Before Energy Citizenship: Energy, Culture and Place-based Identities in the UK, 1950s–1990s
This PhD project provides an opportunity to explore the historical interplay among modern energy life, public culture and consumer identity formation in late 20th century Britain.
The concept of energy citizenship has recently attracted intense academic interest in humanities and social sciences research on energy and climate change. In contrast to the conventional image of energy users as passive recipients of energy services, the scholarship on energy citizenship envisages energy users as active agents for energy systems’ evolution. This project contributes to the expanding literature on energy citizenship from a historical perspective by drawing upon the rich historiography on consumer citizenship and local/regional identity formation. Departing from the universalised idea of the ‘energy consumer’ identity, this project considers culturally attenuated and place-based modes of energy users’ identity formation, which have been shaped by local energy landscapes and local energy cultures. The project’s chronological focus begins with the 1950s, when modern energy appliances saw a strong penetration into Britain’s domestic and public spaces, and extends to the 1990s, a decade when the rise of the climate change debate began to question the energy-intensive consumer life. Through its investigation of the pre-history of energy citizenship, the project reconsiders the impact of modern energy consumption on social and cultural identity formation in late 20th century Britain.
The successful candidate will develop the project in her/his own direction, but some questions to address include:
•How has modern energy life been articulated in cultural media, such as films, literature, museum displays and artworks, and what do they tell us about modern consumers’ identities as energy users, workers or citizens?
•How have local energy landscapes (e.g., coal mines, power plants, gas fields, oil refineries, pylons and pipelines) contributed to the formation of distinctive local energy identities?
•How have pre-existing local identities and memories shaped the public’s attitudes toward environmental movements, citizen protests and early responses to climate change discussions?
The candidate will develop case studies that ideally include some element of regional comparison within the UK. The project involves both online and archival research as well as an extensive survey of the existing literature on energy history, energy humanities, consumption history, cultural studies and science and technology studies. The candidate will be encouraged to incorporate non-textual sources into her/his study, including visual sources, material objects, heritage sites and oral histories.
All applicants must submit a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words on the research theme outlined in this call.
This project is associated with a 3 year studentship. It is subject to the eligibility criteria set out by the Department for the Economy (https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/department-economy-studentships). This includes payment of UK level doctoral fees, and a maintenance stipend – currently £15,285 per year.
History is a dynamic and growing research area at Queen's, with recent appointments adding to our strengths in public history, the history of religion, modern Ireland, modern Britain, modern Europe, the United States and twentieth-century Europe. It is the largest group of historians at any university on the island of Ireland. History has a number of collaborative research initiatives with the Institute of Irish Studies at Queen's and with other universities in Ireland, the UK and abroad, including Boston College, Vanderbilt and George Washington University.
With Queen’s being part of the AHRC Northern Bridge collaboration (with Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria, Teeside and Ulster Universities), there are opportunities for co-supervised doctoral work with staff at all three of these institutions.
Queen’s is one of the premier research centres globally for the study of Irish history and boasts a large and active team of researchers in this field, with interests ranging from the middle ages to the twentieth century. We have particular in depth strength in the history of Irish religion, politics, gender relations, social history, and Ireland's relationships with Britain and the wider world, Irish-British relations, economic development and thought, political ideologies, and in the history of modern Ulster.
The Centre for Public History is a dynamic new development at Queen’s, one that involves historians with a variety of geographical and chronological interests. A number of history PhD candidates are engaged in public history related projects which involve internships and collaborations with bodies such as the BBC, Belfast City Council, Historic Royal Palaces and the Ulster Museum.
Other areas of particular research expertise include oral history, 20th-century British social, cultural, political and imperial history, history of the U.S. South, gender history and religious history. There are also specialists in the history of Ancient Rome, Medieval England and Europe, Early Modern Britain and Europe, twentieth-century Europe, modern China, India, and South-East Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa.
You will engage in ground-breaking research in a historical subject of your choice. Throughout your study our internationally recognised scholars will superise you.
A flourishing programme of events, seminars, and research groups complements our postgraduate courses and doctoral supervision. Annual highlights include the prestigious Wiles Lecture Series, the Centre for Public Hidtory annual conference and the Keith Jeffery Memorial Lecture.
Our world-class academics provide research students with excellent supervision. Learn more about our expertise and click here to find a PhD supervisor and explore research areas.
Resources For Research
The School boasts the following Research Centres:
Institute of Irish Studies – a pioneering centre for interdisciplinary Irish scholarship and teaching.
Institute of Cognition and Culture – one of the world’s first centres for research into cognition and culture.
Centre for Public History – a lively hub for people engaged in researching, teaching and practising public history. The QUOTE hub, established by Queen's active group of oral historians, based in History, and has members from throughout the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.
Major research resources are close at hand. They include the extensive collection of Irish manuscripts, books and pamphlets in the Queen's University Library's Special Collections. Our state of the art McClay Library has extensive book and journal holdings, and also subscribes to many of the principal online resources for historical study, including ECCO, EEBO, HCPP and The Times and The Irish Times Digital Archives). The wide ranging collections of modern and older publications in Belfast's historic Linen Hall Library, the extensive manuscript holdings for Irish and British history of the newly enhanced Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI), and other local depositories. The nearby Gamble Library holds specialist collections in religious history and theology. The collections of the Irish National Archives and National Library of Ireland in Dublin are within commuting distance.
About the Programme
The aim of the programme is to produce students who are fully-fledged independent researchers. From the outset, students are given encouragement to disseminate their work at seminars and conferences and by publishing in high-quality journals. The programme culminates in the submission of an 80,000-word dissertation that makes an original contribution to historical knowledge.
Mode of study/duration
Registration is on a full-time or part-time basis, under the direction of a supervisory team appointed by the School. You will be expected to submit your thesis at the end of three years of full-time registration for PhD.
The History postgraduate community is centred around our weekly research seminars, in which students present their own research. Other recent speakers have included historians from the universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, Georgia, Glasgow, Princeton, UCL, Trinity College Dublin, and the Folger Shakespeare Library. Our postgraduate historians also present their work at conferences and seminars. Postgraduates within the School have published or had accepted for publication articles in Historical Journal, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Church History, Scottish History Review, Irish Historical Studies, History Workshop Journal, Immigrants and Minorities, Journal of American Studies, and History Ireland amongst other publications.
The postgraduate community within the School is lively, energetic and diverse and contributes enormously to the research culture. It includes many of our own graduates, as well as graduates of British and Irish universities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, Oxford, and UCD, and international institutions such as Princeton, Georgetown and Minzu University Beijing.
We are proud of the students who have graduated with their doctorates. Where possible we stay in touch so that the link and relationships remain long after a student has left the School. View our alumni here.
Many of our doctoral graduates secure postdoctoral fellowships and academic posts in the UK, Ireland and elsewhere in the world.
You will be a member of a vibrant graduate community which hosts regular lectures, seminars and conferences and will be encouraged to present the results of your research at these events and more widely at international conferences and workshops.
The School boasts a number of regular research seminars. The Postgraduate Research Seminar, run by research students themselves, meets regularly throughout the academic year: speakers are drawn from our own postgraduate community and from other universities in Ireland and Britain. The Irish History Students’ Association, of which QUB is a founder member, holds an annual conference at which postgraduate students from across the island meet and read papers. Other regular seminar series are in religious studies, US history, Irish Studies, 18th-Century Studies, Medieval Studies and Postcolonial Studies. Queen's hosts regular meetings of the Ulster Society for Irish Historical Studies.
Queen’s students also have the opportunity to attend rich variety of public lectures and research seminars available within the School and in other parts of the university, highlighted by our annual Wiles lecture series, delivered by a historian of global standing. Postgraduates thus have the opportunity to become fully part of a programme of active historical research in an atmosphere of wide ranging intellectual interchange and enquiry.
The University's Special Collections also hold important archival and printed primary materials, especially for the history of Ireland, Great Britain and the British Empire, and China.
Significant deposits of modern American, Soviet and British military archival materials have recently been acquired.
We also host annual events including the Wiles Lectures on the history of civilisation and regular conferences on a range of historical themes. A weekly postgraduate seminar is run and organised by research students.
For further information on career development opportunities at PhD level please contact the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (AHSS) Career development Team at email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel: +44 28 9097 5175 AHSS Development Officers: Cathy Wilson and Aileen Carson will be happy to provide further information on your research area career prospects.
The minimum academic requirement for admission to a research degree programme is normally an Upper Second Class Honours degree from a UK or ROI HE provider, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Further information can be obtained by contacting the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required (*taken within the last 2 years).
International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.
For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be offering Academic English and Pre-sessional courses online only from June to September 2020.
|Northern Ireland (NI) 1||£4,500|
|Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2||£4,500|
|England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1||£4,500|
|EU Other 3||£17,460|
1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled or pre-settled status, are expected to be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly Student Fees Regulations. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB are expected to be charged the GB fee, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.
2 It is expected that EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI will be eligible for NI tuition fees, in line with the Common Travel Agreement arrangements. The tuition fee set out above is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.
3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.
All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2021-22, and relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
For further information please refer to www.qub.ac.uk/brexit-advice/information-for-students.
There are no specific additional course costs associated with this programme.
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may also be other extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies . Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £100 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges. Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen. There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, and library fines. In undertaking a research project students may incur costs associated with transport and/or materials, and there will also be additional costs for printing and binding the thesis. There may also be individually tailored research project expenses and students should consult directly with the School for further information.
How do I fund my study?1.PhD Opportunities
Find PhD opportunities and funded studentships by subject area.2.Funded Doctoral Training Programmes
We offer numerous opportunities for funded doctoral study in a world-class research environment. Our centres and partnerships, aim to seek out and nurture outstanding postgraduate research students, and provide targeted training and skills development.3.PhD loans
The Government offers doctoral loans of up to £26,445 for PhDs and equivalent postgraduate research programmes for English- or Welsh-resident UK and EU students, £10,000 for students in Scotland and up to £5,500 for Northern Ireland students.4.International Scholarships
Information on Postgraduate Research scholarships for international students.
Funding and Scholarships
The Funding & Scholarship Finder helps prospective and current students find funding to help cover costs towards a whole range of study related expenses.
How to Apply
Find a supervisor
If you're interested in a particular project, we suggest you contact the relevant academic before you apply, to introduce yourself and ask questions.
To find a potential supervisor aligned with your area of interest, or if you are unsure of who to contact, look through the staff profiles linked here.
You might be asked to provide a short outline of your proposal to help us identify potential supervisors.