PhD studentships connected with Writing Lives project

Fully-funded PhD scholarships at Liverpool John Moores University

Liverpool John Moores University is offering fully-funded 3 year PhD scholarships. Lucinda Matthews- Jones and Helen Rogers are looking for candidates who would like to pursue a PhD relating to the projects outlined below. The deadline for applications is 1 May 2015 but these are submitted by the proposed supervisor not the candidate. If you would like to apply for one of these projects please email us asap to discuss the application so you can draw up a 1 page project description by 24 April 2015. If we decide to put forward your proposal we will work with you to finalize the application in time for the 1 May deadline. For details of the scholarship and application form see https://www.ljmu.ac.uk/research/phd-scholarships

Autobiographical recollections of family life and the prison in the nineteenth century

The PhD will examine memoirs as a source for exploring immediate and long-term effects of imprisonment on families and individual family members. It will draw on autobiographical recollections by former prisoners and relatives of those who were confined, whether for criminal offences or political activities. The PhD will consider how analysis of autobiography as a qualitative source can add to recent pioneering quantitative research examining how family networks shaped patterns of offending and desistance from crime (Godfrey, Cox and Farrall; Alker, Cox and Shore; Rogers). Autobiographies will be used to analyse family coping strategies and to explore how memory is shaped by experiences of separation, shame, family conflict or solidarity. By focusing on the family, the PhD will aim to recover experiences of women and children that are hard to find in the ‘prison archive’. The PhD will be directed by Dr Helen Rogers and Dr Lucinda Matthews-Jones and connected to the Writing Lives Digital Archive Project (Liverpool John Moores and Brunel University), making use of The Autobiography of the British Working Class (eds Burnett, Vincent and Mayall 1983-9), including these memoirs referring to imprisonment.

Home, memory and affect in working-class autobiography

The PhD will investigate representations of the home in working-class autobiography. Building on new work on the history of emotions (Dixon, Bailey), home and material culture (Hamlett, Holmes, Matthews-Jones), and working-class autobiography (Doolittle, Griffin, Humphries, Strange) the PhD will explore the symbolic significance of the home in conveying memory, feeling and affect. The project will be connected with the Writing Lives Digital Archive Project (Liverpool John Moores and Brunel University) and will be based substantively on the Burnett Archive of Working Class Autobiography (held at Brunel), most of which focuses on the late 19th and early 20th century. The PhD candidate will have access to pdf copies and a searchable database on the Burnett memoirs (see also http://www.writinglives.org/category/home-and-family and these online memoirs). The PhD will be directed by Lucinda Matthews-Jones and Helen Rogers.

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