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The University of Southampton
Southampton Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies

Chawton Visiting Fellows


Chawton House Library Visiting Fellowships 2016-17

in partnership with the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Southampton


We are pleased to announce that this year - in addition to our usual visiting fellowships - we are offering named fellowships supported by literary societies and individuals.

British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (BSECS) Fellowship

The British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS) Fellowship

The Dunmore Fellowship

The Marilyn Butler Fellowship

The Hester Davenport/Burney Society Fellowship

The Jane Austen Society of Japan Fellowship


More detail about each follows the main advertisement.


If you would like to apply for one of the named fellowships, please mark your application accordingly. If you are unsuccessful in this application, your application will then be considered in our general fellowship scheme.

Applications are invited for one-month Visiting Fellowships at Chawton House Library (CHL) to be taken up between October 2016 and the end of August 2017 (please note: no Visiting Fellowships will be awarded during December 2016 and January 2017). Deadline for applications: 4 April 2016. All Fellows will be offered accommodation and space to work in the main Library building. They will also be given library rights at the University of Southampton, including access to both electronic and archival resources at the Hartley Library.


Chawton House Library is an independent research library and study centre focusing on women's writing in English from 1600 to 1830. Accommodated in the Elizabethan manor house that once belonged to one of Jane Austen's brothers, in the village of Chawton in Hampshire, the library's main aim is to promote and facilitate study in the field of early women's writing. The magnificent library collection of early editions from the period is freely accessible to members of the public, while the Library also runs a programme of events and activities relating both to the historical house and the focus of the collection. For more information please see


The University of Southampton has particular strengths in the long eighteenth century. The Southampton Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies (SCECS) runs a successful interdisciplinary MA, and organizes seminars and conferences throughout the year. All visiting fellows will be encouraged to take part in SCECS activities, and will be invited to present short papers of their work in progress at an afternoon seminar during their time at CHL. For more information about SCECS, including the research interests of individual members, please see

For information about Special Collections at the Hartley Library, see


The aim of these Fellowships is to enable individuals to undertake significant research in the long eighteenth century. In keeping with the mission of CHL and the special qualities of the library's collection, projects that focus on women's writing or lives during the period are warmly welcomed. Any proposal, however, that promises significant research on the long eighteenth century will be given careful consideration. We would also welcome applications from groups of up to four scholars who wish to pursue a joint project while in residence.


The Fellowships would be of particular interest to members of university and college faculties on leave from their institutions, but we welcome applications from candidates at all stages of their academic careers, and actively encourage applications from independent scholars, as well as recent postdocs without permanent positions. All Visiting Fellows would be expected to be in residence in Chawton for the duration of their fellowship, and will find the tranquillity of the location especially conducive to their work.


We are unable to offer visiting fellowships to any scholar who has already held a Fellowship in the previous 3-year period, even if the proposed period in residence is for a new research project.


British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (BSECS)

Duration: 3-6 weeks


This Fellowship, supported by BSECS, is for researchers who wish to work on any aspect of eighteenth-century studies at Chawton House Library, without regard to career stage or disciplinary background, or the region and specific period being investigated (within the broad range 1680-1820). However, particular preference will be given to projects that are distinctly inter- or multi-disciplinary in nature.

Candidates should state clearly in their application the cross-disciplinary nature of their proposed research. They must be paid-up members of BSECS at the time of taking up the Fellowship.


The British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS) Fellowship at Chawton House Library

Duration: One month


This fellowship, supported by BARS, will be awarded to a mid-career or senior scholar in Romantic Period Literature. Research into all areas of Romanticism will be considered, although the collections at Chawton House Library focus particularly on Romantic-period women's writing, and are especially strong in their holdings of female-authored fiction 1780-1830.

The successful applicant should be a member of BARS at the time of taking up the Fellowship.


The Dunmore Fellowship

Duration: One Month


“In perpetuating patriarchal culture are women the architects of their social inequality?”

Following their research into the above and related questions, Valerie and William Dunmore are supporting a fellowship for a social historian exploring this question. Chawton House Library is the ideal venue for such research since many of its works on the long eighteenth century frequently highlight this inequality and the efforts of women to break the mould.

Valerie is a Vice President (and former chairman) of the Society of Women Writers & Journalists. She is a researcher into human behaviour and anti-causal education.

William is an international and constitutional lawyer specialising in, and writing on, world affairs.


The Marilyn Butler Fellowship

Duration: One month

Professor Marilyn Butler (1937-2014), leading scholar of English literature, and latterly Rector of Exeter College, was the author of paradigm-shifting books and articles, and a patron of Chawton House Library. Her research set up new directions in literary criticism of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and her editions of women writers from Maria Edgeworth to Mary Wollstonecraft enabled subsequent generations of scholars to access these important texts in newly fruitful ways. In the fortieth anniversary of the first publication of Butler's Jane Austen and the War of Ideas (1975), we invite applications from scholars at any stage of their research careers to apply for this fellowship in her memory. Priority will be given to those researching Maria Edgeworth and her female contemporaries, and to work inspired by Butler’s own research.


The Hester Davenport/Burney Society Fellowship

Duration: One month


Hester Davenport (1936-2013), independent scholar and biographer, was the author of important and influential work on Frances Burney and Mary Robinson, including Faithful Handmaid: Fanny Burney at the Court of George III (2000) and The Prince’s Mistress: A Life of Mary Robinson (2004). This fellowship, supported by the Burney Societies of the UK and North America in her memory, will be awarded in preference for work on the Burney family and their circle, broadly defined. Preference will be given to an independent scholar, but the selecting committee will consider all eligible applications carefully.


The Jane Austen Society of Japan Fellowship

Duration: One month


The Jane Austen Society of Japan focuses on the studies of the works of Jane Austen and on the literature and culture of her period. It celebrates its tenth anniversary in June 2016, and to celebrate the occasion welcomes applications for this fellowship from members of the Society. The successful candidate will be working on a project on Jane Austen or on any aspect of British literature and culture of the long eighteenth century.


How to Apply:


Please email the following documents:

  • A one-page covering letter, giving full contact details, and stating clearly the desired month(s) of residence, and the fellowship applied for.
  • A proposal for the work you intend to carry out as a Visiting Fellow - to be no more than two pages in length and typed in double line spacing.
  • Your CV - to be no more than three pages in length.
  • One confidential letter of recommendation to be emailed separately by the referee before the deadline.


The documents should be emailed to:

Sandy White, English Department, University of Southampton



Documents should arrive no later than 4 April 2016. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.


All applicants will be advised of the outcome of their application by the mid-June 2016.


The scheme is run on behalf of Chawton House Library and the University of Southampton. The selecting committee is made up of colleagues from both institutions.

The Library catalogue is online and can be accessed via the library website:

Visiting Fellows will be expected to donate a copy of the manuscript or published work resulting from their stay at Chawton House Library to the Library collection, and will be invited to submit a short article to be considered for publication in the Library newsletter, The Female Spectator.

Current Fellows

2013-14 Visiting Fellows 

Former Fellows

2007-14 Visiting Fellows

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