Open PhD Position: Heritage at the Extremes: Temporalities, Politics and Practices of Care

Deadline for Applications: March 25th, 2024

The extremes created by accelerating change create fundamental challenges to how we care for heritage, in ways that are integral to people’s environments, identities, well-being and sense of place. Twentieth-century heritage conventions, charters and policies have created an orthodoxy of preservation by arresting change. At the same time, ‘polycrises’ (interrelated crises in multiple global systems) linked to climate change and associated disasters, population displacements, extreme inequalities, and armed conflicts, demand new ways of working with heritage to create sustainable futures.

However, crises also present opportunities for change. Faced with more extreme forms of loss and deep uncertainty, diverse communities and publics are calling for more democratic, inclusive forms of heritage, along with more participatory approaches to co-curating related memories, stories, values and senses of place which are integral to their wellbeing. This cluster therefore seeks to address an urgent need for radically new, hopeful ways of working with local, situated practices of care and repair, including human-digital ones, to create more sustainable, equitable heritage futures.

They invite applications for PhD projects focusing on how accelerating change and related ‘polycrises’ challenge the ways people think about, respond to, and mobilise heritage. The proposed research should address ‘when’ and ‘how’ heritage is made in the context of these crises and explore successful and unsuccessful responses. They expect these doctoral projects to identify local, situated practices and forms of expertise/knowledge that can be mobilised to create new ways of working with, and thinking about, heritage. Ultimately, the overarching objective of this cluster is to facilitate collaboration between doctoral researchers, professional practitioners and diverse communities/stakeholders to co-create sustainable futures for heritage, environment and society.

Students will benefit from supervision by leading researchers in the field, whose extensive international, national and community partnerships will support research excellence and provide outstanding opportunities for research impact, employability and career development. They will also become members of the Centre for Environment, Heritage and Policy and a ‘Heritage at the Extremes PhD Research Group’ made up of students and supervisors, which will meet regularly for critical reflection, dialogue and troubleshooting, creating a vibrant interdisciplinary research community.

For more information, please visit: Heritage at the Extremes: Temporalities, Politics and Practices of Care | Research | University of Stirling