Funded PhD Studentship Network in Yorkshire: Imagining and Representing Species Extinction Deadline 17th May 2017

Announcing three fully-funded three-year PhD studentships as part of a WRoCAH White Rose Network at the Universities of Sheffield, Leeds and York

Final Application Deadline 17th May 2017. Applicants must already have been admitted to the relevant PhD programme by this date in order to apply.

Imagining and Representing Species Extinction

University of Sheffield (Principal Supervisor, Robert McKay)

Theories of loss in cultural representations of extinction

This studentship will explore contemporary literary and other cultural portrayals of species extinction (including the extinction of the human animal). It will interpret them in the context of critical-theoretical approaches to loss—for example beliefs about death and the afterlife; life, vitalism and biopolitics; or memory, mourning and melancholia—to better understand how we value human and nonhuman existence in contemporary cultures.

University of Leeds (Principal Supervisor, Graham Huggan)

Last Whales: Extinction and the Contemporary Cetacean Imaginary

Whales and other cetaceans have been among the most consistently mythologised of living creatures, while some species currently count among the most endangered on Earth. This PhD studentship will chart contemporary representations of a ‘cetacean imaginary’, combining literary (possibly also film and television) studies with research in marine conservation biology.

University of York (Principal Supervisor, Deborah Maxwell)

A World Without Bees? The role of our social and cultural imagination in responding to bee extinction.

This studentship will look at the role of innovative design techniques and methods, as well as visualisation and increasing stakeholder engagement in the prevention of pollinator extinction. This may involve shaping and identifying collective and conflicting narratives by which individuals, communities and corporations project, plan for, or attempt to avoid, a world without bees. We encourage applications from a wide range of disciplines including interactive and speculative design, social and environmental accounting, and related fields.

In addition to participating in this network and the wider School of English and WRoCAH research communities, the successful applicants will join a vibrant culture of animal studies and environmental humanities research across these Universities.

Please visit the WRoCAH website for more information, including application details on all three studentships.

For more information about animal studies at Sheffield visit