Picturing Whiteness: Race Representation in the National Collection of British Art 1700s to Now

Tate and University of the Arts London are delighted to offer a fully-funded PhD studentship, to commence 1 October 2019.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, ‘The Beloved (‘The Bride’)’ 1865–6
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
The Beloved (‘The Bride’) 1865–6

The doctoral project will develop new ways of addressing raced representation in the national collection of British Art by focusing on the visualisation of white identities and ‘whiteness’ in specified artworks, their institutional and historiographical interpretation and the critical challenges of recognising whiteness in a specifically national art-historical context.

The project will take the Tate display Picturing Blackness in British Art 1700s to Now (1995–96) as its point of departure. The exhibition was controversial and divisive in its time and the project will build on the history of this discussion and tackle the debates in a way which should actively engage with and inform curatorial practice at Tate Britain and beyond.

Like the 1995–6 display, ‘Picturing Whiteness’ should seek to address some of the ‘myths of Britishness’ and show how ‘radical differences have been a persistent feature of artistic expresssion’ and that ‘the complex and shifting symbolism of “race” has been important to several generations of artists’.

You will become part of a vibrant cohort of collaborative doctoral researchers and benefit from staff-level access to Tate collections, resources and training programmes. You will also benefit from the dedicated programme of professional development and networking events delivered by the Tate in tandem with the other museums, galleries and heritage organisations affiliated with the AHRC CDP scheme.

Principal supervisor: Professor Paul Goodwin, University of the Arts London
Second supervisor: Dr Martin Myrone, Tate

Applications should include:

  • A completed UAL online PhD application submitted via the Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon application link on the UAL Research Degree Funding Opportunities webpage. Applicants should follow the Guidance on How to Write a Research Proposal available here and link their proposal to the themes and concerns outlined in this document.
  • CV to be uploaded via the online application system
  • Statement of up to one side of A4 demonstrating what they will bring to the project, how it fits with their previous experience and interests and how they will shape it. This should be uploaded to the online application system.

Applications will be selected for interview by a panel convened at Tate and the selected applicant will be offered a place at UAL. Practice-based or practice-led approaches to research will also be considered for this studentship.

The offer will include full supervision, mentoring and support from both UAL and the Tate for the duration of studies.

Deadline for submissions is 31 May 2019. Interviews will be held at Tate Britain in June/July.

Entry criteria

Academic Requirements

  • Essential: Undergraduate and postgraduate qualification in relevant subject, or equivalent relevant experience.
  • Desirable: Demonstrable interest in addressing questions of race and representation in art historical, museological, theoretical and/or practice-led contexts; knowledge of the work of Tate and of British art; a willingness to engage with archival and collections-based research; an understanding of the cultural politics of art in contemporary Britain

Residency Criteria

  • British nationals who have lived in the UK and Islands all their lives are eligible.
  • Also eligible are non-British nationals who have settled status AND have been resident in the UK for 3 years immediately prior to the date of the start of the course.
  • EU nationals who have been ordinarily resident in the UK and Islands for three years immediately prior to the date of start of the course are eligible.
  • EEA and Swiss nationals (EEA migrant workers) should refer to the full RCUK guidelines to check eligibility and may be eligible for a fees only award.

Please refer to pages 17–18 of the RCUK Training Grant Guide.

Please direct enquiries to researchdegrees@arts.ac.uk

Funding Information

The studentship is available for full-time study (or part-time equivalent), and applicants must be able to commence their studies on 1 October 2019.

The studentship is awarded for 3.5 years initially and will cover tuition fees and a stipend at the standard UKRI rate (£17,009 in 2019/20 or part-time equivalent) plus an additional £550 p/a (or part-time equivalent) awarded by the AHRC for collaborative PhD students. This is supplemented by an expenses allowance of up to £1000 from Tate for research-related costs. Student Development Funding, equivalent to an additional 6 months of funding, is available to support further training and skills development opportunities that are agreed as part of the PhD programme (e.g. indigenous language courses, as suggested above) and may be used to extend the studentship accordingly.