The University of Reading (UK) is looking for someone who'd like to spend the next few years in their Mills & Boon archive doing research for a PhD.
If you're at all interested in the history of Mills & Boon, this video is well worth watching. The University of Reading evidently have a very impressive collection of published M&Bs which, from what I can tell, have mostly been preserved with their covers intact. Furthermore, they have "particularly rich holdings of editorial correspondence in the postwar period."
The studentship would be on the topic of The Limits of Desire: the Mills & Boon romance market, 1946-73 and
The project will examine the nature of the market for women’s romance fiction after 1945 up to the period when Mills & Boon switched to predominantly paperback publishing. The student will be expected to pursue individual interests but it is anticipated that the project will follow an author-based approach, selecting strategically-chosen samples from the archive to build up a representative picture of the nexus between author, publisher and the market. The student will begin by surveying the archive, identifying the different types of material available for investigation and determining suitable case-studies. At the same time he/she will familiarise him/herself with current literature on fiction publishing in the postwar period, exploiting the University Library’s outstanding primary and secondary sources on the subject, and develop existing knowledge of theoretical debates in the areas of feminism, gender and sexuality studies, and popular culture. The case-studies are likely to reflect key topics such as the relevance of libraries and different institutions of reading, the importance of the magazine market, the role of male authors, and instances of censorship and self-censorship.Time's running out for applications, and not everyone will be eligible:
- Applicants should hold or expect to gain a minimum of a 2:1 Bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject.
- Due to restrictions on the funding this fees only studentship is only open to candidates from the UK/EU.
- Start date: October 2013
- Duration: 3 years; part-time applicants are also invited
- Value of award: a fees only studentship is available, in addition to a backing grant of £1000 per annum for equipment/placement/outreach support (or part-time equivalent)
- Application Deadline: 31st March 2013
The studentship forms one pilot project for a new PhD Programme in Collections-Based Research. Details about the Programme can be found here: http://www.reading.ac.uk/gs-