PhD Title: Situating Artistic-Anthropological Research
AHRC Creative Economy Studentship
Atelier Skye ATLAS Arts & The University of Edinburgh Atelier Network, May 2017
The University of Edinburgh, in partnership with the University of Aberdeen, Deveron Projects (Huntly, Aberdeenshire), ATLAS Arts (Portree, Skye) and Collective (Edinburgh) is seeking to appoint a suitably qualified PhD applicant for a Creative Economy Studentship (CES) to conduct situated artistic-anthropological research that both contributes to, and helps us to better understand, the R&D, programming, commissioning and evaluation of art organisations. The studentship will commence in autumn 2017.
Value: Tuition fees at UK/EU rate (£4,195 in 2017/18). Maintenance award at RCUK rates (£14,553 for 2017/18) – for UK students only.
Deadline: 4pm 7th August 2017
Eligibility: 1st or Upper 2nd Class Undergraduate Degree, or international equivalent and a Master’s qualification in a relevant discipline (visual art, curatorial practice, anthropology). This studentship is only open to candidates from the UK/EU.
- Prof Neil Mulholland, School of Art, Edinburgh College of Art and Dean of PG Studies, College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, The University of Edinburgh
- Dr Richard Baxstrom, Social Anthropology, UG Director of School of Social & Political Science, The University of Edinburgh
- Dr Jo Vergunst, Department of Anthropology, School of Social Science, The University of Aberdeen.
- In association with Claudia Zeiske (Director, Deveron Projects), Emma Nicolson (Director, ATLAS Arts) and Kate Gray (Director, Collective)
The anthropological turn has played a uniquely prominent role in the history of contemporary art in, and beyond, Scotland. It has fostered advanced artistic practices and situated knowledges that are internationally celebrated and widely replicated. This raises the following research question:
How might the anthropological turn in contemporary art improve situated, relational, material and interdisciplinary approaches to R&D, programming, commissioning and evaluation of the arts?
By situating an itinerant researcher at the heart of Scotland’s most innovative and influential arts organisations, this research project will develop artistic-anthropological methods in ways that will have wide impact upon the arts. This is a unique opportunity to pursue an original doctoral research project involving two global Universities, and three leading arts organisations – Collective (Edinburgh), Deveron Projects (Huntly) and ATLAS Arts (Portree) – to develop an ‘exploded-view’ of artistic-anthropological research (‘AntArt’).
The successful candidate will develop:
- situated research
- inventive methods
- interdisciplinary research training
The successful candidate will be supported by three Scottish arts organisations. You may conduct fieldwork in-residence with each of our partner organisations, rotating between them up to three times annually. This will enable you to establish an iterative and itinerant approaches to contemporary AntArt research.
This project enables artist-anthropologists, arts programmers and curators and to research and practice collectively. In both Anthropological and Artistic Research, the project constitutes a major contribution to practice-led knowledges: how we understand and document the flows of practice and the operational agency of contemporary art. By developing anthropo-artistic practices that incorporate processes of observation and evaluation, the project will expand our knowledge contemporary art practices in ways that can inform curating, programming and arts policy. A practice-led approach, in which processes are foregrounded, is therefore strongly encouraged. For example, you may observe each arts organisation in year one, develop a satellite/shadow programme in year two and implement your own practice-led outcomes in year three.
Collective, Deveron Projects and ATLAS share an investment in social practice, situated knowledges and the anthropological-turn. Equally, the supervisory team encourage the development of ‘inventive methods’: hybrid combinations of participant observation, ethnography, new materialist and artistic research methods. Together, we aim to develop new, qualitative methods for the evaluation of the arts that engage artists and audiences as partners and participants. Blending the disciplines of contemporary art and anthropology, the successful candidate will help to develop inventive methods to conduct situated artistic-anthropological research that will make a significant artistic contribution to programming, engaging custodians, makers, scholars and audiences in the processes of creative research.
interdisciplinary research training
You will be supported to devise and practise AntArt approaches to R&D programming and commissioning, that will, inherently, inform and improve methods for evaluating and supporting contemporary art. The successful candidate will lead the collective development of methods inspired by approaches currently shared by the artists, curators and programmers associated with our partners. You will, additionally, benefit from access to artistic and anthropological research training jointly offered by Edinburgh and Aberdeen Universities (such as STAR: Scottish Training in Anthropological Research), by the Scottish Graduate School for the Arts & Humanities and through the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science. The project is supported by the network Atelier: Making Research Material Across the Arts & Social Sciences:
Applicants should have a good undergraduate degree (1st or Upper 2nd Class Degree, or international equivalent) and a Master’s qualification in a relevant discipline such as art practice, contemporary curatorial practice or anthropology.
A record of engagement with, or interest in, hybrid AntArt methods would be welcomed.
Due to restrictions on the funding this studentship is only open to candidates from the UK/EU.
Funding Details Funded by the AHRC through the SGSAH for 3 years full time or 5 years part time study. Tuition fees at UK/EU rate (£4,195 in 2017/18). Maintenance award at RCUK rates (£14,553 for 2017/18) – for UK students only.
How to apply
Applications should be submitted through The University of Edinburgh’s Degree Finder system: https://www.eca.ed.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/art-phdmphil
Applications should be accompanied by a copy of a research proposal responding to the aims of the CES project outlined above, copies of original transcripts and degree certificates, a statement of application, a CV and two references. A covering letter stating that you wish to be considered for the AHRC Creative Economy Studentship – Situating Artistic-Anthropological Research should be sent to the ECA Postgraduate Office, by email
If you have any queries about the application process, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org Informal enquiries relating to the CES project can be made to Prof Neil Mulholland and Dr Richard Baxstrom
- Closing date for applications: 7th August 2017
- Interviews will be scheduled for last two weeks of August 2017
- Starting date: 18th September 2017