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Application Deadline: PhD Studentship: ‘Disability’ and Stuart Seafarers, 1600-1750

May 9

This project focuses on how impaired Stuart seafarers became identified as ‘disabled’. Engaging with critical disabilities studies where ‘disability’ is understood as a historically and culturally variable category, the project explores how early modern attitudes towards specific physical and sensorial impairments in effect disabled Stuart naval personnel, changing their lived experiences through this categorisation. Researching the lives of impaired battle survivors and dockyard workers is valuable in demonstrating their continued service in the British navy. The project is jointly supervised by the University of East Anglia and the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.
The student will study the development of state infrastructure that supported disabilities, focusing on the accounts of the Chatham Chest held at NMM and elsewhere, and key events such as the founding of the Royal Hospital at Greenwich, the first hospital for disabled and disadvantaged navy veterans in 1694. The student may wish to extend the project to the 18th century to examine how late Stuart seafarers were supported in their retirement, benefiting from NMM’s more extensive Greenwich Hospital records.
The project is divided into two key strands. Study of the Chatham Chest accounts and related materials to explore the social conditions and relief efforts available to impaired seamen. The project will also use visual and textual material, including broadsides, plays, poems, artwork, and material artefacts, to research and analyse how physically and mentally disabled Stuart naval workers were perceived, understood, and represented.
Research outputs will include a doctoral thesis, a Chatham Chest database, a research guide for NMM disability sources, and potentially a related small pop-up or digital display at NMM.

Queries to: Prof. Claire Jowitt and Dr Robert Blyth (NMM)

Entry requirements

Applicants should have or expect to receive a Masters-level qualification in a relevant subject such as History, Literature, Museum Studies, or Art History prior to taking up the studentship, or be able to demonstrate equivalent experience in a professional setting.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate an interest in the heritage and research sectors and show potential and enthusiasm for developing skills more widely in related areas.

AHRC CDP doctoral training grants fund full-time studentships for 4 years or part-time equivalent up to a maximum of 8 years.

The award pays tuition fees up to the value of the full-time home UKRI rate for PhD degrees. Research Councils UK Indicative Fee Level for 2024/25 is £4,786*
The award pays full maintenance for all students both home and international students. The UKRI National Minimum Doctoral Stipend for 2024/25 is £19,237, plus a CDP maintenance payment of £600 per year, plus an allowance of £1000 per year, giving a total of £20,837 per year.

The student is eligible to receive an additional travel and related expenses grant during the term of the project courtesy of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, worth up to £850 per year for 4 years.

The successful candidate will be eligible to participate in events organised for all Collaborative Doctoral Partnership students who are registered with different universities and studying with cultural and heritage organisations across the UK.