Human Resources

Postdoctoral Research Associate - Romantic Melodrama - QMUL21548

Department: School of English & Drama
Salary: £34,220 to £40,194 per annum (Grade 4)
Reference: QMUL21548
Location: Mile End
Date posted: 12-Feb-2020
Closing date: 29-Mar-2020

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The School of English and Drama at Queen Mary University of London wishes to recruit a Postdoctoral Research Associate to work on a British Academy-funded research project, ‘Romantic Melodrama: Feeling in Search of Form’, led by Professor Michael Gamer (PI, QMUL British Academy Global Professor). The Postdoctoral Research Associate will work under the guidance of Professor Gamer. The project will be funded for four years, from 1 February 2020 until 31 January 2024.

The purpose of the project is to understand the foundational role of melodrama in shaping aesthetic experience in Britain during the Romantic period. Its empirical focus will be the documentation and detailed analysis of performances of melodrama in the first five decades of its popularity: the approximately 6,000 performances of melodramas occurring between 1793 (the year of George Colman the Younger’s Mountaineers) and 1843 (the year of the Theatres Act). Among its outputs, ‘Romantic Melodrama’ will make available to researchers and to the public data that are currently either scattered or inaccessible in curated, searchable form. Via the project’s website, it will also make available illustrations, scores, reviews, and other associated materials. Our aim will be to map melodrama’s rise to popularity in the nineteenth century, to answer fundamental questions about the movements of actors, plays, artists and technicians, and to understand its impact on other literary forms.

The Postdoctoral Research Associate will be actively involved in all facets of the project. Deep knowledge of British romanticism and demonstrated interest in that period’s theatre and performance culture is required. Some pre-existing computing skills are highly desirable, such as experience with command line interfaces, HTML, and static site generators such as Jekyll, and familiarity with languages like Python or Java.

In discussion with the PI, the PDRA will also develop their own research agenda and publication goals over the life of the project. We remind applicants that the list of essential and desirable requirements is aspirational. We recognise that applicants will not have all of these skills. If you fulfil the essential and one or two of the desirable criteria, we strongly encourage you to apply.

The successful candidate will hold a PhD (or equivalent) in a relevant area which will have been awarded before the start of the role. Relevant subject areas include but are not limited to: Romanticism; theatre history; digital humanities; eighteenth- and nineteenth-century studies.

The post will start on 1 May 2020, or asap thereafter, for a fixed term of forty-five months (until 31 January 2024). The post is full time (35 hours per week) with a starting salary in the range of £34,220 to £40,194 per annum, depending on experience. Benefits include 30 days annual leave, pension scheme and an interest-free season ticket loan.

Candidates must be able to demonstrate their eligibility to work in the UK in accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006. Where required this may include entry clearance or continued leave to remain under the Points Based Immigration Scheme.

Interested candidates are encouraged to contact Professor Gamer ( for an informal discussion of the job and its requirements.

The closing date for applications is 29 March 2020.

Interviews are expected to be held shortly thereafter.


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