Postdoctoral Research Fellow - School of History and Cultures

7 days left

United Kingdom
Oct 07, 2020
Nov 05, 2020
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
Position Details

School of History and Cultures - College of Arts and Law

University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK

Full time starting salary for this position is £33,797 per annum.

Grade 7

Full time

Fixed term contract for 36 months

Closing Date: November 3, 2020


We are seeking two full-time postdoctoral researchers to work with Professor Karen Harvey on the project, 'Material Identities, Social Bodies: Embodiment in British Letters c.1680-1820', funded by the Leverhulme Trust. Eighteenth-century familiar letters offer an unrivalled opportunity to examine understandings of the relationships between the physical body, self and social identity, and experiences of 'embodiment'. This project uses thousands of British letters in which different correspondents - of family and kin, friendship, faith and business - discussed in detail their own and each other's experiences of the physical body. The project explores how, when and why communication about the body played a role in the dynamics of social relationships. It also examines individuals' experiences of the material body and how these were shaped by the social identities and dynamic social relations. The team will work together to collect, transcribe and analyze thousands of manuscript letters in local, national and overseas archives, applying a range of methods and supported by a qualitative mixed methods data package. Their work will provide an historical and empirical perspective on embodiment as a social and relational process, generating new knowledge on the body and its changing role in physical, emotional and cognitive experiences and the construction of the self and social identity.

Summary of Role
  • Support the overall research objectives of the project
  • Conduct outstanding research within the history of the body and letters in the British long eighteenth century
  • Identify, collect and analyse letters in the light of the project aims
  • Contribute to and extend the project based on their research specialism
  • Contribute to the scholarly and public dissemination of research findings of the project

Main Duties
  • contribute to the design, build and testing of the project database
  • select, transcribe and analyze large numbers of letters (focusing either in the north or south of England, and using collections in Washington, DC and Pasadena, CA) for the project database
  • write and present conference and seminar papers arising from the project
  • produce one journal article arising from the project
  • co-author one journal article arising from the project
  • contribute to the project website, write blog posts and other social media associated with the project

Person Specification
  • A PhD in a relevant research area (such as the history of the body, letters and letter-writing, and the family in the long eighteenth century)
  • A strong background in relevant methods and approaches, and the ability to contribute to develop new ones
  • Experience of working with archival material
  • Knowledge of relevant research areas within the social and cultural history of eighteenth-century Britain
  • Ability to undertake directed and independent advanced historical research
  • Experience of presenting advanced historical research orally and in scholarly publications
  • Ability to work to deadlines
  • Ability to work in a research team
  • Experience of designing and implementing qualitative data analysis software

Valuing excellence, sustaining investment

We value diversity at The University of Birmingham and welcome applications from all sections of the community'

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