The University of Sheffield
Prospective postgraduates

Department of History PhD Studentship: 'The Social and Spatial Worlds of Old Bailey Convicts, 1785-1875’.

Background

This studentship is attached to the AHRC funded Digital Transformations project, ‘The Digital Panopticon: The Global Impact of London Punishments, 1780-1925’, a collaborative project between the Universities of Liverpool, Sheffield, Oxford, Sussex, and Tasmania. The project seeks to use innovative digital methodologies to investigate the penal outcomes of those convicted at the Old Bailey, by comparing imprisonment in Britain with transportation from Britain to Australia. The project will assemble large and complex bodies of criminal justice, genealogical and biometric data and use sophisticated visualisation and data-linking methodologies to map and analyse convict lives at both the collective and individual level. In addition to a wide range of publications, the project will create an electronic resource which will provide an integrated publicly available search engine for searching datasets containing life course data for the 66,000 Londoners who experienced the two penal regimes. The project is led by Principal Investigator Professor Barry Godfrey, Liverpool University, and Co-Investigators Professor Robert Shoemaker, University of Sheffield, Professor Tim Hitchcock, University of Sussex, Dr Deborah Oxley, Oxford University, and Professor Hamish Maxwell-Stewart, University of Tasmania. Shoemaker will be the principal supervisor of this PhD, with a secondary supervisor chosen from among the project team.

The doctoral project will constitute an independent piece of research on a topic related to the overall project. The student will be able to use evidence and electronic resources generated by the project; attend project meetings, workshops and conferences; benefit from working closely with the investigators and Research Associates; and be given the opportunity to co-write publications. Nonetheless, in consultation with the supervisors, s/he will be given the latitude to shape their own direction of research.

Studentship Description

The studentship will investigate the social and geographical origins and destinations of men and women convicted at the Old Bailey between 1785 and 1875, in order to shed light on patterns of mobility and understandings of identity in early industrial Britain. Using evidence of origins from convict registers and social/occupational and place labels in the Proceedings, the project will trace convicts from their places of origin through residence and work in London before their arrests, to places of imprisonment and subsequent life histories. Analysis of the language they used in trial testimonies will provide an indication of how identities were shaped by complex backgrounds.

Award Details

The award will cover the cost of UK/EU tuition fees and provides an annual maintenance grant (currently £13,726 per year) for three years. The studentship will commence on 1 February 2014.

Eligibility

In addition to applying for the studentship, applicants need to apply directly to the University of Sheffield for entrance into the doctoral programme in History.

The general eligibility requirements are:
• Students applying for a doctoral studentship should normally have, or be studying for, a Master's degree or similar postgraduate qualification.
• Awards are open to UK, EU and International applicants who are applying to study either full or part-time.

How to apply

• Complete an application for admission as a postgraduate student - www.sheffield.ac.uk/postgraduate/research/apply
• Applications should include a CV including academic record (max. 3 pages); supporting statement (max. 3 pages); academic transcripts and two references.
• In your supporting statement please state you are applying for this project and outline your reasons for doing so.
• Supporting documents can either be uploaded to your application or sent by email or post to Miss Claire Williams, Department of History, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, S3 7RA claire.williams@sheffield.ac.uk.

The application deadline is 2 December 2013. Interviews will take place in December or early January.

Any academic enquiries should be directed to Professor Robert Shoemaker: r.shoemaker@sheffield.ac.uk.