8 October 2017 -

To: DHS Early Career Researchers and Student Members

At this year's DHS Conference, Making and Unmaking the Environment, held at the University of Oslo, Harriet Atkinson (DHS Research Grants Officer) and Lydia Caston (DHS Student Officer) hosted a small meeting for students and early career researchers (ECR) to receive feedback on how the Society can further support its members. If you were unable to attend the meeting, here is a reminder of what opportunities and awards the DHS offers.

DHS Writing and Publishing Workshop

The DHS Writing and Publishing Workshop, which usually takes place just before the DHS Annual Conference, invites students and ECRs to encounter and engage with new research methodologies and to meet publishing companies interested in design history works. This year in Oslo students and ECRs took part in a collaborative experiment, which involved exploring audio and design history in a session led by Emily Candela from the Royal College of Art. After a theoretical introduction to sonic research practices, attendees gathered their own field recordings from across the university campus, which were then shared in the workshop and are currently being put together to create a short podcast. Emily presented innovative ways of thinking about the field of design history and how we can apply sound to research, writing and publishing practices.

For the afternoon session, we were joined by publishing companies, who gave us top tips on how to write articles, chapters and book proposals. Routledge, Bloomsbury, the Journal of Visual Culture, and the Journal of Design History each delivered short presentations, followed by questions from the floor, and introduced the kind of research they publish. The diversity of journals and publishers here was particularly encouraging, and the workshops acted as supportive platforms for students and ECRs to discuss their research and to start thinking about where their work would best fit.

DHS Awards and Grants

As well as workshops, the DHS membership scheme entails access to awards and grants. The Student Travel Award is offered to undergraduate, MA and PhD student members to encourage research trips, and travel to conferences, accommodation, transport and other research expenses, such as library memberships and even photocopying costs, are covered. Students are awarded a maximum of £500 each. This year we received very exciting applications from scholars conducting studies in Brighton, London, Gothenburg and Rio de Janeiro.

The Student Essay Prize, a yearly award, is an exciting opportunity for students to submit one of their essays to be evaluated by the DHS Executive Committee. Two prizes are awarded annually: one to an undergraduate student, and the other to a postgraduate student. Each submission must be nominated by a professional in the field, and each essay is considered based on originality and relevance to the current discourse in design history, as well as their interpretation of theoretical perspectives and application of historical approaches. We also take into account the research methodology and the detail of object-focused analysis.

The Essay Prize includes a £200 bursary, one year's membership to the DHS, including a subscription to the Journal of Design History, a free place at the DHS Annual Conference, £100 in Oxford University Press publications, and 3 paperbacks in the Oxford History of Art series. This year we received creative and fascinating pieces of writing, with topics ranging from feminist Swedish cartoonists, an essay on the material culture of women smoking during the interwar period, and an in-depth analysis of an Early Modern knitted petticoat. This prize aims to encourage students to continue to push the boundaries of design history, and to maintain high quality work in the field.

DHS Day Symposium Grant

Finally, the Society also presents students and ECR members opportunities to convene their own event, in their own institution or at our office in London, in order to spread design history research. The Day Symposium Grant intends to support original research in line with the Society's objective of continuing to make design history more diverse, innovative and inclusive. There is a total of up to £750 to successful applicants. This year students from the Royal College of Art hosted a small symposium that was open to the public.

The student and ECR meeting in Oslo provided us with some important feedback. If you were unable to make it to the conference this year, please do fill in the short online survey to suggest what the Society can do to further support you during your studies, after your graduation, and throughout your research.

Lydia Caston
DHS Student Officer


Want to contribute to the blog and newsletter? Contact us


Keep informed of all Society events and activities, subscribe to our newsletter.