Gepubliceerd op 31-05-2023

PhD studentship : Perceptions of Rats in North-Western Europe c.1650-c.1850

Applications are invited for a fully funded 3-year PhD programme at the University of York on perceptions of and responses to rats in one or more North-Western European countries between c.1650 and c.1850.

The studentship is part of Rattus: Rats and the Archaeology of Trade, Urbanism, and Disease in Past European Societies, a 5-year project funded by the UKRI Frontier Research Guarantee scheme (formerly the European Research Council). This involves partners at  (Canada) the University of Leicester and the Departments of History and Biology at York and examines the links between European rat populations and human societies over the past c.2500 yearsOur preferred geographical focus is England and the Netherlands. The project will be supervised Prof. Mark Jenner in the History Department with secondary supervision by Dr David Orton (Archaeology).

It is generally accepted that between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the European rat population was transformed by the spread of the brown rat (Rattus Norvegicus) which supplanted the black rat (Rattus Rattus). However, we have little understanding of this process and know very little about how this change intersected with evolving attitudes to animals, pests and vermin and with shifting notions and practices of cleanliness and environmental hygiene. Nor it is clear how far reports of rodent behaviour were shaped by cultural languages around the “invasion” of new species. Drawing upon diverse textual sources, which may include natural histories, newspapers, advertising, the records of urban government, dock and warehouse authorities, agricultural advice literature, visual culture and the evidence of the built environment, the student will explore aspects of these themes. The project is designed to allow the student to follow their particular interests.

The student will be able to work with colleagues in the History Department, the Centre for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies and the Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies but also with archaeologists.

The deadline for submitting an application is 14 June 2023, with interviews to follow. There is also information available about the type of student this PhD studentship will suit and funding options: PhD Studentships (MS Word , 14kb)

The deadline is 14 June 2023 with interviews (either in person or online) being held in July with decisions being made by end of July 2023. To apply, use the University application portal. 

For more information or to ask any questions, please contact Mark Jenner, mark.jenner@york.ac.uk

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