TECHNE AHRC funded PhD studentship

Updated: 2 months ago
Location: Guildford, ENGLAND
Deadline: 19 Jul 2017

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School of English and Languages
Location:  Guildford
Post Type:  Full Time
Advert Placed:  Wednesday 28 June 2017
Closing Date:  Wednesday 19 July 2017
Reference:  050017


Dr Constance Bantman (University of Surrey)    

Dr Nicholas Tromans (Brice Curator, Watts Gallery)

Funding Status: Directly Funded Project (Students Worldwide)

Application Deadline: Wednesday 19 July, 12 noon

School of English and Languages, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences/ Watts Gallery (Surrey)

‘Global Watts: Allegories for All (1880-1980)’

Project Description:

Applications are invited for an AHRC/ TECHNE Partnership Award PhD studentship, to be undertaken at Watts Gallery and the University of Surrey. This three-year (full-time) studentship will commence in October 2017 and be jointly supervised by Dr Constance Bantman and Dr Nicholas Tromans, Professor Patricia Pulham (University of Surrey) and Dr Vicky Greenaway (Royal Holloway). The student will share their time between both institutions, spending around 12 months at the Gallery over the project duration, engaging in research and related curatorial activities.

They will complete a PhD entitled ‘Global Watts: Allegories for All (1880-1980)’, providing the first comprehensive assessment of the international importance and influence of British artist George Frederic Watts (1817-1904). The art of Watts is unique in the history of British art in having such a global reach during the late 19th and 20th centuries; his allegories offered a visual language that seemed to transcend national borders. Key works, such as Hope, Mammon, The Minotaur, Love and Life, Love and Death, Time, Death & Judgement, existing in multiple versions and reproduced both as photographs and art-prints, had currency all over the world, their meanings changing across locales. Watts’s imagery had a global presence unmatched by almost any other artist in the years around 1900. The project charts the circulations and appropriations of Watts’s works over a century. Its importance lies in assessing how a global visual culture became possible through Watts's works: how were values of global significance seen to be embodied in these images? With what limitations? How does this restructure our ideas of the international and the insular in Art History of this period? The research will explore in depth the 'non-art' contexts for Watts, seeing the responses to and the political uses of his art as significant cultural history. Points of focus include Watts's imagery in relation to the European Symbolist movement in the 1890s, the Suffrage movement and the African-American Civil Rights Movement.

The project will adopt a transnational and interdisciplinary approach to art and cultural history, emphasising the role of personal networks, cultural metropolises, key individuals, institutions and media in the circulation, dissemination and reinterpretation of Watts’s work. It will track works through the European and American art-worlds, as well as cartoons and caricatures based on Watts's pictures, evidence of ownership of reproductions after his works, and literary and verbal traces of responses to them. The geography of the reception of Watts will include, for example, the United States, Russia, Japan and India.

In addition to the thesis, the appointed candidate will contribute to the organisation of an end-of-project exhibition on their research topic, to be held at Watts Gallery. Other opportunities for public engagement and academic dissemination will arise in the course of the project.

Applicants must have a good first degree (minimum 2:1) and have obtained, or be working towards, a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in History of Art, or Modern Languages, English or History, with a demonstrable interest in Art. They must have near-native competency in English; competence in other modern languages would be a strong benefit, especially French. Language competency will be assessed during the selection process. A key factor in the project’s success will be the candidate’s ability to work flexibly and turn to their advantage the collaborative, interdisciplinary and multilingual nature of the project. They will undertake training as per the project’s requirements, and prepared to travel abroad, sometimes for significant periods of time. Both partner organisations and the TECHNE consortium will provide excellent opportunities for training and career development.

Apply online at   

Applications must include a CV, a covering letter, two authenticated examples of written work completed during either Masters or undergraduate study, scanned copies of signed/stamped qualifications (certificates or transcripts), evidence of English language level (if English is not your first language), a copy of your passport, and contact details for two referees.

The minimum English language proficiency requirement for candidates without a higher degree at a UK HE institution is IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.0 in all skills).

The closing date for applications is 12:00 noon (UK time) on Wednesday 19 July

Interviews will take place on 10 or 11 August.

Funding Notes:

                The studentship includes a stipend of £14,553 (plus fees at home/EU rates) for three years.  In addition, the student will receive £550 per annum to support engagement with the Partner. Watts Gallery will also provide £550 p.a. to the student, matched by the University of Surrey in the form of a travel bursary.

Applicants must meet the UK/EU residency requirements as described in paragraphs 43-46 of the ‘Conditions of Research Council Training Grants’ and comply with conditions set out in the AHRC Training Grant Funding Guide.

References:       Informal inquiries are very welcome.

Please refer to the extended project description in project details for further details of the project.

Application enquiries

Dr Constance Bantman


Application link:

Further details:
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