The Social Sculpture Research Unit (SSRU) within the School of Arts at Oxford Brookes University is pleased to offer a three-year full-time PhD studentship commencing in April 2016.  The successful applicant will receive an annual bursary of £7,000 for three years (with no inflation increase), and the fees will be paid by the University.  The candidate will need to demonstrate that in addition to the studentship other funding is available for them to successfully complete the programme in full-time study.

Deadline: The closing date for applications is 12 noon on 31 January 2016
Interview date: Interviews will be held in week beginning 22 February 2016
Eligibility: Home/EU
Start date:  April 2016 (at the latest)

AREA OF RESEARCH: Contemporary Social Sculpture: capacity building for holistic, ecological citizenship and its contribution to cultures of change.

The practice-based and theoretical work of Shelley Sacks in the field of contemporary social sculpture has not only taken forward Joseph Beuys’ initial ‘social sculpture’ proposals, but extended them into ‘capacity building’ for active, holistic citizenship. Practice of this kind embodying the ‘educational turn in aesthetics’ and vice versa, the connection between inner work and outer action, and how we become ‘agents of transformation’ is increasingly recognized as central to the shaping of a humane and ecologically viable future. The purpose of this studentship is to investigate core aspects of contemporary social sculpture and connective practice: its significance and value for cultures of change, its focus on ‘responsibility as an ability-to-respond’, and on the aesthetic as a mode of enlivenment that enables connective practice. It also aims to interrogate the methodology and interconnected range of strategies for ‘capacity building’, and ‘active, ecological citizenship’ developed over three decades by Sacks. Candidates should be familiar with the phenomenological approach central to such work and the trans-disciplinary and philosophical roots of the field of social sculpture. Their research will include case studies of the ‘creative strategies’ root methodologies and the post-disciplinary work opened up by Sacks in the framework of University of the Trees as an emergent ‘lab for an eco-social future’. In addition to this analysis and reflection on the field, the candidate will develop their own practice-based work and proposals that benefit the further development of this field and contribute significantly to the work of the University of the TreesLab for an Eco-Social Future and the Social Sculpture Research Unit at Oxford Brookes University.

Informal inquiries to or are welcome.

Eligibility: A good Masters degree is a prerequisite, preferably in an area closely related to this field, and some experience of related practice.

How to apply: If you would like to apply you should request an application pack from Ms Anna Guarnieri, quoting ‘Contemporary Social Sculpture’ in the subject line.