RCA PhD Scholarship, History of Pop Art in Eastern Europe

Deadline: 6 July 2012
Open to: Master students with interest for research in the area of art and pop art in Eastern Europe.
Scholarship: Grant payment of £15,590, and fees of  £3,732 p.a.


The Critical Writing in Art and Design programme at the Royal College of Art (RCA) and Tate in London seek to recruit a student to undertake a PhD by thesis on the history of Pop Art in Eastern Europe. Commencing in October 2012, this scholarship is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council Collaborative Doctoral Award scheme. In 2015 Tate Modern will mount a major exhibition to explore the wide geographical reach of Pop Art in the 1960s and 1970s. It will provide a focus for new research into Pop’s core themes – including the rise of consumerism and popular culture, and the languages, techniques and currency of reproduced images – in Northern and Eastern Europe, North America, Latin America and Japan. Working towards a PhD, the student will research the production of Pop Art in one or more countries under communist rule in the period as well as the reception of “Western” Pop there. (Eastern Europe is defined here as the former Eastern Bloc states and Yugoslavia). The knowledge and insights gathered by the student will contribute to the selection of works for the Tate exhibition by the exhibition’s curator and Tate supervisor, Jessica Morgan. The student will also be supervised by professor David Crowley, a cultural historian specializing in Eastern Europe at the RCA.


Applicants will need to scope a research proposal within the broad parameters of the project. The doctoral student will be required to identify one or more national contexts for detailed investigation through primary sources (original works of art, interviews, documentary records) and to develop an approach which allows for comparative investigation.  Further details are available on request by emailing the RCA Research Office at [email protected]. The closing date for applications is 6 July 2012, and it is anticipated that interviews will take place in the week commencing 16 July 2012.


The scholarship is for three-years, full-time study. It has been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award in the 2012/2013 academic year provides eligible students with a maintenance grant payment of £15,590 p.a. and fees of £3,732 p.a. Please note that this award also includes the Royal College of Art’s contribution to the top-up fee. EU applicants without UK residency status can apply for this award but, if successful, will only be entitled to a bursary covering the fees. Further information on eligibility requirements is available from the AHRC website.

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