Choppy sea

Water, Drought, Indentureship and Slavery in the nineteenth century British Empire

Funding:

Funded Phd

Duration:

4 years

Application deadline:

29 March 2021

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 researching both local customs and British inheritances around access to water.

Water was integral to the success of plantation agriculture in the British Empire during and after the period of slavery. Tropical crops such as the ‘ever-thirsty’ sugar cane were grown on islands surrounded by seas and marketed across oceans. Coerced labour was brought to places like the Caribbean and Queensland by water and remained attached to the sea and to rivers, as well as work patterns being governed by access to the water which plantation crops required. Rights of access to water and planter and state ability to harness rainfall and water supplies to plantations were essential – and as yet understudied – features of the plantation system in landscapes transformed in unprecedented ways by human activity, with significant implications for water supply. Rainfall fluctuated regionally, was seasonally variable and often insufficient.

This project will examine both local customs and British inheritances around access to water in order to contribute to a growing literature on the management of plantations and the consequences for enslaved cultures in some or all of the British Caribbean, Queensland or the Cape Colony.

The Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarships Centre for Water Cultures pioneers a new, humanities-led, interdisciplinary and transhistorical research area, the ‘green-blue humanities’

Find out more

The Energy & Environment Institute is a world leader in research into global water risks and resilience

Find out more

The University’s Risky Cities project draws on Hull’s long history of living with water to build flood resilience today and for the future

Find out more

Funding

Doctoral scholars appointed to interdisciplinary projects within the Centre for Water Cultures will be supported by PhD scholarships, funded for 48 months. These cover fees at the UK rate, a maintenance grant of £15609 per year, and a generous research and training support grant.

We expect to support at least 5, and up to 8, doctoral scholars to join the Centre for Water Cultures in September 2021. Further projects will be advertised in future years.

Entry requirements

We welcome applications for this funded 4-year PhD studentship, to start in September 2021.

You should have a good first degree (at least a 2:1 Honours degree, or international equivalent) in a relevant subject. A Masters in History, Geography or related disciplines is desirable but not essential.

International applicants

The Centre for Water Cultures welcomes applications from international candidates.

While the Leverhulme Trust funds fees at the UK rate, we are able to offer a limited number of international fee waivers to support EU and international applicants. These are likely to be attached to no more than 30% of our scholarships.

How to apply

Please follow the instructions on how to apply carefully as otherwise your application may not be considered.

Apply for the project Water, Drought, Indentureship and Slavery in the nineteenth century British Empire.

You will need to provide the following supporting documents:

  1. CV of no more than 2 pages (Arial, minimum font 11 point, margins 2.54cm).
  2. Transcripts. (A transcript is proof of education. It is a detailed record of all the subjects you have studied with your scores in the form of marks or grades given by your institution of study.)
  3. Personal Statement: Please provide a personal statement, of no more than 800 words (Arial, minimum font 11 point, margins 2.54cm), outlining: (i) what motivates you to pursue PhD study; (ii) why you are interested in your chosen project; (iii) your research experience, including how your skill set matches the requirements for your choice of project and/or any additional training you will need; and (iv) the wider significance of research in this area and potential future research directions for the project.
  4. English Language qualifications where required. For more information, see our PG admissions page.