The Cultural Politics of Pop Culture

Summary

Applications are invited for funded PhD projects in the area of the cultural politics of pop culture. Proposals may consider the intersections of gender, race, class, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or any other facet of identity, in relation to popular culture. In this context, popular culture could include media texts (television, film, podcasts, social and digital media, print media) and/or a particular facet of pop culture, such as celebrity, contemporary feminisms, digital culture, or relevant political issues.

Research proposals with qualitative methodologies are particularly welcome. These projects will use theoretical analysis rather than quantitative data collection methods. However, mixed methods projects will also be considered. Proposals that are particularly welcome include the following:

* Projects that consider popular television genres such as reality TV and quality TV

* Projects that employ critical theory to explore the intersections of identity and popular media

* Projects examining the representation of neurodivergence in popular culture

* Projects that engage with contemporary political debates including fake news, cancel culture and the rise of the alt right

* Projects on the political economy of digital media, including Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, popular streaming platforms

Potential applicants should familiarise themselves with the bibliography/recommended reading for further information about the subject area and quantitative methodologies.

Essential criteria

Applicants should hold, or expect to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class Honours Degree in a subject relevant to the proposed area of study.

We may also consider applications from those who hold equivalent qualifications, for example, a Lower Second Class Honours Degree plus a Master’s Degree with Distinction.

In exceptional circumstances, the University may consider a portfolio of evidence from applicants who have appropriate professional experience which is equivalent to the learning outcomes of an Honours degree in lieu of academic qualifications.

  • Sound understanding of subject area as evidenced by a comprehensive research proposal
  • A comprehensive and articulate personal statement
  • Clearly defined research proposal detailing background, research questions, aims and methodology

Funding and eligibility

The University offers the following levels of support:

Vice Chancellors Research Studentship (VCRS)

Full award (full-time PhD fees + DfE level of maintenance grant + RTSG for 3 years).

This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees and provide the recipient with £18,000 (tbc) maintenance grant per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance).

This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

Applicants who already hold a doctoral degree or who have been registered on a programme of research leading to the award of a doctoral degree on a full-time basis for more than one year (or part-time equivalent) are NOT eligible to apply for an award.

Applicants who already hold a doctoral degree or who have been registered on a programme of research leading to the award of a doctoral degree on a full-time basis for more than one year (or part-time equivalent) are NOT eligible to apply for an award.

Vice-Chancellor’s Research Bursary (VCRB)

Part award (full-time PhD fees + 50% DfE level of maintenance grant + RTSG for 3 years).

This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees and provide the recipient with £8,000 maintenance grant per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

Applicants who already hold a doctoral degree or who have been registered on a programme of research leading to the award of a doctoral degree on a full-time basis for more than one year (or part-time equivalent) are NOT eligible to apply for an award.

Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fees Bursary (VCRFB)

Fees only award (PhD fees + RTSG for 3 years).

This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

Applicants who already hold a doctoral degree or who have been registered on a programme of research leading to the award of a doctoral degree on a full-time basis for more than one year (or part-time equivalent) are NOT eligible to apply for an award.

Department for the Economy (DFE)

The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the Home rate and a maintenance allowance of £18,000 (tbc) per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance).

This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

  • Candidates with pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, who also satisfy a three year residency requirement in the UK prior to the start of the course for which a Studentship is held MAY receive a Studentship covering fees and maintenance.
  • Republic of Ireland (ROI) nationals who satisfy three years’ residency in the UK prior to the start of the course MAY receive a Studentship covering fees and maintenance (ROI nationals don’t need to have pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme to qualify).
  • Other non-ROI EU applicants are ‘International’ are not eligible for this source of funding.
  • Applicants who already hold a doctoral degree or who have been registered on a programme of research leading to the award of a doctoral degree on a full-time basis for more than one year (or part-time equivalent) are NOT eligible to apply for an award.

Due consideration should be given to financing your studies. Further information on cost of living

Recommended reading

* John Storey, Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: An Introduction (2006)

* Dominic Strinati, An Introduction to Theories of Popular Culture (2004)

* Giuliana Monteverde and Victoria McCollum eds. Resist! Protest Media and Popular Culture in the Brexit/Trump Era (2020)

* Giuliana Monteverde and Victoria McCollum eds. HBO’s Original Voices: Race, Gender, Sexuality and Power (2018)

* Victoria McCollum, Make America Hate Again: Trump-Era Horror and the Politics of Fear (2019)

* Angela McRobbie, Post‐feminism and popular culture (2007) * Annette Hill, Reality TV (2014)

* Misha Kavka, Reality TV (2012)

* Susan Murray, Laurie Ouellette, Reality TV: Remaking Television Culture (2004)

* Ralph J. Poole and Saskia M. Furst eds. Contemporary Quality TV, The Auteur, the Fans, and Constructions of Gender

* Arthur Asa Berger, Media and Communication Research Methods: An Introduction to Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches (2018)

* Janet McCabe and Kim Akass, Quality TV: Contemporary American Television and Beyond (2007)

* Klaus Bruhn Jensen ed. A Handbook of Media and Communication Research Qualitative and Quantitative Methodologies (2020)

* Bonnie S. Brennen, Qualitative Research Methods for Media Studies (2021)

The Doctoral College at Ulster University

Key dates

Submission deadline
Monday 27 February 2023
04:00PM

Interview Date
28 April 2023

Preferred student start date
18 September 2023

Applying

Apply Online  

Contact supervisor

Ms Giuliana Monteverde

Other supervisors

Back to Top