The Material Culture of Mass Politics in Scotland, c.1815 – c.1914: AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Studentship

Applications are invited for an AHRC-funded PhD studentship which will be awarded in October 2017 over 3 years.

Applications are invited for an AHRC-funded PhD studentship. One studentship will be awarded in 2017 (start date 1 October 2017) to the best applicant who meets the criteria below. The scholarship will be awarded over three years and comprises a stipend of £15103 per annum plus tuition fees at UK/EU rates.

The Studentship

The ‘long nineteenth century’ witnessed the development of a mass politics replete with material culture. This was especially evident around questions of parliamentary reform. Flags and banners, rosettes, commemorative medals, statues and monuments all made for a rich political life that was prominent in civic spaces and shaped individual and collective experiences.

In exploring the relationship of objects to mass politics the student will be encouraged to develop his/her research with reference to a number of questions:

  • Who made different objects and for what purposes?
  • How were political objects displayed or used and what meanings did they hold for those who owned, used or displayed them?
  • How can we explain the survival, re-use, and collection of the material culture of politics?

By conducting intensive research into the collections at National Museums Scotland and collections elsewhere in Britain, the student will make original contributions to understanding the development of ‘modern’ politics in Scotland and to how historians, museums and educators can best interpret the material artefacts of past political cultures.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Candidates must be suitably qualified at undergraduate and postgraduate Masters degree level, which will include a proven interest in material culture and/or political history.
  • Applicants must submit a covering letter, an application form, a sample of academic writing (c.3000 words) and final or interim transcripts of marks to date for undergraduate and Masters degree programmes.
  • For candidates who are shortlisted, we also will require two favourable academic references.

Further Information and Application Procedure

In the first instance, candidates should apply for this award solely using this form, and should not use the relevant University online application procedure at this stage.

Selection Procedure

A short-listing meeting will be convened and short-listed candidates will be interviewed in Edinburgh or via video conference on 12 May 2017. The successful candidate then be required to submit an application for postgraduate study to the University of Edinburgh.

The application deadline is 26 April 2017.


Call for papers, deadline 31 January 2017

Call for papers: ‘Scottish Political Poetry and Song, 1832-1918’.

In 2018, Scottish Literary Review will publish a special issue in relation to the Carnegie-funded project ‘The People’s Voice: Scottish Political Poetry, Song and the Franchise, 1832-1918’, guest-edited by Catriona MacDonald, Kirstie Blair and Michael Shaw. The special issue aims to widen the remit of this project beyond its primary focus on Reform and franchise verse, and to reflect more broadly on the connections between politics and poetry and song cultures, within Scotland and potentially beyond, in this period.

The editors invite interested contributors to send 250 word proposals and a short CV to by 31 January 2017. Decisions will be made within three months, with essays of 5-8000 words due by 31 December 2017.