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January 4th, 2022

AHRC-funded PhD Studentship with the University of Exeter, Bath Spa University and PK Porthcurno Museum of Global Communication (deadline 24-1-2022)

AHRC-funded PhD Studentship with the University of Exeter, Bath Spa University and PK Porthcurno Museum of Global Communication

Sustaining the Nervous System of the World: An Environmental History of Submarine Cable Telegraphy circa 1880-1940

The project is a systematic study of the environmental strategies, broadly conceived, of the world’s leading submarine telegraph cable manufacturers between 1880 and 1940, the period when the business peaked. Cable making was dominated by a handful of British-based private firms, notably the Telegraphic Construction and Maintenance Company, W. T. Henley’s Telegraphic Works, and the India Rubber, Gutta Percha and Telegraphic Works Company, whose long-term success depended on tackling critical environmental issues affecting the supply of the materials used in cables.

Using the underexplored archives of cable makers at PK Porthcurno and elsewhere, the project will significantly enrich historical understanding of the way the telecommunications industry has coped with its environmental impacts and this will underpin new critical perspectives on modern problems of reducing cable waste in our oceans. This project represents an exciting alignment of the research objectives of the HEI supervisors (Prof Richard Noakes at Exeter, Dr Cassie Newland at Bath Spa) and PK Porthcurno. The project will help PK Porthcurno better understand and exhibit materials in its collections relating to cable making, including archival documents and objects from Telcon, Henley’s and similar British firms. It will also help PK Porthcurno develop public understanding of the environmental impacts of telecommunications, past and present.

The project is part of the South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (SWW DTP2)

For further details and to apply please click on the following link:


The deadline for applications is 24 January 2022