The Centre for Education and Research in Arts and Media (CREAM), School of Arts, University of Westminster and the Stuart Hall Foundation (SHF) welcome applications for a PhD studentship funded by technē under its Doctoral Training Partnership Scheme, to begin in September 2020.

3.5 or 4 years, full-time

£17,338 p.a. stipend

Applicants will be shortlisted via the Westminster online application and interview arrangements and subject to approval via the subsequent technē online application process.


CREAM is the UK's leading centre for research in art and design. The UK's 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) ranked CREAM as one of the top three art and design departments in the UK and number one in the field of UK arts departments with research profiles across both theory and practice.  With over 50 doctoral students and more than 30 research active staff, CREAM is a leading provider of both practice-based and theoretical PhD research in photography, film, moving image, digital and experimental media, ceramics, visual art, music, and art-science relationships. We are highly international with research expertise in South and Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and European media arts. Our students undertake practice-based and theoretical research in contemporary art and in arts and media history. 

The Stuart Hall Foundation

The Stuart Hall Foundation’s vision is to encourage scholars, artists and researchers to build on Professor Stuart Hall’s legacy, transforming the political and cultural landscape by taking risks, working collaboratively, asking difficult questions and making global connections. To continue his life’s work, his family, friends and colleagues have established the Stuart Hall Foundation.

Throughout his life, Professor Stuart Hall set things in motion, developed new areas of scholarship and research, established new organisations and entities and was a catalyst for a number of significant initiatives. These included the journals New Left Review and Soundings, the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies and the visual arts organisations Autograph ABP and Iniva (the Institute of International Visual Arts). Stuart played a leading role in the establishment of the award-winning arts building Rivington Place in east London, which houses Autograph ABP and, until 2018, was home to Iniva and the Stuart Hall Library.

The Foundation is committed to supporting work that is collaborative, experimental and generous. It therefore develops work in partnership with institutions to create platforms for new ideas, new insights and new ways of seeing and understanding the world.

The Project

Black Cultural Activism: Archives for Action

The supervisors of this project are:

  • Dr. Roshini Kempadoo (CREAM researcher and CREAM PhD Director, UoW)
  • Professor Julian Henriques (Trustee of Stuart Hall Foundation)
  • Gilane Tawadros (Chair, Board of Trustees, Stuart Hall Foundation).

The project aims to make a significant contribution to the recognition of black cultural activism in the UK and bring its achievements to a wider young audience of cultural activists. It builds on significant academic research interest in black culture having taken place more recently, including research of black music (AHRC funded Westminster’s Bass Culture Research) and black visual arts (Black Artists & Modernism project).

The University of Westminster, CREAM and the Trustees of the Stuart Hall Foundation (SHF) propose a research project (whether practice-based or conventional doctoral mode of study) that intends to investigate the extent and depth of black cultural activism. The research project aim is to establish the project as an intellectual and creative space for mentoring, strategy formulation and capacity-building for the current generation of cultural activists.

The objectives of the research could include:

  • Develop a national geographical and historical map of existing black cultural activism archives and resources;
  • Provide a detailed account of the archives, key individuals, groups and organisations (currently active and historic) engaged in cultural activism from the 1960s to the present;
  • Define and identify the diverse range of BCA activities as multiple media and expression;
  • Present these findings as: an accessible on-line resource for BCA; a series of intergenerational conversations and live events; research publications.

Black cultural activism may be broadly defined as creative arts activities aimed at promoting progressive social change. The project will help the Stuart Hall Foundation shape a substantial piece of cultural research that would fuel future projects, conversations and interventions. The programme thus far has been developed from an Arts Council-funded pilot the BCA Mapping Project that included a successful event staged at Central St Martin’s theatre (2018). This had strong younger generation involvement, participation, and collaboration with: Voices That Shake, Skin Deep and Reclaim

The term black has a political definition as people of Caribbean, African and Asian heritage, increasingly intersectional with regards to class, sexuality and gender. The project aims to become a source and inspiration for creative projects that extend and recognise various de-colonising initiatives. Black cultural activism has a particular urgency today with younger generations who have a substantial appetite for knowing their history as evidenced in the growing interests in archives and curatorial practices.

The student will be encouraged to pursue his/her original line of inquiry submitted as a doctoral proposal and application and agree with the supervisory team the scope of research, the timescale and geographical reach. The student will engage with a set of research questions, agreed with the supervisors and the research will involve a range of methods that would be expected to include:

  • archive/s research;
  • audio/visual interviews with key cultural activist elders in dialogue with the present;
  • a developed theoretical and conceptual model to understanding past and emergent black cultural activism work that may be emergent from Hall’s writing on conjunctural methodology.

What does the studentship include?

The studentship will last for 3.5 or 4 years full-time.  A maintenance grant of £17,338 p.a. will be paid by the AHRC to the award holder, subject to eligibility criteria and application approval. A stipend of £1000 is available from the Stuart Hall Foundation to support additional engagement (launch and final event).

The student will have access to University of Westminster/School of Arts facilities including designated doctoral rooms, extensive library, research training, language courses, CREAM doctoral research and competitive conference funds as well as studio and laboratory access. Candidates are part of the Research Centre and are expected to take part in the University’s doctoral training programme including regular workshops and seminars with bi-yearly student research symposia. A number of exhibition venues are also available to showcase research projects. The successful candidate may be able to undertake some teaching duties and would be expected to assist in the organisation of CREAM events and activities. In addition, the successful candidate will also have access to Techne training and events.

Entry requirements

The MPhil/PhD applicant would be expected to have the requisite University of Westminster entry requirements: a minimum classification of 2.1 in their first degree or equivalent; preferably a Masters degree (or Masters degree pending); applicants whose secondary level education has not been conducted in the medium of English should also demonstrate evidence of appropriate English language proficiency, normally defined as: 6.5 (overall score with no less than 6.0 in any of the individual elements)

We would ideally expect the student to have prior knowledge of the legacy of the black British experience or have some professional experience of having worked in areas associated with black cultural projects, anti-racism work, or with black audiovisual archives.

View our full entry requirements.

Candidates must comply with the eligibility criteria and other terms and conditions as described on the AHRC’s website.

Selection will be made on the basis of your research proposal.  While you are expected and encouraged to formulate your own research project, this should make reference to Stuart Hall’s work and must be within the scope of the Black Cultural Activism research brief, above.

Please note that the studentships are not available to applicants who already have a PhD or who are currently enrolled on a doctoral programme at Westminster or elsewhere.

Prospective candidates wishing to informally discuss an application/draft proposal should contact:

For further information about the Stuart Hall Foundation, please visit the Stuart Hall Foundation website or email: [email protected].

How to apply

If you would like to be considered for this Collaborative Doctoral Studentship, you will need to apply to the University using the link below:

Please make sure you indicate on your application form that you wish to be considered for the ‘Collaborative Doctoral Studentship’.  The successful applicant must hold an offer with the University of Westminster before the application can be considered by technē .


The closing date for applications is 5pm Friday 3 January 2020.

Interviews will be held on Wednesday 29th January 2020.