‘Gentleman Jack’ creator announces PhD scholarship to study Anne Lister

Anne Lister Gentleman Jack Sally Wainwright PhD Scholarship
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Gentleman Jack superfans have the opportunity to be paid to study the life and works of the “first modern lesbian” Anne Lister.

Funded by Gentleman Jack director, writer, and executive producer Sally Wainwright, the new PhD scholarship will provide postgraduates the chance to study Anne Lister’s diaries in depth.

Anne Lister’s diaries were often written in code and contain more than five million words and run over 26 volumes.

Lister’s writings cover all aspects of daily life, including her sexual and romantic relationships with women.

UNESCO has acknowledged the diaries as a pivotal document in British history, adding them to its ‘Memory of the World’ register in 2011.

Anne Lister is a “little-studied” literary figure

The PhD scholarship is being offered at the University of York, and will ensure that Anne Lister’s legacy lives on.

“Anne Lister is a fascinating, but little-studied literary figure, and this scholarship, generously funded by Dr Sally Wainwright, will shed new light on her life, historical significance and writings,” Professor Helen Smith said.

“We hope that the successful PhD candidate will help us understand more about Anne Lister as a writer, and bring her incredible writings to new audiences.”

Speaking about the scholarship, Wainwright said she hoped further research would help cement Anne Lister as a significant literary voice.

“Anne Lister’s diaries and other writings are a unique, fascinating, vast resource, lending themselves to study across a number of academic disciplines,” she said.

“Anne Lister was a profoundly clever and unusual woman whose writings need much greater analysis than they have yet received.

“Above and beyond all her other talents, Lister was a prolific diarist, and it is my greatest hope that the scholarship will go some way towards helping establish her extraordinary output firmly within the canon of English Literature.”

Applications are open for the Sally Wainwright PhD scholarship

The Sally Wainwright PhD scholarship is intended to foster further research on Lister’s life and writing, to establish her place in the canon of English Literature as well as the historical record and better interpret her work.

The successful student will have full access to the Lister diaries and other writings, currently held in the West Yorkshire Archives in Lister’s native Halifax.

Applications are welcomed from both home and international students.

Applications for the scholarship close on January 18, 2023.

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Sarah Davison
Sarah Davison

After working in print and radio, Sarah has joined the team at QNews to expand their coverage into South Australia. Sarah has a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, and a Masters in Journalism, Media, and Communications. Get in touch: sarah@qnews.com.au

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