PhD studentship: The Bones of Subsistence at Norman Cross Prisoner of War Camp, 1797-1816

Anglia Ruskin University and Peterborough Museum are pleased to announce a fully-funded Collaborative doctoral studentship, from October 2024, under the AHRC’s Collaborative Doctoral Partnership Scheme.

Why did the Prisoners of War at Norman Cross, Britain’s first purpose-built Prisoner of War Camp (1797-1816), make guillotines, boxes, buildings, and ships from the remains of their dinner? These objects were produced from detritus in the camp, including bone, wood and straw, and  then sold locally. Peterborough Museum holds over eight hundred of these objects, made mainly by French POWs, which includes: domino boxes, watch-holders, straw marquetry, and woodwork. This research project is the first of its kind to examine these objects in detail. It takes an object-centred approach to determine what sustenance these items gave the prisoners, to those who consumed them, and how they circulated within the local economy.

The project will be jointly supervised by Professor John Gardner and Sarah Wilson and the student will be expected to spend time at both Anglia Ruskin University and Peterborough Museum, as well as becoming part of the wider cohort of CDP funded students across the UK.

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The studentship can be studied either full or part-time.

The studentship is open to both home and international applicants.

You should ideally have, or expect to receive, a relevant Masters-level qualification, or be able to demonstrate equivalent experience in a professional or volunteer setting. Examples of equivalent experience could include work in heritage, museums, or the public sector, carrying out independent research, or writing for magazines, etc. We encourage any potential applicants who wish to discuss their relevant experience to get in touch using the contact emails below. Suitable disciplines are flexible, but might include History, Archaeology, Anthropology, Art History, or Museum Studies. Applicants must be able to demonstrate an interest in the museums, galleries, archives, libraries or heritage sector and enthusiasm for developing skills more widely in related areas.

All applications will need to be made through the ARU online application portal.

We encourage the widest range of potential students to study for this CDP studentship and are committed to welcoming students from different backgrounds to apply. We particularly welcome applications from Black, Asian and Minoritised Ethnic backgrounds as they are currently underrepresented at this level in this area. We also particularly encourage applications from Cambridgeshire, Peterborough, and the neighbouring region.

The successful candidate should be prepared to live within a reasonable travel distance of ARU’s Cambridge or Peterborough campuses and be willing to spend significant time working at Peterborough Museum.

Applicants are encouraged to contact the supervisory team with informal enquiries about the studentship:

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