“False Teeth for the Masses”: Artificial Teeth as Technologies, Prostheses and Commodities in Britain, 1848-1948
AHRC PhD studentship
The Centre for the History of Medicine, Ethics and Medical Humanities at the University of Kent in collaboration with the Science Museum invites applications for a fully-funded three-year PhD studentship on artificial teeth in Britain, 1848-1948. The studentship award has been made by the Science Museums & Archives Consortium under the AHRC’s Collaborative Doctoral Partnership scheme. The project, due to begin in October 2017, will be supervised by Dr Claire L. Jones at the University of Kent and Dr Oisín Wall at the Science Museum.
Artificial teeth ha ve long been important aids for the toothless, but from the mid-nineteenth century, these items became popular consumer items. Enabled by the increasing use of anaesthesia and the professionalization of dentistry, the number of companies producing false teeth from new, cheaper and easier to work materials rapidly expanded; a huge variety of artificial teeth and dentures became available in a market that eventually came to be dominated by the standardised sets made available through the NHS from 1948.
Drawing on the artificial teeth and dental collections at the Science Museum, this project seeks to examine the transformation in the consumption and use of artificial teeth and dentures in Britain between 1848 and 1948. The working questions facing a PhD student are:
What were the respective roles of manufacturers, dentists (professional and non-professional), retailers and the health and beauty industry in shaping this transformation?
What were the main design features of artificial teeth and dentures during this period, and how and why did they appeal to patients/users/consumers?
What was the relationship between supply and demand for these technologies?
How did social conventions and variables (age, class, gender, geography etc.) affect patient/user/consumer choice for artificial teeth?
How might research into artificial teeth be communicated to public audiences?
Is this for you?
Candidates should have, or expect to attain, a good degree and should meet AHRC eligibility criteria:
To apply for the scholarship, you must:
· Hold (or expect to achieve in 2017) a Masters Degree with Merit or Distinction;
· Hold an undergraduate degree with First-Class or Upper Second-Class Honours in relevant fields or subjects;
· Be available to commence your academic studies in the UK at the beginning of October 2017
How to apply
Applications should include:
· a curriculum vitae (no more than 2 sides of A4);
· a sample of writing (3,000 words max);
· a covering letter including a 500-word statement detailing how you plan to engage with the above proposal;
· names and contact details of two academic references
For more details on the award, see: http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/skills/training/
For further details, or to informally discuss the studentship, please contact Dr Claire L. Jones.
Please send applications to firstname.lastname@example.org by 1st May 2017. Interviews will be held in May 2017.