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Postdoctoral Position: Shakespeare in the Royal Collections

Posted in opportunities by Editor on August 14, 2018

Postdoctoral Research Associate: ‘Shakespeare in the Royal Collections’
Applications are due by 14 September 2018

Applications are invited for a three year, full-time Postdoctoral Research Associate to work on the AHRC funded project, ‘Shakespeare in the Royal Collections’. This is led by Principal Investigator Professor Gordon McMullan (Department of English, King’s College London) and Co-Investigator Dr. Kate Retford (Department of History of Art, Birkbeck College, University of London).

‘Shakespeare in the Royal Collections’ seeks to establish a new understanding of the relationship of Shakespeare and the royal family 1700–1900 by way of the first thorough investigation of the Shakespeare-related holdings in the Royal Collections, from manuscripts through paintings and prints to performance records. It explores the mutually sustaining and legitimating nature of the development of both Shakespeare and the royal family as hegemonic cultural phenomena, asking the twin questions: what has Shakespeare done for the royals, and what have the royals done for Shakespeare?

The PDRA (one of two, with the other working on literary/performance matters) will work on visual culture, with a focus on eighteenth-century material. He/she will assist the PI and CI in delivering the research outputs of the project and contribute to those outputs: the creation of a website containing digital images of all the Shakespeare-related holdings, a set of annotations and contextual data; an innovative set of 3D visualisations; two symposia and a conference; a TV documentary; and an exhibition at Shakespeare’s Globe (2021). He/she will write a monograph based on Shakespeare-related art and material culture objects in the holdings. These range from paintings, sculptures and prints through to a doll of Portia and boxes made from the ‘Mulberry Tree planted by Shakespeare’. Two likely themes for the monograph are: an exploration of the fashioning of royal identities through visual and material identification with key characters and events from Shakespeare; the significance of the Shakespeare holdings for an understanding of the Royal Collections as a whole by providing a key opportunity to juxtapose items inherited, gifted, purchased and commissioned. The PDRA will be fully engaged in developing and shaping the book project according to his/her interests and findings.

Candidates should have a PhD in History of Art or cognate field, which will have been completed before the start of the role. If their PhD is not in History of Art, they should be able to show particular evidence of full awareness of the methodologies and theories of the discipline. The PDRA will have expertise in eighteenth-century material to complement the specialism of the other PDRA (already appointed) in Victorian and early-twentieth-century performance. Engagement with interdisciplinary approaches and a willingness to work across visual and literary culture are vital. Collections-based experience, such as cataloguing or provenance work, whether professional or gained through academic research, is highly desirable. Applicants should also be able to demonstrate ability to work well in a team, to manage their time and research efficiently and either have or be willing to acquire the appropriate digital competence.

Additional information is available here»

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