Ad Astra PhD Studentships in the School of Art History and Cultural Policy 2020, University College Dublin, Ireland

University College Dublin


April 27, 2020

Opportunity Cover Image - Ad Astra PhD Studentships in the School of Art History and Cultural Policy 2020, University College Dublin, Ireland

Ad Astra PhD Studentships in the School of Art History and Cultural Policy

The School of Art History and Cultural Policy is pleased to announce two generously funded Ad Astra PhD studentships, one in Art History and one in Cultural Policy. The award is open to both EU and non-EU candidates, and includes a full tuition fee waiver, a stipend of €18,000 per annum, and €4,000 per annum for research. The award is for a maximum of four years of full-time PhD study. Each studentship will be supervised by one of the School’s new Ad Astra Fellows, Dr Victoria Durrer (Cultural Policy) and Dr Sean Leatherbury (Art History). Further information on each is below, followed by details on how to apply.

UCD PhD Studentship in Cultural Policy

Dr Victoria Durrer is interested in receiving proposals for research studies that examine issues in cultural policy that address any of the following areas: cultural participation; cultural work; culture and place; the formation and making of cultural policy; and the intersection of social policy and cultural policy. In considering these topics, she is particularly keen for studies that regard the representation of disability; gender; sexuality; age; and / or ethnicity.

Proposals that are socio-historical and involve qualitative approaches are of interest as well as studies focusing on the island of Ireland, though proposals regarding other study sites are very welcome.

Applications are encouraged from individuals with a background in arts management, cultural policy, sociology and / or art history and history.

UCD PhD Studentship in Art History

Dr Sean Leatherbury is interested in receiving proposals within the broad areas of Roman, Late Antique, or Byzantine art. He encourages proposals that engage with one or more of the following themes and topic areas:

  • the transformation of material and visual culture in the Mediterranean world from the Roman period to late antiquity (c. 300-800 CE)
  • cross-cultural and/or inter-faith engagements in material and visual culture (pagan/polytheist, Jewish, Christian, Muslim)
  • the relationship between art and text; material-visual properties of texts, especially inscriptions
  • floor and wall mosaics
  • the so-called ‘minor arts’ in late antiquity (e.g. glass, silver, textiles, jewelry)
  • Roman and Late Antique theories of the image

Projects focused on the art and architecture of the eastern Mediterranean (modern Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and neighbouring countries) are particularly welcome, as are projects that engage with museum collections and cultural heritage issues, though any Roman, Late Antique, or Byzantine topic is welcome.

The successful candidate will have a strong academic background in art history and/or classics, archaeology, or Late Antique and Byzantine studies.

Should you have any questions or wish to discuss your proposal prior to application, please contact Dr Sean Leatherbury at 

Dr Leatherbury is an art historian whose research focuses on the art and architecture of the Roman and late antique Mediterranean, and his research specialisations include the relationship between words and images; the so-called minor arts (glass, silver, textiles); cross-cultural and interfaith artistic exchange and engagement; and wall and floor mosaics, particularly in the region of modern-day Syria. His book, Inscribing Faith in Late Antiquity: Between Reading and Seeing (Routledge, 2019), is the first comprehensive and cross-faith examination of the visual functions of texts inscribed within Christian, Jewish, and early Islamic buildings of worship across the Mediterranean. Dr Leatherbury is a curator of Manar al-Athar, an open-access digital photo-archive for the study of the ancient and medieval Middle East and North Africa. 

Information on the School and How to Apply:

UCD’s School of Art History and Cultural Policy is the largest art history department in Ireland and boasts the longest-running postgraduate MA course in Arts Management & Cultural Policy in Ireland, which is also one of the most established in Europe. The successful candidate will join a thriving research community closely connected with a range of national and international museums and cultural institutions, as well as with other schools and colleges at UCD. 

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

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Publish Date
April 12, 2020
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