Following the Irish Revolution, the heteronormative masculine ideal was valorised; an ideal which compromised both the pious Catholic and the virile warrior-hero, while women’s and LGBTQ rights stagnated. Despite this, masculinities remain a relatively nascent subject in Irish studies. In this field, the scholarship has focussed heavily on masculinities and their representation during periods of extreme violence, namely the Irish Revolution (c. 1912-23) and the Northern Irish Troubles (c. 1968-98), with considerably less attention paid to the intervening period. This project asks the question of just how exactly masculinity was envisioned in post-revolutionary global Ireland. During this period, ‘Ireland’ constituted a truly global community, with the Irish diaspora outnumbering the population of the island of Ireland.
As masculinity constitutes a social and cultural construct, which also intersects with sexuality, race, class, age and disability, and is present in across a multitude of areas of human experience, this project is inherently interdisciplinary. Prospective researchers will be encouraged to draw upon the wide-ranging expertise of the supervisory team, which combines perspectives from history, literary studies, and visual culture. They will analyse a range of sources, which may include fiction, drama, life writing, oral testimony, visual culture, and archival documents. Equal recognition will be given to both the visual and the textual. Indeed, visual culture has proved vital for the construction of masculinity, and gender identities more broadly. As Anthea Callen (1998: 401) argues, it is ‘in pictorial images we recognize likeness or differ¬ence; we identify ourselves or find a different ‘other.’
You will be positively encouraged to adapt their focus to address your own research interests. You may choose to focus on all or part of the period, 1922-68, and to focus on the construction of masculinity in either political, economic, social, cultural, and/or religious life. You should also think about masculinities in the plural, and may explore the construction of hegemonic masculinity, the lived experience of masculinity, deviant, and queer masculinities, or the interaction between them. Moreover, the ‘global’ dimension of this project may be interpreted in transnational, comparative and/or diasporic terms.
Specific interpretations of the research question could entail the following:
• What was the relationship between masculinities and power in Ireland in this period?
• How did the construction of masculinity change in Ireland over this period?
• What was unique about hegemonic masculinity in Ireland during this period?
Teesside itself offers an ideal location for research into global Ireland, as the local area contains a particularly high number of members of the Irish diaspora. Prospective researchers will benefit from institutional links between the university, Middlesbrough Institute for Modern Art, Teesside Irish Society and the Tyneside Irish Centre. They will also benefit from the Director of Studies’ research connections to other institutions in Great Britain, Ireland, and around the world. This will help you to make a meaningful contribution to knowledge, at a time when the concept of masculinity is increasingly being contested around the world.
The Fully Funded PhD Studentship covers tuition fees for the period of a full-time PhD Registration of up to four years and provide an annual tax-free stipend of £18,622 for three years, subject to satisfactory progress.
Applicants who are employed and if their employer is interested in funding a PhD, can apply for a Collaborative Studentship.
Applications are welcome from UK, EU and International students.
Applicants should hold or expect to obtain a good honours degree (2:1 or above) in a relevant discipline. A masters level qualification in a relevant discipline is desirable, but not essential, as well as a demonstrable understanding of the research area. Further details of the expected background may appear in the specific project details. International students will be subject to the standard entry criteria relating to English language ability, ATAS clearance and, when relevant, UK visa requirements and procedures.
How to apply
Applicants should apply online for this opportunity using the Online Application (Funded PHD) application form. When asked to specify funding select “other” and enter ‘RDS’ and the title of the PhD project that you are applying for. You should ensure that you clearly indicate that you are applying for a Funded Studentship and the title of the topic or project on the proposal that you will need to upload when applying. To apply for more than one project, you need to complete a further application form and specify the relevant title for each application to a topic or project.
Applications for studentships that do not clearly indicate that the application is for a Funded Studentship and state the title of the project applied for on the proposal may mean that your application may not be considered for the appropriate funding.