year) but length of contract could be extended pro rata for up to 18 months for a part-time post-holder.

The postholder will be based in London, but travel to archives, research partners, meetings in the UK and up to two trips to Continental Europe will be required.

To apply

You can apply via our recruitment portal on the MOLA website .

For full details of the required competencies and experience, please download the Job Description and Personal Specification.

The closing date for the vacancy is Monday 19th February 2024.

Interviews will take place week beginning 11th March.

The role will begin 15th April 2024

All applicants must have the right to work in the UK without restrictions.  Proof of eligibility will be required prior to commencement.

MOLA promotes diversity and equality of opportunity at all levels, and welcomes applications from people regardless of sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, age, or religion or belief.

 

 

 

Location: London
Salary: £33,725 to £36,110
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 1st February 2024
Closes: 19th February 2024
   
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