Collaborative Doctoral Award with the V&A

Posted on 18 March 2015

The Department of English and Related Literature is delighted to announce a PhD studentship with the Victoria and Albert Museum on the work of John Forster, a major donor to the V&A and close friend and biographer of Charles Dickens.

John Forster

Fully funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, this three-year PhD research programme will offer the award-holder a unique opportunity to undertake original research leading to a PhD while gaining exposure to both one of the UK’s leading universities and one of the world’s great museums.

The student will explore the role of John Forster (1812-1876), a major figure in nineteenth-century literary culture whose writing, criticism and entrepreneurship placed him at the heart of the changes that took place in the Victorian literary marketplace.  Forster played a leading role in the creation and reception of nineteenth-century fiction, drama and poetry, and changed decisively the possibilities and ethos of the modern literary profession.

John Forster was also a major donor to the V&A, gifting it one of its most renowned collections in the form of his extensive library, which included the manuscripts of most of Dickens’s novels.  This project seeks both to understand Forster’s complex, shaping role in the dynamic and often conflicted world of Victorian literary culture and to bring that understanding to new publics.

The PhD will be jointly supervised by Professor John Bowen (Department of English & Related Literature, University of York) and Professor Bill Sherman (Head of Research at the V&A).

The student will be expected to be primarily based at York but will also be a part of the research environment at the V&A and receive appropriate professional training and guidance in working with the Museum’s collections.

The studentship will begin in October 2015.

Deadline for applications: Thursday 30 April.

For more details and how to apply see below: