Stuart Hall
Stuart Hall in Merton College's 1951 matriculation photograph

The Warden & Fellows of Merton College

New doctoral position in memory of Professor Stuart Hall

Matt Pickles

A new doctoral studentship at Oxford University has been set up in memory of Professor Stuart Hall.

Applications are now open for the DPhil studentship, which will run from 2017-2020 thanks to a collaboration between The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH), Merton College and the Stuart Hall Foundation.

Professor Stuart Hall (1932-2014) was one of the founding figures of British cultural studies, best known for his work around cultural identity, race, and ethnicity, much of which serves as the basis for contemporary cultural studies today.

The successful applicant can come from any humanities discipline with particular research interests in Professor Hall’s areas of expertise.

They will also be part of TORCH’s two-year headline research theme for 2017-18, called Humanities & Identities, which will facilitate opportunities for research on areas that link to diversity and inclusivity.

Professor Hall championed racial and gender equality, and was a catalyst for a number of significant initiatives including journals the New Left Review and Soundings, the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, and the Open University.

He was born in Jamaica, and came to Oxford in 1951 to study English as an undergraduate at Merton on a Rhodes Scholarship. Over the course of his career he taught in London, at the University of Birmingham, and at the Open University.

Last month, TORCH and Pembroke College also helped to host the 40th anniversary Callaloo Conference, which is the annual conference of the Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters Callaloo.

Professor Elleke Boehmer, Director of TORCH, says: 'For over 55 years, from the time he came to Merton College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar from Jamaica, Stuart Hall was one of Britain's leading Black intellectuals, and a pioneer of what we now call cultural studies, who theorized not only questions of Blackness but also Britishness, not only what it was to be an immigrant in these islands, but also what it was to belong.

'The Black Arts journal Callaloo's 40th anniversary conference, which is being hosted by TORCH and Pembroke College this month, will explore Hall's legacy, and impact on debates about race and identity. What excellent timing it then is that Merton College and TORCH are at the same time announcing a new DPhil studentship in Stuart Hall's name.'

More information on the project is available here.