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AHRC studentship on Dorothy Richardson's Correspondence and Modernist Networks, part of The Richardson Editions Project

The deadline for this studentship has now passed.

An AHRC studentship on Dorothy Richardson's Correspondence and Modernist Networks is available through the Department of English and Humanities at Birkbeck under the supervision of Dr Joanne Winning.

The studentship is one of two (one at Birkbeck, University of London and one at University of Birmingham) offered as part of a major collaborative project. The Richardson Editions Project (REP) is an AHRC-funded project to produce scholarly editions of 3 volumes of the collected letters and 7 volumes of the collected fiction of the pioneering modernist writer, Dorothy Richardson, including her long 13-volume novel, Pilgrimage. The volumes will be published by OUP.

You are strongly advised to discuss your interest with the principal investigator of the REP, Professor Scott McCracken and/or prospective supervisor Dr Joanne Winning.

About the Richardson Editions Project (REP)

The PhD project

  • Modernism can be characterised, uniquely amongst periods and fields of literary and artistic production, as a set of radical aesthetic movements structured around a material network of practitioners, facilitators and patrons.
  • While scholars such as Bonnie Kime Scott, Virginia Smyers, and Gillian Hanscombe have demonstrated how such networks enabled women, as previously marginalised cultural producers, to participate in literary production, the networks themselves have yet to be fully theorised.
  • This PhD project seeks to map and theorise the question of gender in relation to the modernist network, conceptualising it as what the sociologist Pierre Bourdieu calls a 'restricted field of production', in which key figures function as agents of 'cultural consecration' bestowing 'symbolic value' upon the art objects created within the network. Issues of gender and women's cultural production are of paramount importance here.
  • Scott's work records lines of connection for Richardson to other major figures in the field of modernism, such as James Joyce, Marcel Proust, Katherine Mansfield. These lines represent relations of literary influence and conceptualisations of modernist experimental form. However, Richardson's letters and fiction demonstrate that Richardson's lines of connection within the network were manifold and diverse. To take just one example, an important line must be drawn between Richardson and Bryher (Winifred Ellerman), who acts both as patron and editorial conduit for Richardson through the many years of her literary career. This connection is evidenced both through correspondence and through literary representation. This PhD project will aim to rethink such connections in relation to both an understanding of female patronage and editorial control in the modernist field and through models of networks of female friendship and support.
  • The successful student will contribute directly to the wider project by learning from and taking part in processes of transcription and editing, working on the interpretative content, and co-organising the planned international Dorothy Richardson conference, which will take place at University of Keele in 2016. The student will also be supported by the project team, and the advisory board, through regular appraisal and feedback meetings, as part of a mutual research network.
    • First year: literature survey, including existing accounts of the field of modernism and modernist cultural production; identifying relevant and productive strands of critical and cultural theory, with which to map and analyse the concept of the 'network'; background research on Richardson's biography and bibliography and other key figures central to her literary career and production.
    • Second year: focus and definition of the key research questions structuring the dissertation; collaboration with project leaders on the process of editing the letters and fiction.
    • Third year: writing up the dissertation; submission; and as far as possible, ongoing collaboration with the project team on the editing project.


  • The studentships will begin in September 2014 and are for 3 years' full-time study.


  • Fee waiver of full-time Home/EU rate for MPhil/PhD degrees (currently £3,900) plus annual stipend set at Research Council rates (currently £15,726)


  • Applications are invited from outstanding candidates with a strong honours degree and a Master's in English.

How to apply

Application deadline

  • 5pm Friday 21 February 2014