New DPhil studentship created in memory of Stuart Hall (1951)

A new DPhil studentship at Oxford University has been set up in memory of Mertonian Stuart Hall (1951).

The college has collaborated with The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) and The Stuart Hall Foundation to create the studentship, which will run from 2017-2020. Applicants can come from any Humanities discipline with particular research interests in Professor Hall’s areas of expertise.

Professor Stuart Hall, who died in 2014, was one of the founding figures of British cultural studies, best known for his work around cultural identity, race, and ethnicity, much of which serves as the basis for contemporary cultural studies today. He championed racial and gender equality, and was a catalyst for a number of significant initiatives including journals the New Left Review and Soundings, the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, and the Open University.

Jamaican-born Stuart Hall came to Merton in 1951 to study English as an undergraduate on a Rhodes scholarship. Over the course of his career he taught in London, at the University of Birmingham, and at the Open University.

Professor Ian Maclachlan, Tutor in French and Professor of French Literature, and the College’s Equality Adviser, commented:

“As a vibrant and diverse intellectual community that welcomes bright, hard-working applicants regardless of background, Merton College is delighted to be a partner in the creation of the Stuart Hall DPhil studentship, which memorialises a Mertonian who pioneered a distinctive and hugely influential style of cultural studies, with a particular emphasis on questions of ethnicity and class, whilst also attentive to gender and sexuality.”

Professor Elleke Boehmer, Director of TORCH, said:

"For over 55 years, from the time he came to Merton College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar from Jamaica, Stuart Hall was one of Britain's leading Black intellectuals, and a pioneer of what we now call cultural studies, who theorized not only questions of Blackness but also Britishness, not only what it was to be an immigrant in these islands, but also what it was to belong."