Research Associate - School of History and Cultures

University of Birmingham
Birmingham, United Kingdom
£27,511.00 - £33,797.00
Mar 28, 2021
Apr 14, 2021
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
Position Details
  • School of History and Cultures
  • Full time starting salary is normally in the range £27,511 to £30,046. With potential progression once in post to £33,797 a year.
  • Grade 6
  • Full Time
  • Fixed Term Contract to 31 October 2021

Role Purpose

This post has arisen as part of the AHRC-funded project 'The Cultural Lives of the Middling Sort: writing and material culture 1560-1660'. It is a fixed-term appointment for 6 months to assist with research on the material culture strand of the project under the direction of Dr Tara Hamling, one of the project's lead investigators, with particular focus on supporting the project's digital outputs and impact activities. The project's principal investigator is Professor Catherine Richardson at the University of Kent, with Professor Graeme Earl at King's College London as the other Co-Investigator. The post-holder will work with the three project leads and the project team, which also includes the Research Associate and PhD researcher based at the University of Kent. The post-holder will also work closely with the project's cultural partners, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the Weald and Downland Living Museum.

The project examines the cultural lives of the literate, urban 'middling sort' in early modern England, analysing the broad range of written and material forms with which they were engaged as producers and consumers. Some of the most popular writers in English were members of this key, but neglected, social group and the project will provide the first sustained and holistic analysis of their cultural practices. Fully understanding their production and consumption patterns will allow us to 'reconstruct' the urban aesthetic and scribal cultures in which significant prose and dramatic writers such as Nashe and Shakespeare grew up and participated.

The project aims to offer a more comprehensive and accurate sense of the cultural identities of a range of influential professional writers, clerics, physicians, tradesmen, lawyers and urban administrators: how their writing related to their broader aesthetic and material environment, and how their outputs mediated culturally between those above and below them - the way they used them to further their social and political ends.

The successful candidate will have experience of researching the material culture of early modern period, ideally at doctoral level. Experience working for or in partnership with museums and heritage organisations in forms of public engagement is essential.

Main Responsibilities
  • Collect and analyse research data as directed.
  • Assist with the project's impact activities, including working with the project partners on the content of an online exhibition, digital room reconstruction and KS3 educational resource.
  • Attend regular meetings with the project team in order to share research discoveries, and attend steering committee meetings.
  • Organise meetings of the project partners and advisory board as required.
  • Write a series of blog posts for the project's website that reflect upon the development of research.
  • Carry out administrative tasks related directly to the delivery of the research

Scope of the Role
  • Work within specified research grants and/or projects
  • Operate within area of specialism
  • Contribute to research outputsPlan and manage research activity within parameters agreed with Dr Hamling Contribute to the intellectual development of the projectLiaise and consult regularly with the PI, Co-Is, and the other Research Associate (based at Kent)

Skills and Experience
  • MA or PhD Degree (or close to completion) in relevant subject area (e.g. early modern history, literature, art history, material culture)
  • Practical experience of applying the relevant skills and techniques, including experience of working with museum organisations and public engagement activity
  • Ability to analyse information and communicate effectively
  • Ability to access and organise resources successfully

For informal enquiries - Dr Tara Hamling,

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