Cambridge Visual Culture Visiting Research Fellowships 23/24

Cambridge Visual Culture Visiting Research Fellowships 23/24

Application deadline: Mar 24, 2023

Cambridge Visual Culture invites applications for their 23/24 programme of Visiting Research Fellowships in Visual Culture at the University of Cambridge. The programme aims to renew and catalyse the study of ‘the visual’ at Cambridge by bringing fresh voices and approaches to the University, and to extend visual culture studies into specialisms and fields which are under-represented in Cambridge. We encourage applications from scholars from non-traditional academic backgrounds, though please note that CVC is not in a position to organise studio space.

Successful applicants will engage with colleagues and students in the University of Cambridge in an area of visual culture studies. The call is open to scholars at all career stages working in all media and geographies, both historical and contemporary, as well as in curatorial studies and the shaping and reception of visual culture. We particularly welcome applications from researchers who will bring new perspectives to the research of visual culture in Cambridge.

During their residencies, awardees will be expected to further their research on visual culture, engage where appropriate with collections in Cambridge, develop links and explore collaborations with researchers in the University, lead a graduate seminar in a chosen academic department, and participate in a public event organised by CVC (a lecture, an “in-conversation” event, or similar).

These residential awards are for two weeks in the first instance and will be funded up to a limit of £2,000 to cover travel and accommodation (subsistence not included). Support will be provided to cover the cost of a standard visitor’s visa, if needed. Residencies should be taken up in term-time, either in Michaelmas Term (3 October 2023 – 1 December 2023), Lent Term (16 January 2024 – 15 March 2024), or Easter term (23 April 2024 – 14 June 2024). A case can be made for higher travel costs and additional living expenses if required.

Subject to satisfactory completion of the initial two-week residency and the submission of a supplementary research proposal, CVC envisages funding a second visit to Cambridge of one week in 2024-25 for successful applicants to this round (with additional funding up to the value of £1,200). A case can be made for higher travel costs and additional living expenses if required.

Awardees will have access to University Information Services, and access to Cambridge libraries during their residency and online for a 12-month period and a University of Cambridge email address (if required).

We will be hosting a town hall meeting to discuss these fellowships in greater detail. You will be able to meet the co-directors and coordinator of CVC and learn more about the programme. Further information, including a date, to be released presently.

About CVC

Cambridge Visual Culture (CVC) is a research network of colleagues from the Department of the History of Art, the Fitzwilliam Museum, Kettle’s Yard, and the wider research community of the School of Arts and Humanities. At present, it’s programme of activity is composed of four parts: the establishment of a digital presence through the development and launch of a dedicated CVC website, a programme of Visiting Fellows, an Artists-in-Residence programme, and a series of events designed to elevate work on the visual at Cambridge. In this regard, we are both a platform for existing work and an incubator for new research. Core to our mission is the desire to diversify work on the visual, broaden the voices of our research community, and provide space for innovative work practices including participatory research, practice-based research, and knowledge exchange with the Cambridge community beyond the University.

CVC relaunched in 2022 as a distinctive and dynamic space for researching the visual / visual research, foregrounding the university’s collections and its array of display and exhibition opportunities. A unique collaboration between the Department of History of Art, the Fitzwilliam Museum, Kettle’s Yard, and the School of Arts and Humanities, CVC seeks to work with researchers and networks across Cambridge to explore how the visual is researched, and how research is expressed in visual culture. It aims to unlock synergies and promote fresh modes of engagement with the visual in Cambridge through a range of events from intimate “in conversation” seminars to public-facing lectures and project workshops. Our programme will be extended through a dynamic online presence knitting together activity across the University.

Visit our website to find out more about CVC.

The Visiting Research Fellowship programme is a core element of this initiative and seeks to revitalise the study of visual culture in Cambridge through new voices and new critical perspectives. The Fellowships support two-week residential awards in the first instance, renewable for a further week in the following year, with the intention of forging a more sustained engagement between CVC Visiting Research Fellows and Cambridge-based researchers and resources.

This year, we have been delighted to host six Visiting Fellows, including Dr Anna Reid (13 – 19 November), Professor Brian Jacobson (29 January – 13 February), Sana Ginwalla and Kerstin Hacker (22 February – 8 March), Dr Che Gossett (1 March – 21 March), and Dr Abbas Akbari (11 March – 24 March). The projects of these scholars encapsulates work on British Surrealism, modern visual culture, Indian-Zambian art, the decolonisation of photography, abolitionist theory, thought, and blackness, and Islamic lusterware. Outputs will include a photographic exhibition and intervention in the University Library in partnership with Zambia Belonging, a public lecture on the visual work of Kiyoshi Kuromiya, and a workshop on lusterware painting.

How to apply

Applicants require a University of Cambridge advocate, who should be a member of faculty or curatorial/museum staff during the period of the fellowship. Visiting scholars will be hosted by CVC with a link to the relevant collection, centre, department or faculty (depending on the sponsor).

Applications should consist of:
– a proposal, not more than 2 pages of A4 text (with an additional 1 page of A4 with accompanying images if appropriate), including:
– outline of proposed research;
– outline of proposed outputs, including subject of a graduate seminar and proposal for a CVC public event;
– anticipated travel costs.
– a Curriculum Vitae
– a letter of support from a University of Cambridge sponsor
– names and contact details of two referees

Applications should be sent by email with relevant attachments to by 12pm (12 noon) on Friday 24 March 2023. Applications will be reviewed by the co-chairs of CVC, and approved by the CVC Steering Group.

CVC welcomes approaches from interested individuals to discuss potential applications. We can also help to connect potential applicants with relevant researchers in the University of Cambridge who may be interested to sponsor an application and encourage prospective applicants to consult our Directory in the first instance. For guidance, please contact Dr Alex Gushurst-Moore,

CVC is generously supported by the following institutions. Please visit their websites to learn more about their research, programming, and scholars:

The School of Arts and Humanities
The Department of History of Art
The Fitzwilliam Museum
Kettle’s Yard

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