About the Leverhulme Centre for Water Cultures
The University of Hull's Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarships Centre for Water Cultures pioneers a new, humanities-led, interdisciplinary and transhistorical research area, the ‘green-blue humanities.’
It equips a new generation of PhD students to take this agenda forward, transforming our understanding of our relationships with water and shaping future research agendas, methods, and approaches within and between disciplines.
Join our webinar – Thursday 11 March 2021
We are hosting a free webinar to help you find out more about funded postgraduate research at the Leverhulme Centre for Water Cultures. Join us to hear from programme leaders, supervisors, students and researchers and ask any burning questions at the Q&A. Register here
About this project
This is an exciting opportunity for an ambitious, talented and enthusiastic researcher to conduct interdisciplinary research in order to advance thinking within the area of blue-green humanities through examining the ways in which selected Shakespeare’s plays deal with the unstable and threatening presence of water and how this shaped and determined the identities of those living with it.
"I to the world am like a drop of water
That in the ocean seeks another drop,
Who, falling there to find his fellow forth -
Unseen, inquisitive - confounds himself . . ."
Living with, through, by and in water are key elements of the Shakespearean imaginary. This interdisciplinary PhD project will examine the ways in which Shakespeare’s plays of the Mediterranean (principally Othello, The Merchant of Venice, Anthony and Cleopatra and The Comedy of Errors) speak to the ways in which living with unstable and threatening bodies of water influenced the interrelation of different cultures, and/or religious and personal identities. The project will locate specific texts within a nexus of contemporaneous fluvial sites (banks, boats, shores, deltas etc.) and a number of relevant sources that speak to the ways in which people lived with water and had their identities determined by it.
When Shakespeare's characters use aquatic language, their syntax tends to ‘float’, becoming inexact or ambiguous – as water (the metaphor) becomes a propositional space, a locus of risk and hazard in which alternative possible realities can be tested and philosophically explored. In this way, water constitutes not only the material reality of a dramatic location (in Egypt, Venice or the Ottoman Empire), but also a site of intellectual exploration that re-models for audiences a set of propositional concepts demonstrating not just how we currently do live, but how we could.
We encourage applications on this theme that speak to Critical Race Studies and/or Comparative Cultural and Literary Analysis.