CDA Projects 2022


SWW DTP2 is beginning the process of selecting CDA projects to advertise to students this coming year (studentships will begin in October 2022). Eight such projects will be selected. The process is explained in the below PDF, and starts with a short “Expression of Interest” form, which should be submitted by 7 September 2021. Queries about the process should be addressed to

2021-2022 CDA Process – For All Potential Supervisors


CDA Projects 2021


Eight Collaborative Doctoral Award (CDA) projects and researchers have been selected by the SWW DTP2 to begin their PhDs in September 2021. Each CDA has been crafted by academic experts in the respective fields. They all involve academics from two universities in the SWW DTP2 consortium and at least one non-HEI partner.

Each of the projects is introduced briefly in the drop-down boxes below, and you can find information about the successful research awardees for these projects. At the end of each introduction there is a PDF document with more information about the award.


CDA-1-Photographic-Traces: Traces of Empire in the Built Environment: Exploring the Collective Memory of Colonialism through the Photographic Collections of the Historic England Archive

Collaborative Doctoral Award Researcher Profile

Sadie Levy Gale

I am a PhD candidate at Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, Media and Culture as part of an AHRC funded Collaborative Doctoral Award with Historic England. My research explores how discourses of public health and imperialism intersected to shape urban space in England between 1920-1955, using Historic England’s photographic archives as a key source.

Before my PhD, I completed an MA in History of Art at Birkbeck, University of London, and a BA in English Literature at Oxford University. I also worked for four years as a content developer at an exhibition design agency.

‘Traces of Empire in the Built Environment’ will use historic photographs to tease out the multiple ways in which the English built environment has been formed and reformed through its links to empire. This will include an examination of a wide range of areas, including the construction of monuments and statuary, the creation of buildings and spaces, and the work of the tens of thousands of people who travelled from the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia and found work as architects and builders in England’s cities.

Find out more here CDA-1-Photographic-Traces.Further-Details

CDA-2-Reading-Abbey: Reading Abbey: Connecting Archaeology, Heritage Management and Placemaking

Collaborative Doctoral Award Researcher Profile 

Lawrence Rees

Lawrence Rees is an experienced Field Archaeologist with a particular interest in medieval archaeology, and the ways in which archaeological research can inform site management and engagement. Since graduating from the Institute of Archaeology at UCL, he has primarily worked at the Cambridge Archaeological Unit and at Historic England, where he co-authored a study of Lesnes Abbey, London.

Reading Abbey was founded by Henry I in 1121 to serve as a place of royal ceremony and ultimately as his mausoleum. The abbey stimulated Reading’s urban development and was among England’s ten richest Benedictine monasteries. Despite its national significance, however, RA’s archaeology has not been systematically studied. Substantial ruins survive of the south transept, the east cloister range and the gatehouse, while the buried remains of the precinct cover a large part of the modern town centre (the Abbey Quarter). This project connects the medieval archaeology of Reading Abbey with current heritage needs and opportunities in the town of Reading. It offers a unique platform for a doctoral student to make an original contribution to archaeological understanding of this site of national historical significance; to develop innovative approaches to 4D digital data modelling and visualisation; and to use the research to inform local conservation policy and community engagement with heritage.

Find out more here CDA-2-Reading-Abbey.Further-Details

CDA-3-Mentoring: Mentoring Practice in Contemporary UK Poetry

Collaborative Doctoral Award Researcher Profile 

Joanna Nissel

Joanna Nissel is a prize-winning poet whose debut pamphlet is forthcoming with Against the Grain Press. A Bath Spa University graduate, she has worked in research and engagement with writing organisations such as Paper Nations, Tears in the Fence, and the Stay-at-Home! Literary Festival.

The proposed CDA research area explores mentoring practice in contemporary UK poetry. Working in tandem with Artful Scribe, a regional literature development agency based in Southampton, the doctoral candidate will consider the practical, ethical, critical and creative implications of mentoring in the creative arts. The candidate will have the opportunity to chronicle and support a new regional mentoring scheme, Poetry Ambassadors, as it moves from a pilot project to an annual scheme, and to draw on their observations for their own research.

Find out more here CDA-3-Mentoring.Further-Details

CDA-4-Knossos: From Migrant Camp to Mega-city: Urbanisation at Ancient Knossos

Collaborative Doctoral Award Researcher Profile 

Flo Lloyd James 

I am Flo Lloyd James, from South Wales. I have a BA from the University of Oxford in Archaeology and Anthropology, and an MA from UCL in Principles of Conservation. Between studying, I worked as an Intern at the Knossos Research Centre, for the British School at Athens, and at Mochlos for INSTAP. My research interests are in Minoan archaeology, the excavation history of Knossos, and how power is curated and displayed. In my PhD I am exploring these themes, centred around the West Court at Knossos, and aim to create a series of maps to aid with the understanding of how power is reflected in changes and continuities in the built environment. 

The student on this CDA project will investigate aspects of urbanisation at Knossos – one of the most significant ancient Mediterranean cities, and the second most visited archaeological site in Greece today – through research on one area within its urban landscape. How this area developed and functioned within the Knossian urban landscape will be researched through a study of archaeological materials selected from the excavations by Arthur Evans and his successors, which have remained unpublished or have been published in only a summary fashion.

Find out more here CDA-4-Knossos.Further-Details

CDA-5-Maritime-Migrations: Maritime Migrations: Transfers and Displacements in Britain’s and Australia’s Nineteenth-century Exchange

Collaborative Doctoral Award Researcher Profile

Houda Al-Kateb

I am a History graduate, specialising in Australian settler history. I completed a History BA (Hons) at Brunel University London, where my dissertation explored Australia’s portrayal as a “workingman’s paradise” and whether this was an accurate representation. I also hold a master’s degree in World History and Cultures from King’s College London. This gave me a transnational view of British imperial history, with my dissertation focusing on the relationship between Australian nationalism and Federation. I am currently a civil servant with experience across multiple departments and professions, as well as having experience in the charity sector. I look forward to completing a PhD where I can continue studying Australian settler history, engaging directly with primary sources at the SS Great Britain Trust as well as benefiting from the invaluable expertise at both the University of Bristol and the University of Southampton.

This project examines the role played by empires, oceans, and trans-national maritime networks in laying the foundations for modern processes of globalisation, deploying a range of methods and approaches from within and beyond the discipline of History. The student will examine how intersections between maritime networks, markets and states shaped migratory transfers and displacements between Britain and Australia in the nineteenth century. Research will be grounded in the collections of the SS Great Britain Trust. The project seeks to overcome the ‘blue hole’ – the often absent factor of maritime forces – in our historical understanding of the ways in which populations, commodities, markets and ecosystems interacted with and confronted one another. Candidates are encouraged to interrogate the ways in which maritime agents – ship owners, brokers, recruiters, global merchants – worked to influence migratory transfer of people, markets in material goods, flora, fauna and ecosystems, and/or symbiosis among these.

Find out more here CDA-5-Maritime-Migrations.Further-Details

CDA-6-Victoria: Queen Victoria’s Library: The Place of Reading and Writing in Victoria’s Political Education, Self-Improvement, and Self-Curation

Collaborative Doctoral Award Researcher Profile 

Gaby Fields

I’m Gaby Fields, a Postgraduate Archaeology student currently at the University of Southampton. I am an experienced archaeologist, with academic interest in history, literature, music and everything in between. As such, I am beyond delighted to have received this opportunity and funding from SWW DTP, and am so looking forward to beginning this project in September 2021!

‘Queen Victoria’s Library’ will illuminate an unexplored aspect of the Queen’s life and experience, aiming to overthrow traditional histories that cast her as a grey, disempowered pawn in the political life of Britain and its empire in the 19th century. It will research the Queen’s extensive reading and her engagement with the literary world, detailing the ways this which shaped her character and her relationships, as well as her view of dynastic, national and imperial politics. At a time when the increasing number of women readers was a key part of the expansion of the book market, the project will explore both what Victoria read and the sociability of her reading practices, such as her frequent reading with Prince Albert, Ladies in Waiting, or her children. Through the partnership with Historic Royal Palaces, this CDA will be able to disseminate its research directly through the programmes of this major heritage organisation, which manages Kensington Palace.

Find out more here CDA-6-Victoria.Further-Details

CDA-7-Lowbury-Hill: The Archaeology of Hidden Identity: The Case of a Female Burial from Lowbury Hill

Collaborative Doctoral Award Researcher Profile 

Summer Courts

Summer Courts is a graduate of Royal Holloway, University of London, the University of Oxford, and the University of Edinburgh. She has previously worked on the archaeology of board games in Britain, the bioarchaeology of disability, and Roman life-course. In her free time, she enjoys baking, powerlifting, and taking care of her cats, Rasputin and Tsaritsa.

This multidisciplinary project seeks to re-interpret the remains of a women discovered in the wall of the Romano-British temple found at Lowbury Hill in 1913-14. The original interpretation of her role as a ‘foundation’ deposit, then as a body inserted in a ‘robber’ trench, has been brought into question by a 1990s radio-carbon analysis that contextualised her within the early medieval period (c 550-650 CE). The nearly complete female skeleton was displayed by the early 1920s at University College Reading’s Museum of Archaeology and History, alongside the male Anglo-Saxon warrior found in the adjacent barrow. We seek an understanding of her deposition and relation to both the Romano-British temple and Anglo-Saxon barrow at Lowbury Hill. Her case is important not only for History and Archaeology but also in Gender Studies, regarding both her role in the Roman and/or Anglo-Saxon periods and her later history as a ‘forgotten women’ overlooked in favour of her more ‘decorated’ male ‘neighbour’.

Find out more here CDA-7-Lowbury-Hill.Further-Details

CDA-8-Holdsworth: Songs of a Factory Girl: Ethel Carnie Holdsworth and Radical Working-Class Women’s Writing

Collaborative Doctoral Award Researcher Profile 

Jenny Harper

I graduated with a 2:1 in English and Philosophy from the University of Southampton in the 1990s, and returned to academia as a mature student in 2018 achieving a distinction in English at MA level from the same university. I have worked in education since 2013, and have taught/tutored across the age range within both primary and secondary sectors specialising in English. I have been Pupil Premium and SEND Governor at my local school for a number of years, advocating for pupils with special needs and those facing social and economic disadvantage. My interests include running, film, cats, and exploring Terry Pratchett’s fantastic Discworld with my young son.

This PhD explores the radical writings and legacy of Lancashire mill-woman, Ethel Carnie Holdsworth (1886-1962), in collaboration with arts commissioning agency Mid Pennine Arts (MPA). Carnie Holdsworth was a prolific, experimental writer across a variety of genres including journalism, serial fiction, children’s literature, poetry and politics. She is one of the first working-class women in England to publish a novel (Miss Nobody, 1913) and became renowned as a radical socialist feminist. At our current time of political polarisation and increased social and economic disparities, contemporary regional audiences are becoming aware of Carnie Holdsworth’s audacity as a writer and the challenge her works present to key paradigms of modernity. This PhD will offer the first reassessment of Carnie Holdsworth’s radical literary works, publishing history, and creative impact, contributing to urgent public demand for greater access to the dynamic, diverse history of working-class writing.

Find out more here CDA-8-Holdsworth.Further-Details

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