Postgraduate Bursaries

Creative Communities, 1750-1830 is an AHRC-funded Research Network based in the School of English at the University of Leeds, in partnership with the University of Southampton and University College London. Dr David Higgins is the Principal Investigator and Professor John Whale is the Co-Investigator. We are pleased to offer two bursaries of £300 to enable postgraduate students to participate in the network. 

Recent scholarly work has begun to question the individualistic approach to cultural production by considering how social structures and relationships have encouraged creativity. Creative Communities seeks to advance our understanding of the relationship between creativity and community by focusing on key historical case studies. It will examine how connections between members of a community, and between different communities, can enhance creativity. At the same time, it will subject those key terms to rigorous historical investigation. The network will bring together established and early career researchers, as well as non-academic stakeholders, from a range of institutions, to debate a number of key questions about the relationship between creativity and community. How can a ‘creative economy’ enhance communal well-being? What is the balance of local and national in a successful creative community? How did communities of the past creatively interact? Above all, what lessons may be learned from understanding these past examples? What kinds of creative generosity can grow from this communal emphasis?

5-6 April 2013: Dissenters and Evangelicals (Leeds)

This workshop, in association with the Priestley Society and the Thoresby Society, will seek to understand the significance of Dissenting communities in fostering creativity, and will also examine the under-explored creativity of other faith communities in the period, such as Anglicans, Catholics, and Jews.

20-21 September 2013: London’s Creative Institutions, 1750-1830 (UCL)

We will investigate the connected communities generated by London’s cultural institutions and ask how did different stakeholders within them interacted in creative ways? To what extent did this lead to the production of a distinctive metropolitan identity? The workshop will also reflect on the continuing influence of these institutions in the twenty-first century city.

24-25 January 2014: Regional Networks of Creativity (Southampton/Chawton)

How did regional networks – comprised of individuals such as publishers and patrons, or institutions such as periodicals and friendship groups – support creative endeavour? How far did the provinces offer a parallel culture or one running counter to the dominance of the metropolis? The workshop will reassess the nature of creativity in a context of contested civic and regional identities in order to learn from the example of late Georgian England.

We envisage that the bursaries will enable postgraduate students to participate in one or more of the workshops. Applicants must be studying for a PhD at a HEI in the United Kingdom. To apply, please send a two-page CV, and a covering email (500 words max) explaining how being part of the network would help your research, to the Network Administrator, Cassie Ulph ( 

For enquiries about the project and/or applying for a bursary, please email David Higgins (

The deadline for applications is 4pm on Monday 26 November 2012.

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