PhD scholarship opportunity

ERC PhD Scholarship: African Literature across Languages and Genres 

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures (‘Translation and Transcultural Studies’) at Warwick University invites applications for doctoral study commencing in October 2021. An ERC-funded scholarship will be available on a competitive basis for an exceptional candidate meeting our requirements. The successful candidate will join a team of researchers working on the ERC project Philosophy and Genre (PhiGe): Creating a Textual Basis for African Philosophy (led by Professor Alena Rettová, University of Bayreuth) and will be supervised by Professor Rettová and Professor Pierre-Philippe Fraiture (University of Warwick): Team (uni-bayreuth.de). PhiGe interrogates the role of textual genre in the expression of philosophical meanings. It consists of eight Research Streams, covering a variety of genres in eight languages from several regions in Africa. Although other proposals will be considered, the successful candidate will ideally work on Wolof literature within Research Stream 4 of the project, which delivers a comparative study of African literatures across languages.  In addition to working on their doctoral thesis, the candidate will be expected to make contributions to the collaborative activities of the team, give conference presentations, and help to organize team activities in Senegal and Gambia.  

The successful candidate will be expected to reflect on the dissemination of modern and contemporary West African thought through a variety of genres and languages. They will adopt a transcultural approach, ideally explore Wolof literature in its different generic manifestations (theatre, poetry, or novel) and examine the transnational and translational factors that have contributed to its expansion in West Africa throughout history. 

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures at Warwick offers its graduate students a buoyant research culture and community, with some 27 students currently enrolled on PhDs in the School, alongside taught and research Master’s students and a number of postdoctoral research fellows. Postgraduate researchers play a vital role in the University of Warwick’s broader research community, together with postdoctoral researchers and academic staff of national and international renown. In the 2014 REF, Warwick’s research outputs in Modern Languages were ranked 5th in the UK. 80% of its research and 80% of its ‘impact’ were ranked at 4* or 3*, and 100% of its environment was similarly ranked as world-leading or internationally excellent. This places the University of Warwick at the top of the Russell Group. Modern Languages at Warwick ranks 8th in the UK according to The Guardian Best Universities in the UK 2021 League Table.  

Staff working in Translation and Transcultural Studies in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures have expertise in a wide range of research areas, including cultural translation and transculturalism, memory, African, Caribbean, postcolonial/decolonial and transcultural studies, literary translation, sociolinguistics, self-translation in multilingual contexts, gender and feminist translation studies, sociology of translation, and history of publishing.  

Beyond the School of Modern Languages, PhD students are supported by CADRE (the Centre for Arts Doctoral Research Excellence), the Doctoral College, and benefit from dedicated spaces and subject support offered by Warwick University Library. The selected candidate will be able to engage with the ongoing work conducted by the CRPLA (Centre for Research in Philosophy, Literature and The Arts) and the Warwick Africa Research Network (IAS – Africa Research Network (warwick.ac.uk)

Supervisory arrangements: The successful candidate will be based at the University of Warwick. They will be supervised jointly by Professor Pierre-Philippe Fraiture (University of Warwick) and Professor Alena Rettová (University of Bayreuth).  

Funding: The funding will cover the fees (full-time study) for 3.5 years at home level and a stipend at UKRC rates. The candidate will be expected to spend the second year of their doctoral programme in West Africa; the fieldwork expenses will also be partly covered from the project. The annual renewal of the funding will be subject to satisfactory progress.  

Requirements: linguistic competence in French and English; competence in other relevant languages such as Wolof/or Arabic (or Arabic script) will be an asset; a B.A. (2.1 or equivalent) and preferably a Master’s in a related subject (See: PhD in Translation and Transcultural Studies (warwick.ac.uk) such as philosophy, literature, language and culture, religious studies, or area studies with a focus on Africa.  

The application for the PhD scholarship should consist of a CV clearly detailing the candidate’s academic trajectory; a personal statement; a research proposal demonstrating how the candidate’s envisaged doctoral research matches the requirements of the project; and the names and contact details of two referees. Please send these materials as attachments in Word or pdf format to pglanguages@warwick.ac.uk (as below) and ask your referees to send in their references to the same email address and by the same deadline.  Applicants should simultaneously apply for a place of study on the PhD programme in Translation and Transcultural Studies (course code: P-Q3PG ) on the University of Warwick’s online application system, following the link from: https://warwick.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/apply/research/submit_application, entering personal and study details as required. You may upload the same research proposal and personal statement as for the scholarship application. 

For any information on this PhD scholarship, please contact Pierre-Philippe Fraiture: p-p.fraiture@warwick.ac.uk  

Deadline: The closing date for applications is 21 June 2021 (23:59), with interviews to be conducted online on 6 July 2021. The candidate will be expected to start their doctoral programme in October 2021. The scholarship application materials and references should be sent to pglanguages@warwick.ac.uk  with ‘ERC PhD Scholarship: African Literature across Languages and Genres’ in the subject heading.  

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