PhD studentship Memorial Landscapes: Negotiating Post-conflict Spaces

Supervisors: Dr Lucy Noakes, Dr Catherine Palmer and Dr Leila Dawney

Application deadline: 4pm, 27 June 2013

This scholarship will investigate the temporal, cultural, material and experiential dimensions of ‘post-conflict’ spaces, understood as spaces where legacies of war and conflict may endure in memory, practice, unrest and community relations, and where meanings about past and present are created, lived, contested and negotiated. Working with and developing a range of conceptual approaches utilised by the ‘spatial turn’ within historical, cultural and memory studies, you will focus on a specific memorial landscape or heritage site as a means of investigating and widening our knowledge of how the continuing legacies of war and conflict are engaged in ‘post-conflict’ spaces. Both the case chosen for analysis and the particular mix of approaches will be proposed by applicants and the successful candidate will negotiate the latter with their supervisors.

This is one of three doctoral scholarships available within the University of Brighton’s newly established interdisciplinary research cluster, Understanding Conflict: Forms and Legacies of Violence. Based jointly in the Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics and Ethics and the Centre for Research in Memory, Narrative and Histories, the cluster builds a usable understanding of violent conflict and its human legacies, developing two areas of interdisciplinary investigation rooted in the recent work of the two research centres. One area is concerned with ethical and political justifications of violence, based on the principle that the philosophical study and practical implementation of an ethics of suffering have to take on board people’s experiences of living with, through and after violent conflict. The other area investigates cultural and historical constructions of past, present and future as experienced, understood and negotiated in cultures and societies undergoing violent conflict or dealing with ‘post-conflict’ legacies, with a particular interest in the intersection between temporal dynamics and spatial locations. By developing dialogue between historically and geographically situated studies and more abstract philosophical approaches, and through collaboration with external partners from outside the academy with lived experience and/or practical knowledge of conflict and its transformation, the cluster aims to develop over a number of years a valuable interdisciplinary synthesis for understanding and engaging with the forms and legacies of recent and contemporary violent conflict.   

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Led by Professor Bob Brecher (applied philosophy) and Professor Graham Dawson (historical cultural studies), the cluster brings together established expertise in humanities and social sciences from across the university. Contributing disciplines and areas include: applied philosophy, critical theory, cultural geography, cultural and social history, literature, material culture, politics, psycho-social studies and social anthropology. With a commitment to developing interdisciplinary understandings, you will be part of a wider group (currently nine) of PhD students working on related topics and helping to further both the cluster’s scholarly reputation and its public impact. This will include contributing to our wider activities, including conferences, workshops, public participation and dissemination.

Funding notes: Each studentship is valued at £58,500 over three years and includes funding to cover annual tuition fees and a contribution towards living costs. It is available to students worldwide.

Eligibility and how to apply: Please visit our website

Further Information: Contact the office of Professor David Arnold, dean of the Doctoral College on: +44 (0)1273 761432 or

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