PhD Studentships The Worlds of Mandaean Priests

Number of awards: 2

Value of Award: £13,726 per annum plus tuition fees (home or international rate)

Ref: 1262

The Mandaeans of Iraq and Iran are one of the most endangered religious groups in the world. This project aims to preserve as much as possible of their religious knowledge by making recordings: of interviews with priests and of the rituals themselves. Visiting individuals in both homeland and diaspora, we aim to capture the full range of religious rituals and the variant traditions within the priesthood. We will also make an ethnographic film about the religious life of the community, which we hope will be shown widely. The interviews will be kept in perpetuity in Exeter’s online Digital Repository and will be freely available on the Internet, in accordance with Exeter’s Open Access policy.

Tasks involved in these studentships include: engaging in fieldwork, developing contacts in the community, conducting interviews and recording rituals. Supervisors will be based in both Exeter and Leiden and the students can expect to be resident in Exeter for most of the period of their PhD. The studentship includes 80 hours’ work p.a. which will include working on the digital archive, maintaining the project website, and helping with organization of workshops of academics and stakeholders. Prior knowledge of the language(s) of the field would be highly advantageous. We prefer that the successful candidates begin their PhD in January 2014, though deferral until September 2014 may be possible.

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Although the project itself is aimed at the preservation of immaterial culture through digital archive, the PhD theses produced may use perspectives from various disciplines of the humanities and social sciences, including comparative religion and anthropology. We invite research proposals which reflect this.


Funded by: Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies

–> Application deadline: 11th October 2013

For informal information on the Studentship, please contact: Beth Owen 01392 724490

To apply for this post, please click on the Apply button below.

Please note that if you are successful in being awarded funding you will then be asked to apply for a study place in addition to formalize the funding offer.
Selection Process: All shortlisted applicants will be invited for an interview and will be required to give a 10 minute presentation. The interviews will take place week towards the end of October 2013 at the University’s Streatham Campus through Skype or phone.

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