Funded Doctorate at Leeds Trinity University

RHN 17/2014 | Opportunity

Deadline: 10 March 2014

Leeds Trinity University, UK, is inviting applications from excellent graduates for 10 full-time funded PhD Studentships. One of them might be of particular interest to scholars in rural history:

Rural Transformation?:
Accessing “Modernity” in rural communities, 1926-1980

The 1926 Electricity (Supply) Act harnessed the countryside to the National Grid. In 1928 the promotion of electricity in the countryside began. Texts like Electro-Farming: or the Application of Electricity to Agriculture (1928), and the British Electrical Development Association’s Practical Cinematograph Film on Rural Electrification were produced to demonstrate the uses of electricity on the farm and in the farmhouse. However, many questions remained open about what would be the appropriate geographical scope and consumer expectations of the electricity supply. This three-year doctoral studentship will investigate how the process of electrification, alongside other issues relating to the modernization of rural infrastructure, was sought, fostered, and/or challenged by rural communities within Yorkshire 1926-1980. The precise research questions will be determined by the student, but should focus on the representation of the technologies drawing on and related to electrification. The successful candidate will explore the uses made of electricity, and competing sources of light and power, within farmhouse and cottage through the testimony and memoirs of rural women, advertising aimed at the farmers’ wife in specialist publications such as the Farmer & Stockbreeder and Farmer’s Weekly, and in commentators’ texts like C. S. Orwin’s The Problems of Rural Life (1945). As oral testimonies from rural women from farming families, or living in rural communities, 1929-1980 in Yorkshire, will need to be sought, recorded and analyzed by the student, travel is expected.

Supervisory Team:
Professor Karen Sayer (lead supervisor), Professor Graeme Gooday (University of Leeds, co- supervisor), Dr Di Drummond (co-supervisor)

Detailed information on the application procedures can be found at

Source: H-Rural /