PhD Studentship: Before Shakespeare

Department of English and Creative Writing,
University of Roehampton, London

A three-year, full-time Ph.D. studentship is available in connection with the AHRC-funded Before Shakespeare project.

The project:

Before Shakespearefocuses on the earliest years of the London playhouses (broadly conceived of as c. 1565-95), and investigates the literary, economic and entertainment experimentations associated with theatre-making at this time. Our work thus far has included a census of everything we know about the playhouses in this period, case studies and close readings across the 60 plays surviving from their repertory and a series of workshops, staged readings and a play-reading marathon putting literary texts into dialogue with archive material and performance practice. Our performance work has included collaborations with Dolphin’s Back, Shakespeare’s Globe, Museum of London Archaeology, the TIDE project and the Apothecaries’ Hall aimed at reviving plays with little performance histories at site-specific venues or exploring immigrant populations living around or performing onstage at the playhouses. This has included a Dolphin’s Back production of Lyly’s Woman in the Moon at the Sam Wanamaker playhouse and a collaboration with Emma Frankland on a forthcoming production of Lyly’s Galateathat places diversity at its heart. The prospective candidate for this PhD would be in a position to benefit from all of these various collaborations. Before Shakespearehas a strong track record of supporting early-career researchers, and we look forward to supporting the work of the successful candidate. Please see for more details of our work thus far.

The PhD studentship:

The PhD will be supervised by Dr. Andy Kesson and either Dr Jane Kingsley-Smith or Professor Clare McManus, depending on the topic proposed. The successful candidate will join the Department’s growing and energetic Postgraduate Research community and will have the support of a full training programme and career development opportunities throughout their research, alongside Roehampton’s newly-built library and the unrivalled research facilities offered by our location in London. Roehampton is also a member of the London Shakespeare Seminar.

Proposals are welcomed for a PhD on any subject speaking to the project’s focus on the first thirty years of the London playhouses and their connections to other literary or economic experimentations. We would especially welcome applications in the following or related areas:

  • overlooked authorial canons (such as George Peele, Robert Greene or Robert Wilson)
  • explorations of theatrical space
  • the Elizabethan playhouse and other recreational / entertainment spaces
  • connections between adult and children’s company traditions
  • connections between commercial and creative practices
  • connections between London theatre and European theatre
  • the role of gender in the running of the playhouses, their plays or anti-theatrical pamphlets
  • research making connections between performance, performance studies, practice-as-research and theatre history.

Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact us in advance to discuss their proposals:

Learning and Teaching Activities:

In addition to the research project, the PhD studentship will include contribution to the department’s teaching for undergraduate students. This will involve contributing to the delivery of modules through supporting students’ independent learning and providing tutorial and pastoral guidance. It will include undertaking some lectures and seminars fully supported by academic colleagues and a professional development programme in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education.

The second and third year of the studentship will develop you incrementally in becoming an academic through structured engagement with students, personal tutoring, academic guidance, preparation, delivery of teaching and assessment and integration into the life of the department.

Full time bursary students are expected to be available for the equivalent of 6 hours work a week over 40 weeks a year; part time students will be pro rata. Where the student undertakes teaching or teaching-related work, the time for preparation, marking, and related administration shall be included in those six hours maximum per week. The hours may be deployed in blocks or regularly throughout the 40 weeks depending on opportunities available and what is practical.

The Bursary:

Funding is available for UK/EU and International* students at Home/EU rates for three years full-time study. The Bursary includes tuition waiver for PhD at UK/EU fees and stipend at £16,777.

Recipients of these studentships will be covered for Home/EU fees, and recipients due to pay overseas fees will be required to pay the difference between Home/EU and overseas tuition fee rates.

Eligibility and how to apply:

In order to be eligible, applicants should hold a first class or upper second class honours undergraduate degree (or equivalent international qualification) and a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in a related subject.

Please apply through the Roehampton online portal. This can be reached, together with guidance notes, via Please ignore the deadline banner which is the deadline for our general scholarship, and not for this specific scholarship.

The closing date for completed applications is 17 August 2018. Interviews will be held w/c 27 August. The successful candidate should be available to start on 1stOctober 2018.

When applying, please highlight the fact that you are applying for the Before Shakespeare scholarship.

One thought on “PhD Studentship: Before Shakespeare

  1. Pingback: Before Shakespeare PhD Studentship, Roehampton, 17 August 2018 – Early English Drama & Performance

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