PhD in History of Art – Nineteenth-Century Topic



Project Outline 

Between 1857 and 1866 the public’s attention was caught by the drama of the repeated attempts to lay a submarine cable across the Atlantic for the transmission of telegraphic messages. This project draws on discussions of twenty-first-century digital culture and its limit points to establish why it is that the scrambling of messages was as significant for Victorian culture at large as the sending of flawless messages. The enquiry will move between material objects and conceptual ideas.

The project will transform the cataloguing and web presentation of the Wheatstone Collection of scientific papers and instruments held by KCL. Wheatstone (1802-1875) was a pioneer in the technologies of the telegraph. We will consider apparatus and instruments such as the induction relay, galvanometers, voltaic batteries and telegraph transmitters and receivers, and indeed the armoured cable itself in terms of their functions and materials. The problems exercising inventors and technicians will offer us sets of opposing terms with which to look into Victorian culture such as proximity/distance and conductivity/impedance. We are looking to assemble a dynamic and imaginative project team of an Archivist, Cataloguer, Postdoctoral Researcher, and two PhDs to work on this innovative and interdisciplinary project.

Informal enquiries may be made to Professor Clare Pettitt ([email protected]) or Professor Caroline Arscott ([email protected])

PhD IN THE HISTORY OF ART — VICTORIAN PERIOD (THE COURTAULD INSTITUTE OF ART)

‘The American West in Graphic Reportage’

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Three-year AHRC-funded PhD studentship for a doctoral study on Victorian illustration and graphic reportage. The student will conduct research on the ways in which America was represented in Britain in the period. The student will have the opportunity to consider methods of transmitting material to Britain, the type of reporting, the artistic conventions employed, techniques of reproduction, audiences and distribution systems for this journalism and the social context in Britain for the consumption of material relating to America, urban centres, the Civil War, wars with native American peoples and the exploration, settlement and exploitation of territories to the west following the building of the Pacific Railroad completed in 1869.  This doctoral research will lend a specific dimension to the project’s engagement with issues of news, and information. The project will ask what was the range of British public commentary and graphic imagery produced in response to the drama and developing technology associated with the telegraph.

The student will be based at The Courtauld Institute of Art and will be supervised by Professor Caroline Arscott. Informal enquiries may be made to Caroline Arscott ([email protected]) and further details can be found on our website at

http://www.courtauld.ac.uk/vacancies/PhDinHistoryofArtVacanciesTheCourtauldInstituteofArt.shtml

Closing Date: 24th May 2013

Interview Date: 17th June 2013

FOR A FULL JOB DESCRIPTION AND DETAILS OF HOW TO APPLY FOR THESE STUDENTSHIPS PLEASE E-MAIL Professor Clare Pettitt on scram[email protected]

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