ARCHIVE AND NARRATIVE
IN THE 2014 SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM
AHRC COLLABORATIVE DOCTORAL PARTNERSHIP
(SCOTTISH CULTURAL HERITAGE CONSORTIUM)
Application deadline: 8 May 2017
The Faculty of Arts and Humanities is pleased to invite applications for this fully-funded AHRC PhD Studentship (fees and subsistence at current AHRC UK/EU rates). The studentship includes a 6-month placement at the National Library of Scotland.
The 2014 referendum on Scottish independence was clearly a major historic event. How will it enter the historical archive, and the stories told by future researchers and citizens about the meaning of ‘indyref’ 2014?
This PhD project will explore a series of questions and challenges related to the National Library of Scotland’s ‘Collecting the Referendum’ project, an ambitious two-year project to collect the documentary record of this event in a wide range of formats: print and digital, social media and websites, archives and moving image.
These questions include:
- To what extent, and via what practices, was the indyref ‘remembered’ even as it was being experienced? (That is, how did campaigners and commentators try to position 2014 within stories looking back on it from the future?)
- How was the indyref collected (and made collectible) in the midst of the campaign?
- How did its self-conscious ‘historic’ quality affect the way indyref 2014 was documented and recorded?
- How will future researchers interpret records and narratives of 2014 which exhibit this self-conscious ‘historic’ quality, i.e. which seem to ‘memorialise’ indyref in advance?
The student’s doctoral work will investigate both the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of indyref collecting. It will examine how archives of the 2014 referendum are constructed and used (both physical and digital), and the various factors that shape how the makers and users of such collections view the narrative possibilities and complexities presented by their materials.
While the student will have freedom to shape the exact parameters of the project, it is likely to involve research into recent Scottish political history, archive studies and digital collecting. Some awareness of relevant cultural and narrative theory, and digital humanities research methods, is preferred but not required.
The PhD student will be jointly supervised by Dr Scott Hames at the University of Stirling and Dr Amy Todman at the National Library of Scotland, with input from a wider supervisory team including Dr Peter Lynch (Stirling; expert on Scottish politics and referendums) and Eilidh MacGlone (NLS web archivist). Collaboration with the Scottish Political Archive, based at the University of Stirling, is an additional dimension of the project, supported by our archivist Sarah Bromage.
At Stirling, the student will join a lively community of PhD students linked to the Stirling Centre for Scottish Studies. At the National Library of Scotland, he or she will have the opportunity to work closely with curators and web archivists, and gain valuable research and technical skills.
How to Apply: Applicants should have a good undergraduate qualification and a relevant Master’s degree in any related field of expertise. Experience of the following areas of study is particularly welcome: history, archive studies, politics, cultural theory, digital humanities, cultural studies, Scottish studies. You will have some experience of relevant research methods (but note that research training is a key part of the studentship).
NB the AHRC rules governing this scheme note that if a student does not have experience of formal postgraduate study, they may be eligible for a studentship only if they can demonstrate evidence of sustained experience beyond undergraduate degree level that is specifically relevant to their proposed research topic, and could be considered equivalent to Master’s study. Applicants in this category (i.e. without a Master’s qualification) should include with their application a 1-page statement outlining the ‘specifically relevant’ skills, experience and knowledge they have gained ‘beyond undergraduate degree level’, that ‘could be considered equivalent to Master’s study’.
For further details on eligibility criteria, including UK residency, applicants should check the AHRC website (http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/).
The application: Applicants should submit:
- a summary curriculum vitae (max 2 pages)
- an example of recent academic writing (e.g., MSc/MLitt chapter or undergraduate dissertation)
- a short statement (1 page) outlining your qualification for the studentship, and initial thoughts on how you’d approach the project
- the names and contact details of two academic referees
Submit your application via email to Dr Scott Hames (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Dr Amy Todman (email@example.com). Applications will close 8 May 2017 at 4pm. Please ensure your referees are able to provide (on request, via email) an academic reference by 19 May, 5pm.
As noted above, applicants without a Master’s qualification should submit an additional 1-page statement outlining their ‘specifically relevant’ skills, experience and knowledge that could be considered equivalent to Master’s study.
Interviews will be held on Tuesday 23 May at the University of Stirling.