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PhD studentships

We invite applications for two fully-funded PhD studentships within the AHRC-funded project, ‘Transnationalizing Modern Languages: Mobility, Identity and Translation in Modern Italian Cultures’. These are three-year studentships beginning in September 2014, and located at the University of St Andrews, supervised by Derek Duncan, and at the University of Warwick, supervised by Jenny Burns.


Please note that only UK citizens or EU citizens already resident in the UK for three years before taking up the studentship will be eligible to receive full funding (fees and maintenance, at the RCUK rates) under this grant. Other EU applicants will be eligible only for a fees waiver.

The successful candidates will devise a PhD project within the following research areas:

St Andrews: Transnational Italian Cinema

Italian diasporic culture as well as Italian culture has tended to be studied within a national framework. This PhD thesis will use film production as a way of exploring Italian identity in a transnational frame. As a popular form, film involves both questions of cultural representation and networks of distribution and exhibition. The student will define a project which explores cinematic representations of Italian identity outside Italy in multiple national contexts, and looks at diasporic Italian film production. Films such as Michael Radford's Another Time Another Place (UK, 1983), Sandra Nettetbeck's Bella Martha (Germany, 2001), and Emile Gaudreault's Mambo Italiano (Canada, 2003) are explorations of Italianness which explicitly dramatise the construction of identity in translation for Italians abroad and for the communities in which they live. The work of Italian-born Australian film-maker Giorgio Mangiamele details the transformation of Italian migrants as they adapt to life outside Italy. As an axis of comparison, the thesis may also explore Italian representations of similar phenonena such as Luigi Zampa's Bello, onesto, emigrato Australia sposerebbe compaesana illibata (1971). The thesis will examine Italian identity as it is represented across national boundaries. It will engage with broad issues of cultural translation according to the interests of the student. It may explore explicitly questions of language (subtitling, use of Italian dialogue etc), or focus more broadly on questions of multicultural identity, exchange and adaptation.

Click here to download a fuller description of the studentships.

Warwick: British Italian ‘stars’

The thesis will examine the construction of the public profiles of figures identified with the British Italian community who have achieved success in the UK in the fields of hospitality, popular culture and entertainment. The notion of 'success' carries significant emotional and psychological weight in the context of migration, for both individual and community. The thesis will investigate: the mechanisms through which success is defined and valued, within migrant communities and the broader destination culture; the ways in which it is performed in the public arena; the extent to which public presentation draws upon the cultural background of the successful figure; the cultural impact of such success in the UK and Italy, in terms of modifying notions of 'Italian-ness'. It will focus on a series of case studies of stars and celebrities identified with the British Italian community since WWII, using published works by/about these figures; published/recorded interviews, reviews and articles from national and community- based media; viewing/sales figures and other industry data; personal interviews where appropriate. By tracing the reformulation of notions of the foreign/exotic through these examples occurring in differently inflected historical moments, the thesis will enhance understanding of how the performance of 'Italian-ness' colours constructions of cultural otherness in the public imagination.

Click here to download a fuller description of the studentships.

Click here for further details of the ‘Transnationalizing Modern Languages’ project.

Interested candidates are encouraged to contact the supervisor of the relevant PhD project in the first instance:
Derek Duncan, ded3@st-andrews.ac.uk; Jenny Burns, j.e.burns@warwick.ac.uk.

The deadline for applications is Friday 31st January 2014.