Call for Applications: PhD Studentship “Esperanto 4.0. Millennials and the global Esperanto movement in historical and anthropological perspective”

PhD Studentship in Social Anthropology & Modern History

The deadline for applications is 5pm on 25 May 2019.

The project “Esperanto 4.0: Millennials and the global Esperanto movement in historical and anthropological perspective” invites applications for one PhD studentship, for applicants to start at the University of St Andrews in September 2019. The student will examine the current resurging interest in the artificial and neutral language Esperanto among millennial Esperanto speakers and activists in an anthropological-historical perspective.

The project seeks to address – among others – the following questions:

  • To what extent are current Esperanto-speakers driven by similar or different agendas and ideals as previous generations of Esperanto-speakers?
  • To what extent are current speakers aware of the historical origins and the legacy of the language and the broader movement?
  • How do millennials interact within the wider Esperanto community in comparison to previous generations (travel, congresses, local and national societies, media and online forums)?
  • To Millennial Esperantists, what are the limits and potentials to revive the movement within the current social, economic, political, and cultural climate?

The main focus of the project is to conduct ethnographic fieldwork, in form of meetings, informal and informal interviews and oral history, regarding Millennial Esperantists. The successful candidate will find a highly stimulating research environment and joint supervision from Social Anthropology and History. The studentship allows for the development of a flexible and independent interdisciplinary project around today’s Esperanto community in a historical perspective. While the project is a free-standing PhD project it will be embedded into a wider project on “Esperanto & Internationalism, c. 1880s-1930” (Dr Bernhard Struck, School of History).

We are looking for a PhD candidate trained in Social Anthropology or History. This could include someone with a joint degree or someone with a Masters and Undergraduate degrees in the disciplines. Applicants should have completed a taught-postgraduate degree (or equivalent) with a good Masters degree by September 2019. It is expected that the student will know or be willing to learn Esperanto. The studentship is funded through the St Leonard’s College Interdisciplinary Doctoral Scholarships Scheme at the University of St Andrews. The scholarships comprise a full-fee waiver and stipend for the normal full-fee paying period. The stipend will be paid at the current Research Council rate (£14,777 in 2018-19). The scholarship may be awarded to a UK/EU or international applicant.

For a full outline of the project rationale, see PDF version Interdisciplinary PhD – Esperanto Project. The project is part of a wider project on “Esperanto and Internationalism, c.1880s-1930” with another PhD starting in September 2019 on Poland in local and transnational perspectives.

Applicants should apply for a PhD place via the University of St Andrews standard application process: https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/study/pg/apply/research/. In addition, they should submit a research outline of a maximum of 500 words directly to Professor Mark Harris (mh25@st-andrews.ac.uk) and Dr Bernhard Struck (bs50@st-andrews.ac.uk).

 

 

Hunting Whales, Maritime Knowledge and the Transformation of Dundee

Welcome to our new PhD student: Matt Ylitalo. Matt came to St Andrews in 2013 to do an MLitt in Reformation History. Over the year he developed interests in the question of what constitutes knowledge and facts, leading to a dissertation the linked travel, the transfer of knowledge, and the Royal Society in the seventeenth century.

From the dissertation emerged fascinating discussions around transnational and global history, the history of knowledge and knowledge transfers. And here we are with a new project:

Matt’s project assesses how whaling in Dundee contributed to the history of maritime science, and to the city’s ‘global’ status, during the long nineteenth century.

Sperm whale at Leith Harbour, South Georgia, 1913

Sperm whale at Leith Harbour, South Georgia, 1913

The project will investigate whalers’ networks and processes of knowledge accumulation and transference; the project will then examine the impact that this epistemic migration had on Dundee in comparison to other transatlantic whaling ports.

Many towns throughout coastal Scotland engaged in whaling in the nineteenth century. On a transatlantic scale, ports such a New Bedford, Massachusetts and Sandefjord, Norway far outstripped Dundee in the magnitude of their whaling operations. Yet Dundee distinctly stands apart from other Scottish and transatlantic whaling communities. Most whaling communities followed an ephemeral pattern of existence, which consisted of hunting whales intensively for several decades, falling into decline and then realigning to more locally- or regionally-oriented commercial orbits. Dundee, however, defied this model both in duration and commercial scope. (…) Read more here.

 

People on the Move I: Sending PhDs @tshts

Doing the Alps in the Alps 

Part of the joy of being a PhD student is to be on the move, isn’t it?  To see different places, to experience archives, to be stimulated by different institutional and intellectual cultures.

Jordan Girardin presenting at ENIUGH 2014 conference at ENS, Paris

Jordan Girardin presenting at ENIUGH 2014 conference at ENS, Paris

One of our PhD researchers, Jordan Giardin, who came from Sciences Po to St Andrews in 2012 for an MLitt in Modern History, stayed on for a research project on the Alps with a transnational twist: “The Alps from Natural Border to Transnational Space” investigates the Alps as a space – an espace vécu, to speak with Henri Lefebvre – through the lens of networks, travel, encounters around 1800.

In his second year, it was time to move and experience the Alps first hand and to dig into archives between Basel, Bern and Zurich. We are grateful that our GRAINES partners at the University of Basel and Professor Martin Lengwiler in particular for hosting and welcoming Jordan this semester.

Between Habsburg and St Andrews

One of the key ideas behind GRAINES (Graduate Interdisciplinary Network in European Studies) is that it allows us to put European and transnational history into practice with a flexible and informal way of exchanges of both staff and students between the partner institutions. Martin Schaller one of the current PhD students based at St Andrews will be spending part of his project time in Vienna. While focussing mainly on the perception of the Habsburg Empire from outsiders’ perspectives, the view from ‘within’ as well as working with specialists in the region will certainly be beneficial for the development of the project.

We are grateful that Markian Prokopovych and Philipp Ther have agreed to informally supervise Martin during his time in Vienna. In order to facilitate exchanges between the partner institutions and to support our students financially, ERASMUS agreements between St Andrews and Vienna, as well as between St Andrews and Basel will be set up soon.

PhD success: Dr Andrew Dodd

Our warmest congratulations to Andrew Dodd, now Dr Dodd. Andrew came from Canada to St Andrews in 2007 for an MLitt in modern history. He soon developed a strong interest in twentieth-century German history though always with a broader mindset and a general interest in European history, which also brought him to the Centre for Transnational History where he actively supported a number of our activities such as the GRAINES network in its early stages or the postgraduate forums. Andrew successfully defended his thesis end of July 2013 on West German Editorial Journalists. Between Division and Reunification, 1987-1991 under the supervision of Riccardo Bavaj.