The Byron Society invites applications for a PhD bursary of up to £5,000 per year.
Applications are open to new and existing full-time PhD students enrolled at a UK university and working on a thesis addressing any aspect of the life, work and /or influence of the poet Lord Byron. Applications are also welcomed from those studying multiple poets or authors, including Byron.
Each bursary covers just one year, however multiple applications can be made and postgraduates whose research focuses solely on Byron can receive up to three annual bursaries. (Those who study Byron alongside other poets and authors can only be awarded one bursary).
Applications can be made by students with additional sources of funding, but please list these in your application. The applications should also include a summary of the applicant’s academic record, an outline of his / her proposed research and the names of two referees who may be contacted. Please also state what year of study you are in.
Please provide the following information:
- Year of Study
- Thesis title
- Thesis outline (300-500 word summary)
- Supervisor names and contact details (who might be contacted as referees if required)
- Any additional / existing sources of funding
The application process for 2023/2024 is now closed. The application process for 2024/2025 will open in December 2023.
However please get in touch if you have any questions.
2023/2024 PhD Bursary award recipients:
Lydia Shaw is a PhD student at Durham University working on the eco-poetics of landscapes and seascapes in Byron and Shelley, as well as how both poets often transform nature into revealing mindscapes that speak to our contemporary environmental crisis. Such an approach also provides a means to re-examine the relationship (imaginative and actual) between these two significant second-generational Romantic poets. It is in the wake of the current knowledge of our present eco-catastrophe, that she reads the poetry of Byron and Shelley, their depictions of interdependent ecosystems, the changeability of the climate and its environs, and humanity’s reliance on the natural world. Lydia is currently Research Assistant to the editor of The BARS Review. In 2023, she presented at the BARS/NASSR Conference, for which she was awarded a NASSR PhD Travel Bursary. Lydia completed her MA in Romantic and Victorian Literary Studies also at Durham University.
Emily Holland is a PhD student in English Literature at the University of Sheffield. Her project reconsiders the complex gender representations in the poetry of Lord Byron and Felicia Hemans with a particular focus on how both poets navigate, and consistently challenge, gender binaries in the early nineteenth century. Her research re-examines the concept of influence as a conscious discourse between poets which is performed through their engagement with shared Romantic traditions. Emily also completed her MA in English Literature at the University of Sheffield.
2022/2023 PhD Bursary award recipients:
Luke Maxted is writing a DPhil at Balliol College, Oxford, entitled ‘Negative Constructions in the Long Nineteenth Century’. His thesis investigates poetic uses of compounds formed with the prefixes ‘un-’, ‘in-’ and ‘dis-’, and with the suffix ‘-less’. It argues that Byron’s satirical negatives, of the late-1810s onward, were the starting points in the anti-Romantic revolt against the abstract and the epiphanic, and it shows that, despite the libertinism of ‘Beppo’ and ‘Don Juan’, those works led to the reactionary poetry of T.E. Hulme and Yvor Winters. Luke’s journalism has appeared in the Times Literary Supplement and the Literary Review, and his academic writing in The Nabokovian, Philip Roth Studies (his essay was the winner of the Siegel McDaniel Award), The Thomas Hardy Journal and Notes and Queries. He holds an MA and an MSt (1900-Present), both from Oxford.
Lydia Shaw is a PhD student at Durham University working on the eco-poetics of landscapes and seascapes in Byron and Shelley, and exploring both poets often transform nature into revealing mindscapes that speak to the contemporary environmental crisis. Such an approach also provides a means to re-examine the relationship (imaginative and actual) between these two significant second-generational Romantic poets. Lydia completed her MA in Romantic and Victorian Literary Studies also at Durham University.
2021/2022 PhD Bursary award recipient: Kaiwen Hou
Kaiwen Hou is currently a PhD student in English Literature at the University of Edinburgh, and later he will start in the second year at Durham University to continue his study. Kaiwen’s project is exploring how Byron’s notorious celebrity was entangled with his religious writings. In the matrix of Romantic celebrity culture, the poet’s representations of ‘blasphemy’ contributed to his celebrity as a rebellious figure, and helped to appeal for ideological liberation which highlights a human-centred pride against all kinds of tyrannies. Before his doctorate study, Kaiwen completed his MA in Eighteenth-Century Studies at King’s College London, and learnt English Language and Literature at Central South University.
2020/2021 PhD Bursary award recipient: Edwina Watson
Edwina Watson is a DPhil candidate in English Literature at the University of Oxford, where she is a Rausing Scholar at Linacre College. Her research is exploring how Byron conceived of the purposes of poetry and the poetic vocation, with a particular focus on questions of poetic form, allusion, and influence. Before beginning her doctorate, she completed an MPhil in Romantic and Eighteenth-Century Literature at the University of Cambridge, and studied Law and English at the University of Melbourne. Her research is also supported by the Rae and Edith Bennett Travelling Scholarship from the University of Melbourne. [/ezcol_2third_end]
2020/2021 Runner up: Francesco Marchionni
Francesco Marchionni is a PhD student in English Literature at Durham University. His doctoral project ‘Promethean Forms of Grief in the Work of Byron, Shelley and Leopardi’ recasts Lord Byron, P.B Shelley and Giacomo Leopardi’s interpretation of the Promethean figure as poetic trope through which these writers re-imagine the conflicts of Romantic identity. Such a conflicted identity stems from the Romantic anxieties embodied in meditations about grief, death and posterity central to the opuses of Byron, Shelley and Leopardi. Francesco has also been awarded a Stephen Copley Research Award (2019) to carry out archival research in Weimar on Nietzsche’s reading and engagement with the work of Byron, Shelley and Leopardi. [/ezcol_2third_end]
2019/2020 PhD Bursary award recipient: Lee Livingstone
Lee Livingstone is a PhD candidate in English Literature at Queen’s University Belfast. His project, ‘Lord Byron and Women’s Writing’, studies the relationships between Byron and several women writers. Negotiating current conceptualisations of influence and intertextuality, the project recognises the overall impact of women’s writing on Byron’s own poetic development, and through specific case studies shows the importance of several female authors across Byron’s career. Lee has participated at national and international conferences, and academic workshops, most recently presenting at the 44th International Byron Conference in Ravenna, Italy. He is also the recipient of the Miss Margaret Cuthbert Frazer Research Bursary (2018) for his research in women’s writing, and the Sir Thomas Dixon Travel Scholarship (2019) for undertaking archival research at the Newberry Library, Chicago. [/ezcol_2third_end]
2018/2019 PhD Bursary award recipient: Flora Liscia.
Flora Lisica is studying for a PhD in English at the University of Cambridge. Her project is tracing the way that Byron and some of his contemporaries engaged with tragedy; the way that tragedy was being seen, read and conceptualised, and how this manifests in the dramatic and non-dramatic texts of the period. Prior to starting her doctorate, Flora studied for an MA in History of Art at The Courtauld Institute, and read English with Philosophy at the New College of the Humanities. [/ezcol_2third_end]
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