Fully funded WRoCAH Collaborative Doctoral Award Network opportunities: University of Leeds and Chatsworth House

Applications are invited for three doctoral research studentships in a new research network funded by the Arts and Humanities Council (AHRC) with the White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities (WRoCAH), including one based within the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies.

Commencing on 1 October 2019, each three-year award covers fees and an annual maintenance grant.

About the network

Country houses often appear to be fixed points in a changing landscape, enduring for centuries in the midst of social, political and economic upheaval. But the country house can also be understood as a site for contestation and negotiation, which is continually remade and repurposed in response to the shifting conditions around it.

Under the broader theme of Work, Play, Space, and Identity: Making and Remaking the North Wing at Chatsworth, this research network will bring together expertise from four overlapping disciplines (archaeology, art and theatre history, museum studies, archival practice) to investigate how the North Wing at Chatsworth was rebuilt in the nineteenth century, and how it has been used and experienced since.

The network will comprise three interrelated projects, each focusing on a different type of social practice and the physical space within which it takes/took place: domestic service, archival practice and performance.

Each project will have two main foci: first, to interrogate how social practices were experienced by the range of people (employers, employees, visitors) who engaged within them during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and secondly to investigate how the spaces within which they took place can be reanimated for present-day visitors.

The three projects are:

Serving the house and housing the Servants: understanding and interpreting the domestic service spaces in the North Wing at Chatsworth

Archive as practice, space and identity at Chatsworth

Plays and performance in the country house: the Victorian Theatre at Chatsworth

Serving the House and Housing the Servants: Understanding and Interpreting the Domestic Service Spaces in the North Wing at Chatsworth

The doctoral research studentship for this project will be based within the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds. Working in partnership with Chatsworth House Trust, the successful candidate will be supervised by Professor Abigail Harrison Moore at the University of Leeds and Alice Martin, Devonshire Collection Manager at Chatsworth House Trust.

The rebuilding of the North Wing in the nineteenth century, like the rebuilding of the estate village of Edensor, enabled the 6th Duke to exercise both technological innovation and patriarchal benevolence. The new kitchen was spacious, high-ceilinged and equipped with the latest steam devices. Servant quarters were enhanced, and shared spaces such as the servants’ hall were increased in size compared to those they replaced.

But how were these spaces experienced by the people who lived and worked there? How have they been utilised since the heyday of domestic service? And how can they be presented and interpreted to modern audiences?

This project will build on the work of previous PhD students at Chatsworth (the Servants to Staff project) which used archival documents to trace the lives of servants and estate workers. It will also develop insights from previous projects on the impact of technologies on social relations in the country house (Harrison Moore 2015 Electrifying the Country House, Palmer and West 2016).

The focus of this new project will be the physical spaces that domestic servants inhabited at work. What does the design of the service space reveal about the ways in which domestic work was understood by the Duke and his architect? And how did this translate in reality?

Depending upon the disciplinary background and research interests of the successful student, there is considerable scope to shape the project in different ways, focusing on particular aspects of domestic service or time periods, and employing different methodologies and theoretical frameworks. It is anticipated that the research will use mixed approaches. Full details about the project and the studentship can be found here.

How to Apply

Please note that this application is a two-step process. In the first step, you apply to the network to be selected as our candidate for your chosen project. We will then work with you to develop your application to the second step, the main WRoCAH competition, which closes at 5pm on Wednesday 23 January 2019. Successful studentships will be announced in April 2019.

The deadline for first step applications is 12 noon on Monday 26 November 2018.

Please see here for full information about all three projects on offer within this research network, including how to apply.

Please contact Professor Abigail Harrison Moore for more information about the project based at Leeds: A.L.Moore@leeds.ac.uk

See here for information regarding all current WRoCAH studentships, including two more based in the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies.

Visit afternoon

If you are considering applying to one of these research network projects, you are invited to visit Chatsworth on Friday 9 November to meet the team, tour the house and go behind the scenes to see the archives and some of the relevant North Wing spaces.

Please note that this visit is only available to people who are considering applying for a studentship. If you would like to book a place, email the network lead, Jane Hodson: j.hodson@sheffield.ac.uk Please outline your academic qualifications and relevant experience, and briefly state which project(s) you are interested in and why.

It is not essential to attend the visit afternoon to apply for one of the projects. If you are not able to attend but wish to discuss your application do get in touch with the relevant project lead. Please note that it will not be possible to arrange for a visit to Chatsworth on an alternative day.

Image courtesy of Chatworth House