Tuesday, 13 April 2010

AHRC Doctoral Award - Women's testimonies

This looks like an awesome opportunity for those who speak French!  I'd apply, if I could.

AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award

Remembering and Recording the Rwanda Genocide: Women's Testimonies

Applications are invited from suitably qualified graduates for a fully funded AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award to be jointly supervised by Dr Nicki Hitchcott, Department of French and Francophone Studies, University of Nottingham, and Dr James Smith, Chief Executive of Aegis Trust.
The award holder will produce a doctoral study of the Rwandan women's testimonies of the 1994 genocide held at the archive currently being developed at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre (KGMC) in Rwanda. Under the terms of the Collaborative Doctoral Award, the student will spend the second year of registered study working in the Documentation Centre at KGMC where six months will be spent working as an archivist for Aegis Trust and six months working exclusively on the thesis.

About the Project

This unique project aims to provide an insight into an aspect of the 1994 Rwandan genocide that is often overlooked. To date, almost no academic research has been carried out on the testimonies of Rwandan women genocide survivors. Even the best known written testimonial texts by Yolande Mukagasana and Esther Mujawayo have only very recently begun to receive some critical attention. This project will begin to address this critical gap by complementing and engaging with the small amount of existing work on the published texts and by investigating testimonial texts only available in Rwanda. While working at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre Documentation Centre, the award holder will study some of the oral testimonies that are currently being digitised there. These testimonies take the form of audio and video-taped recordings in English, French or Kinyarwanda that are being transcribed and translated into the other two languages. The student’s work for Aegis Trust in Rwanda will be to help index and catalogue the testimonies that have already been translated and transcribed.

Research Questions

While the research student will be expected to formulate his or her own precise thesis topic in consultation with the supervisory team, it is anticipated that the project will address the following broad based questions:
i) In what ways do these texts address the specific nature of women’s experiences of the 1994 genocide?
ii) What are the differences between written and recorded oral testimonial texts by Rwandan women and how are these significant?
iii) How have women’s testimonies been received in Rwanda?
iv) What contribution do women’s testimonies make to memory work in Rwanda?
v) How do women’s testimonial texts contribute to the promotion of peace and reconciliation between perpetrators and survivors in Rwanda?

Taking these questions into consideration, the thesis topic could move the project in a range of directions depending on his or her own research interests and experience. Examples of possible topics are: representations of women as perpetrators of genocide; representations of rape and sexual violence; the role of silence in women’s testimonies; maternity and genocide; a comparison of men’s and women’s testimonial voices.

Amount of Award

The AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award covers UK fees plus maintenance. In 2009-10 the maintenance level is £13,290 per annum. Collaborative Doctoral award holders also receive a further annual payment of £500 from the AHRC. The standard length of the award is three years of full time study.

The award will commence on 1 October 2010.


Applicants will normally hold, or be studying for, a Masters degree in a relevant subject such as French and Francophone Studies, Cultural Studies, Holocaust Studies, African Studies.  Although excellent applicants will be welcome from graduates in a range of relevant disciplines, those students who do not hold at least a first degree in French studies will need to demonstrate a minimum of degree-level competence in the French language. For this reason, part of the interview may be conducted in French.

All applicants must meet the AHRC’s academic criteria and residency requirements. Please see:

How to Apply

All applicants must complete a University of Nottingham postgraduate application form for PhD French and Francophone Studies. The form is available online at: http://pgapps.nottingham.ac.uk/

Applicants should also send a copy of their research proposal and an updated CV tonicki.hitchcott@nottingham.ac.uk. Shortlisted candidates will be asked to provide a sample of written work.

Application Deadline

The deadline for receipt of applications is 14 May 2010.


Interviews for shortlisted candidates will be held on 1 June 2010. The successful candidate will be required to complete the relevant part of the student nomination form for forwarding to the AHRC by 29 July 2010. Nominations are subject to final approval by the AHRC.

Further Information

Applicants are welcome to make informal enquiries to Dr Nicki Hitchcott at nicki.hitchcott@nottingham.ac.uk.

About Aegis Trust: www.aegistrust.org
About the AHRC: www.ahrc.ac.uk
About the University of Nottingham: www.nottingham.ac.uk

Sue Ruszczynski
Postgraduate and Research Officer
School of Modern Languages and Cultures
The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham NG7 2RD
Tel: +44 (0)115 84 68317
Fax: +44 (0)115 84 68587
Email: sue.ruszczynski@nottingham.ac.uk
Secretary to the Board of Nottingham French Studies
Monday - Wednesday 9.00 am - 4.30 pm

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