University of Leeds: Two Collaborative PhD Studentships in the History of Nineteenth-Century Science, Technology and Medicine

Two AHRC-funded PhD studentships are available from 1 October 2007 for collaborative research projects between the Division of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Leeds, and two Leeds museums, the Leeds City Museum(LCM) and the Thackray Museum.

(1) “A History of the Scientific Collections of the Leeds Museum, 1819-1921: Acquiring, Interpreting and Presenting the Natural World in the English Industrial City.” This LCM-based project will examine the public and private lives of one of the most important provincial scientific museums in nineteenth-century Britain, from its beginnings with the founding of the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society in 1819 to the handover of the collections to the city in 1921. Drawing on a range of local resources, including the museum objects themselves, newspapers and archives from the period, and the LCM’s very extensive dossiers on collectors associated with the Museum, this project will involve the student in analysing the Leeds Museum as a focus for scientific activity in the city and beyond.

This project will be supervised by Gregory Radick and Jonathan Topham (Leeds HPS) and Antonia Lovelace and Clare Stringer (LCM – now part of Leeds Museums & Galleries), in association with other members of their Collections History Taskforce. The project student is expected to help mount a new Collectors Gallery – part of a new museum site opening in August 2008 – and also to contribute to online exhibits and to local, national and international meetings.

(2) “Competing Instruments in Nineteenth-Century Midwifery: The Forceps / Lever Rivalry and its Resolution.” This Thackray-based project will address the practice of midwifery. Although the project’s scope will be determined between the student and the supervisors, a central question is why the forceps displaced the lever as the midwifery instrument of choice. In nineteenth-century British midwifery the two were used in parallel – usually by different obstetricians – for the delivery of obstructed births presenting by the head (the commonest kind of birth); yet, by the 1920s the contest had been decisively settled in favour of the forceps. This project will make use of the Thackray’s unrivalled collection of medical instrument trade catalogues, midwifery instruments preserved in the Thackray and elsewhere, treatises and journals of midwifery from the period, and selected maternity hospital records.

This is the second collaborative doctoral project between the Leeds HPS Division and the Thackray Museum. The new project’s supervisors will be Adrian Wilson and Graeme Gooday (Leeds HPS) and Joanne Stewardson (Thackray), in association with other Thackray Museum staff. The student is expected to create an exhibit of the Museum’s relevant holdings, bringing out the findings of the research, and also to contribute to local, national and international meetings.

For both projects, applicants must be either UK residents (full studentship) or EU nationals (fees only). They should normally have, or expect soon to be awarded, a Masters degree in a relevant discipline (history of science, technology and/or medicine; museum studies; history). The studentships support three years’ full-time work, but can be taken up on either a full-time or a part-time basis. Standard tuition fees and maintenance grants will be paid by the AHRC to the nominated student. In the 2007/2008 academic year full-time awards will provide a maintenance grant payment of £12,600. The student will also receive additional maintenance contributions of £500 per year from the AHRC and £1000 per year from the LCM or the Thackray. Up to £200 per year for travel and related workplace expenses will also be available. (Part-time awards provide a maintenance grant up to a maximum of 60% of a full-time award and half the full-time rate of tuition fees.)

The closing date for applications for both studentships is Friday 18 May 2007. Interviews for both studentships will take place between 30 May and 1 June. Please specify whether you are applying for the LCM-based project, the Thackray-based project, or both. Enquiries about the LCM-based project may be directed to Gregory Radick, email: [email protected] Enquiries about the Thackray-based project may be directed to Adrian Wilson, email: [email protected] Application forms and further details are available from Katy Lanceley, Department of Philosophy, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, email: [email protected], tel: 0113 343 3263.