JOB: Global PhD Scholarship – St Andrews and Bonn – Modern Languages/Comparative Literature (30.04.2022)

Christian Moser's picture

The University of St Andrews and the University of Bonn are pleased to offer a scholarship funded by both institutions, to support an exceptional student undertaking doctoral research in the following project:

Re-Imagining the Public Sphere on the German Stage, 1760-1815

This doctoral project will investigate the role of the theatre in the development of the public sphere in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Germany (and forms part of our wider on-going investigation into the role of literature, the performing arts, and visual cultures in the development of the public sphere between 1760 and 1815).

While applicants would be invited to propose their own corpus of dramas (and dramaturgical theories), we would expect to see that material organised around three key research questions relating to our project’s distinctive methodology:

  1. What are the specific rhetorical and figurative devices through which the dramas and theoretical texts selected for close analysis come to be identified as contributions to a higher-level debate affecting society and the public sphere as a whole?
  2. How does the development of this genre (and related forms) make it possible to address the public sphere in a manner that is as inclusive as possible and convey to the addressees the idea of being part of a wider whole?
  3. In what ways do the dramas and theoretical texts selected critically probe the very concept of a public sphere? How do they exercise a form of proto-theoretical reflection and thus mediate between the formation of social and political theory on the one hand, and the development of the social imaginary on the other?

Because the construction of a new post-1789 social imaginary in Germany was inseparable from political and aesthetic developments in the European Enlightenment generally, we would expect the corpus of primary material chosen by applicants to reflect a transnational approach that would open up at least some of the following research questions for further investigation:

  1. How is the concept of the public sphere (‘Öffentlichkeit’/’le public’) mediated in the dramas/dramaturgical theories selected for study?
  2. What is the relationship between theatre audiences and a more general notion of the public sphere?
  3. How is the public sphere instrumentalised/exploited within the dramas selected for analysis? To what extent does theatricality itself function as a metaphor for the workings of the public sphere?
  4. How are ideas on civic society originating from outside Germany mediated in the dramas selected for analysis?
  5. In what ways do the dramas contribute to the concept of a ‘Gegen-Öffentlichkeit’ (counter-public sphere)?
  6. How do the dramas selected for analysis engage with our central hypothesis that crises in public opinion should be conceptualised in terms of a process of transformation rather than disintegration?

Applicants from both German Studies and Comparative Literature are welcome. Dissertations can be written in English or in German.

Duration and Value of Award:

Up to 3.5 years. The student will be expected to spend approximately half of the award term at the University of St Andrews and half at the University of Bonn. The successful candidate will be expected to have completed the doctorate degree by the end of the award term. The award term excludes the continuation period and any extension periods.

The funding comprises a scholarship equivalent of a full-fees award and stipend for a period of up to 3.5 years. It is expected that the student will spend half of the scholarship term at the University of St Andrews and half at the University of Bonn:

  • For the period spent at the University of St Andrews, the scholarship will comprise a full fees award and a stipend paid at the current UK Research Council rate (£15,609 each year in 2021–2022).
  • For the period spent at the University of Bonn, the scholarship will comprise a monthly maintenance grant of €1,500. The University of Bonn does not charge any tuition fees, but students must pay a so-called social contribution once per semester (currently €315 per semester).

Please send your application to Prof. Seán Allan (St Andrews) and Prof. Christian Moser (Bonn) at the following email addresses:

Seán Allan:

Christian Moser:

Please indicate in your application that you wish to be considered for this Global PhD Scholarship St Andrews and Bonn (reference Allan-Moser).

Your application should include the following:

  • Statement why you are the right candidate for the project (max. 750 words)
  • A project proposal for your research within the outline above
  • CV

Applicants should submit their application to the co-supervisors by 30 April 2022.

Full details about the project are available here: