About this project:
Applications are invited for a fully funded interdisciplinary PhD scholarship drawing upon the research methodologies of Literature and Marine Science to investigate the narratives of Spurn, and understand the interrelation of coastal ecology, communities and cultures.
Spurn is a narrow sandy spit between the North Sea and the Humber Estuary, and is a Yorkshire Wildlife Trust National Nature Reserve. It is also a palimpsest upon which the stories of Spurn’s exposure to the elements and humanity have been written, in places retained and partially erased. Spurn is a land-sea border in flux and its recent transformation from peninsula to tidal island is a semantic as well as physical shift which reflects the different meanings Spurn has for different writers. Reclaimed as a remote, inaccessible site, recent scholarship acknowledges its persistence as one enduringly connected to studies of the environment and our place in it (de Smalen, 2019). This interdisciplinary project draws upon the research methodologies of Literature and Marine Science to investigate the narratives of Spurn, and understand the interrelation of coastal ecology, communities and cultures. This project will explore the evolving ecological and textual history of Spurn, and draw upon literary and auto/biographical perspectives largely written post-1700 which evoke this everchanging environment. According to the principle that the ‘lexis of landscape is not nostalgic, but urgent’ (Macfarlane, 2015), a project with scope to recover lost or as yet unheard stories inspired by Spurn and its environs can inform humanity’s ongoing relationship with everchanging shorelines. Spurn is unique but it is also dynamic, and this project will discover how the moving stories of this place have a broader application in shaping how we adapt to coastal erosion and estuarine living elsewhere in the UK and across the globe. This project involves an internship with Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.
About the research cluster:
The University of Hull Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarships Centre for Water Cultures is an interdisciplinary research centre exploring humanity’s relationships with water in the green-blue regions of the world, past, present and future.
It pioneers a new, humanities-led, interdisciplinary and transhistorical research area – the green-blue humanities – and equips a new generation of PhD students to take this agenda forward and transform our understanding of humanity’s relationships with water.
For more information, watch a recording of a webinar held on 7 December 2021. You’ll hear from programme leaders, supervisors, and students talking about funded postgraduate research at the Leverhulme DSC for Water Cultures as well as queries from other applicants in the Q&A.
Doctoral scholars appointed to interdisciplinary projects within the Centre for Water Cultures will be supported by PhD scholarships, funded for 48 months. These cover fees at the UK rate, a maintenance grant of £15609 per year (2021/22 rate), and a research and training support grant.