The two doctoral students attached to the Stuart Successions Project will develop projects supported by the findings of the database, that will add substance to our commitment to interpretation and analysis. They will be fully integrated into the project team, taking part in events and project meetings. They will also remain in close contact with the ARF, contributing material derived from their work to the database as appropriate, and benefiting from the ARF’s findings. One will be based in Exeter, supervised by Professor McRae, with Dr. Kewes acting as second supervisor; the other will be based in Oxford, supervised by Dr. Kewes, with Prof. McRae acting as second supervisor. The Exeter-based studentship Although we wish to balance a guiding perception of the place of each PhD project with a commitment to supporting applicants who present relevant but unforeseen topics, we propose that the first student will develop a diachronic study, taking one theme or aspect of succession writing and considering it across the Stuart era. The project will depend upon historical breadth and an appreciation of change across the period. Two possibilities are: ‘The succession of consorts.’ All but two Stuart monarchs brought a consort to the throne; and for one of the exceptions, Charles I, a man often seen as central to the history of ‘the royal family’ as a construct, entry to monarchy was almost simultaneous with entry to married life. This project would examine literature devoted to royal consorts; it would consider changing representations of the consort, centring attention on gender and the family, and would engage with recent scholarship on the courts established by consorts. This project would focus principally on published works of succession literature, but may also consider other writing, across the period, focusing on the consort. ‘Satire and succession.’ While satirizing monarchs was risky, a significant amount of relevant satiric writing exists, much of which seizes subversively upon the conventions of panegyric. This project would pursue satire not only as an end in itself, but equally to reflect upon panegyric and the ways in which it was interpreted. It would examine successions as moments of potential crisis, in which the meanings and values of monarch were potentially exposed to scrutiny. This project may involve work with manuscript material, as well as printed poetry and plays.
Successful applicants normally have a good first degree (at least 2.1 or international equivalent) in English or related discipline, and a Masters degree in English or related discipline at Merit level or international equivalent. If English is not your native language then you will also need to satisfy our English language entry requirements.