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Application Deadline: Funded PhD studentship @ UCL History and Wellcome Collection

January 23, 2023

Applications are invited for “Commonplacing Health and the Body in Early Modern England”. This is a 3.5 year PhD studentship funded by the London Arts and Humanities Partnership Collaborative Doctoral Award Scheme to be held at UCL History and Wellcome Collection.

Project Description:
Matters of health and the body were everyday preoccupations for early modern people, and many collected health information into personalised handwritten notebooks. Hundreds of these notebooks survive in the archives offering valuable opportunities to explore quotidian ideas about sickness and health. Centred on the rich corpus of handwritten medical notebooks in the Wellcome Collection, this project investigates how early modern men and women engaged with health information across communication media and created customised compendia of medical knowledge to suit their needs. It aims to recover diverse and individual perspectives of health and the body in early modern England and gain insight on the impact of past library cataloguing practices in constructing gender and epistemic boundaries. The student will conduct a scoping survey of such texts in the collection and select a handful of rich examples on which to undertake more in-depth research. Experience will be gained in working in an archive, library and museum setting including object handling, cataloguing practices and public engagement. The student’s research will contribute to revising the existing catalogue entries and will reveal the relevance of past practices of documenting health to our present and future. Some of the medical notebooks contain passages written in Latin, Italian, French or German. As such, the student should either have working knowledge of one of these languages or be open to gaining further skills in this area. Funded language and palaeography training will be provided.

Project supervision team includes Prof. Angus Gowland and Dr Elaine Leong at University College London and Dr Elma Brenner and Julia Nurse
at Wellcome Collection.

Applicants need to apply to UCL History *and* to the London Arts and Humanities Partnership by January 23 2023. Interviews will be held in March 2023. For further information on the application process, please see LAHP CDA projects available page (https://www.lahp.ac.uk/prospective-students/collaborative-doctoral-awards-projects-available/).

For queries specific to the project, please contact the project’s lead supervisor Elaine Leong on e.leong@ucl.ac.uk