Funded PhD studentship Mapping the Borderland: Artistic Reconceptions of Physical and Conceptual Borders

Funded PhD studentship ‘Mapping the Borderland: Artistic Reconceptions of Physical and Conceptual Borders’

This project will explore how the migratory experience and the crossing of borderlands are explored and represented in artistic practices from the post-World War II era until the present time in Europe. The post-war era saw the creation of new nation-states and the borderlands and border crossing became a significant field of investigation. Borders have been conceptualised and investigated as physical barriers that separate geographic areas either naturally (e.g., lakes and mountain ranges) or artificially (e.g., walls and barbed wire). Borders have also been examined as symbolic and conceptual barriers of inclusion/exclusion and belonging/unbelonging.

The project will not only explore the complexities of crossing physical borders but will also explore the tensions of understanding conceptual border crossings; as Cynthia Cockburn (2004: 1) explains: ‘a geo-political partition is not just armoured fencing, it is also a line inside our heads, and in our hearts too. In fact, the physical fence is a manifestation of these more cognitive and emotional lines that shape our thoughts and feelings. The inner lines express who we think we are, and who is not us, whom we trust and of whom we are afraid’.

Purpose/objectives

The purpose of the project is to explore how the migratory experience and the crossing of borderlands are explored and represented in artistic practices from the post-World War II era until the present time in Europe.

It will provide a critical analysis of art practices that contribute to the production of knowledge of socio-political and economic issues. The project will explore a wide range of media including painting, sculpture, performance, and public art projects.

The project will develop a comprehensive literature review that will be supplemented by interviews with artists who address in their work issues around physical and conceptual borders. The interviews will provide important information for this project, and emerging themes will be analysed.

The successful applicant will receive a maintenance stipend (based on the minimum stipend defined by UKRI, currently £16,062 for the academic year 2022/23) and home MPhil/PhD tuition fees (£4,596) for a maximum of three years. International students will be responsible for paying the difference between international and UK tuition fees* – a difference of approximately £10,000 per annum.

For further information, please see:
https://www.derby.ac.uk/research/degrees/applicants/studentship-opportunities/mphil-phd-studentship-mapping-the-borderland/