Memory studies scholars have developed a sophisticated set of theoretical concepts to analyse the singular events and violent episodes of history, often framed in terms of “trauma”. However, we have been less concerned with comprehending individuals’ and communities’ responses to more “slow-moving” and dispersed change (such as deindustrialisation, environmental degradation, neoliberal restructuring), despite the fact that this can be highly consequential, disruptive, and even traumatic. The goal of this PhD project is to develop the theoretical, methodological and technological tools to examine “slow memory”.
How do people make sense of and remember the transformation of their social, economic and natural environments in their everyday lives? Do memorial approaches to “slow moving” change differ from those developed to grapple with sudden and violent events such as war and genocide? How can we record individual and community remembrance practices and how can we compare them to practices of the past? Which scholarly and practical fields of knowledge creation can bring insight? And how can our findings influence heritage sites?
Building on insights from the Mass Observation Project (University of Sussex) and a diverse range of disciplines (including environmental and media studies, micro sociology, sociolinguistics and memory studies), the PhD student will develop an original methodological approach to studying “slow memory”. For this purpose, the student will work closely with the supervisory team to develop a mobile app designed to record everyday memories and intangible heritage in a theoretically informed and scientifically robust manner. This app will then be used to collect data to understand a particular arena of slow remembering.
The NTU Re:Search Re:Imagined strategy states that “research is about more than writing papers and proposing new ideas. It’s about breaking down barriers and tackling society’s problems in the wild, not just in a laboratory”. This ethos has been central to thinking in our department and the successful applicant will be supported in an active research environment, including NTU’s Global Heritage Theme and the Cultural Heritage Research Peak, the Oral History Network and the Centre for Public History, Heritage and Memory, as well as the COST Action CA20105 on Slow Memory (of which Jenny Wüstenberg is the Chair and Natalie Braber is a member of the Management Committee).
Applications to the position should outline a particular thematic and geographic focus for the project (comparative research designs are especially welcome). An interdisciplinary background, language skills and programming ability will be especially beneficial for this position. Creative and interdisciplinary thinking will be key.
For the eligibility criteria, please visit our how to apply page.
How to apply
We are looking for motivated, engaged individuals to join our doctoral community. If you are interested in applying for one of the proposed Studentship projects, visit the "how to apply" page to access our application portal: please note, you will need to use the ‘NTU Doctoral Application 21/22’ form.
As you are applying for a project, your application should clearly outline which of the projects advertised you wish to apply in Summary of Proposed Research Topic. In Research Proposal and Personal Statement, please give up to 1,500 word statement of why you are interested in the project you are applying for and how you would engage with the research proposed. Think about the outline and research aims for the project and how you would approach them, as well as showing your understanding of the field and how the project will contribute to or challenge existing research. Your statement should focus on the framework of the project, to give the panel a clear idea of your understanding of the research project/topic. You will also need to include a bibliography or reference list for any work you cite.
Your skills, experience, motivation for pursuing doctoral study, and interest in the field should be included as part of your 500 word Previous Experience and Personal Statement.
Please note that only applications to the advertised projects will be accepted as part of this funding call; do not use your application to propose your own research project.
The application deadline is Friday 18 February 2022.
Fees and funding
This project is fully-funded by the Cultural Heritage Research Peak Studentship Scheme.