About this project
COVID-19 lockdowns have helped bring UK communities together in a shared experience of incarceration, but research is also revealing inequalities in this experience across gender, region, and socioeconomic status. Rooting present-day inequalities in past pandemics, this interdisciplinary project works across English, History, and Health Sciences to explore experiences of public health incarceration during plague outbreaks in 17th-century Hull. The project draws on the rich public health records housed in Hull History Centre archives to identify gender and economic inequalities in how town authorities enforced regulations to shut up plague-infected households for forty days. Comparing past with present, the project uses Hull as a case study to explore how histories of inequality can help us devise policies and deliver strategies for future pandemic lockdowns. It uses seventeenth-century poetry, letters, and diaries to give voice to the incarcerated across time and compares historical accounts to the emerging genre of pandemic literature today.
The successful candidate will join a vibrant, interdisciplinary research environment at the University of Hull's Cultures of Incarceration Centre (CIC) which is proud of its growing postgraduate community.
For informal enquiries, please contact Dr Stewart Mottram.
About the 'Transatlantic Cultures of Incarceration’ research cluster
Based in the Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education, the Cultures of Incarceration Centre explores creative responses to the experience of incarceration across cultures and continents, with ‘incarceration’ applied to a host of historical and contemporary contexts, including prisons, pandemics, and modern slavery. Our work informs wider discussions of race, class, gender, humanity, and citizenship in countries across the world, and pioneers new interdisciplinary ways of working with colleagues from across subject areas and in collaboration with external partners and stakeholders.
Our students will play an active role in the Centre, whether by supporting the Centre’s research seminar programme, producing podcasts connected to student research projects, or mentoring MA Incarceration Studies students. Cultures of Incarceration Centre students receive expert supervision from a dedicated team of supervisors, and also benefit from access to pastoral and career mentoring opportunities. Students enjoy dedicated workspace within our on-campus resource room and at the Wilberforce Institute for Slavery and Emancipation, based in Hull’s historical city centre.
Click here to watch a recording of our recent webinar about this funded postgraduate research opportunity. You'll hear from programme leaders, supervisors, and students and listen to queries from other applicants in the Q&A.
Other PhDs in this cluster
Modern Slavery in Literature: Searching for the Subaltern
Modern Slavery in Film: Producing and Representing Exploitation
Photographing the Incarcerated Flood Victim
Creative Practice & Incarceration: Writing Maternity Diaries