Main menu

AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award: The Modernist Home

Applications are invited for an AHRC-funded DPhil offered jointly by the Faculty of English, at the University of Oxford and the National Trust (2 Willow Road).

This project examines the moment when ‘high modernism’—the formal experiments in literature, art and music of the early twentieth century—moved into everyday life in the middle of the century. Much academic research over the last twenty years has been dedicated to showing the engagement between specific writers and mass culture. However, the extension of modernism as a style and a set of values into everyday life, especially the everyday life of the home, is still uncharted territory. Though related research has been undertaken (eg Harris, Romantic Moderns (2010), Olson, Modernism and the Ordinary (2009), Spurr, Architecture and Modern Literature (2012)), there is as yet no study of the way an international, experimental style in the arts was popularised and domesticated.

2 Willow Road in Hampstead was designed in 1939 by the architect Ernö Goldfinger for himself and his family, and acquired by the National Trust in 1994. It is a rare example of domestic modernism open to the public, with an interior largely preserving the interior decoration of the architect and his family. As a crucible of international modernist ideas, it had a major effect on the British architectural and cultural landscape, since Goldfinger was also the architect of the Grade II* listed council blocks, Balfron and Trellick Towers. The collaboration represented by this studentship provides an ideal opportunity to combine knowledge of the material culture of an iconic modernist building with academic research in modernist studies.

The project will be supervised by Dr Rebecca Beasley (University of Oxford) along with Lucy Porten and Leigh Sneade (National Trust).

Subject to standard AHRC eligibility criteria, the studentship will cover tuition fees at home/EU rate and provide a maintenance award at RCUK rates for a maximum of 3 years of full-time doctoral study from October 2018.

Informal enquiries relating to the project can be directed to Dr Rebecca Beasley (

For details click here

Deadline 9 March 2018