Posted on 09/02/2016
The indigenous map: native information, ethnographic object, artefact of encounter
AHRC PhD Studentship
Applications are invited for a PhD studentship on indigenous maps within the collections of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG). This award is made by the Science Museums & Archives Consortium under the AHRC’s Collaborative Doctoral Partnership scheme. The project, due to begin in September 2016, will be supervised by Professor Felix Driver (at Royal Holloway, University of London) and Dr Catherine Souch (RGS-IBG).
The project will consider the significance of indigenous maps within the RGS-IBG collections. Such maps were typically acquired, commissioned or co-produced in the process of exploration and territorial expansion preceding the imposition of formal colonial rule. Similar materials in comparable collections have been treated variously as sources of geographical information for the use of western cartographers; as ethnographic objects to be studied in their own right; or as hybrid documents of cultural exchange and encounter. The project seeks to document their extent and significance within the RGS-IBG collections, to consider the contexts of their acquisition and their subsequent histories and to explore their historical significance as sources of geographical evidence, as ethnographic objects and especially as artefacts of encounter. This will involve developing in-depth ‘biographies’ of specific maps in the collection, including examples from various cultural contexts. It will also require more general consideration of the ways in which indigenous knowledge has been defined, presented, inflected or obscured within the cartographic archive. There will be opportunities to present this research to public audiences within the public programmes of the RGS-IBG as well as within the context of a PhD.
A full project description is available here.
How to Apply
Applicants should have a good undergraduate degree in geography, history, anthropology or other relevant discipline, and will need to satisfy AHRC eligibility requirements including Masters-level advanced research training or equivalent; and applicants should be EU nationals resident in the UK to be eligible for full awards (fees plus maintenance of £16,846 for three years FTE) or in Europe to be eligible for fees-only awards. Preference may be given to candidates with prior experience in working with material culture, museum and/or map collections, though others are encouraged to apply. Applicants should submit (1) a two-page curriculum vitae, including contact details of one academic referee, and (2) a 1-2 page letter outlining your qualification for the studentship to: Professor Felix Driver, Dept of Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey, TW20 0EX (f.driverrhul.ac.uk) no later than 6 April 2016.
Interviews are scheduled to be held in London in April-May 2016. For further information concerning the project, please contact Felix Driver (f.driverrhul.ac.uk).
For further information about RGS-IBG collaborative doctoral research click here
For further information about PhD research in RHUL Geography click here
RGS-IBG, mr Asia S.4, Chart of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (Gujarat, India)