Max Planck Institute for the History of Science Visiting Scholarships 2018, Germany


February 28, 2018

Event Date:

April 01, 2018 - December 31, 2019

Opportunity Cover Image - Max Planck Institute for the History of Science Visiting Scholarships 2018, Germany

Visiting Scholarships “The Body of Animals” Department III

The Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, Department III, Artefacts, Action, and Knowledge, Director: Prof. Dr. Dagmar Schäfer, offers Visiting Scholarships(3–9 months) to take place in the period 1 April 2018 to 31 December 2019.

Outstanding scholars beyond the postdoc phase of their careers are invited to apply for participation in the working group:

“The Body of Animals”, in particular, projects that focus on animals' bodies and materiality, animals in relation to commodification, technology, or the environment, or the history of scientific methodologies used to date and describe animal-derived proteins and fibers (including but not limited to zooarchaeology, linguistics, molecular biology, textile science, radiometric dating, and food science).

Working group - Proteins and fibers

Molecular and microscale analyses of animal-based proteins and fibers are common methods used by evolutionary biologists, ecologists, geneticists and many other scientists to study the traces of animals in history. Such research has also opened a completely new qualitative and temporal perspective for historians who, until recently, have largely relied upon archaeology, historical linguistics, or visual and textual recordings. As what is historically known about animals changes, equally, new light is shed on the animals’ role in human life and thinking. This project invites research on the methodological developments in the study of animals, especially the many uses of the molecular signatures of animalian artifacts to reconstruct animal histories. Trust and reliability figure into the molecular methods and radiometric tools used to analyze the meanings of evolutionary baselines describing animal domestication. This new research focus also explores knowledge production arising from multidisciplinary approaches, from proteomics to photoacoustic spectroscopy, to characterize animalian artifacts in biodeterioration studies and archaeological textile conservation. Historians of science and technology are invited to undertake reflexive as well as refractive study of these processes by which animal proteins and fibers leave traces and tantalizing histories – that analysts in this field continue to inquire into and piece together.

Working group - Out of the cabinet of curiosities 

The working group, Out of the Cabinet of Curiosities aims to build new scholarly understandings of animals. Offering an alternative to trajectories  hinged to natural history collecting activities that viewed world historical contexts as exotic resources, projects consider the relationships between animal materialities and knowledge production. This group reckons with animals as tactile, textual, and geographic sources in cultures with varying approaches toward the mundane, cosmological, and environmental worlds in which animals live or struggle. Focusing on the diverse regional and institutional worlds of animals and animal research, our inquiry questions the equivalencies between knowing animals and scientific knowledge. Scholars of Asia and the Pacific, Africa, and the Americas use diverse methodological interrogations of animalian materials and texts to open up different temporalities for historical analysis. Critical analyses of philology, anthropology, zooarchaeology, and other methods complement familiar archival work. These different inquiries ultimately amplify our understanding of different cadences of world histories that integrate animals and expanded meanings of making science.

Application Process:

Applications from candidates in every field involved with issues relevant to the history of science and technology are welcome, with some preference for projects looking at cases from Asia, Africa, or Latin America, or adopting a global perspective. The MPIWG hosts many academic activities: conferences, workshops, brown bag seminars and colloquia. Visiting scholars are encouraged to combine their research stay with active participation in such events.

Applications may be submitted in German, English, Chinese or French. Candidates of all nationalities are encouraged to apply; applications from women are especially welcome. The Max Planck Society is committed to promoting handicapped individuals and encourages them to apply.

Only electronic submissions will be accepted. Candidates are requested to submit following documents, via online application portal:

a cover letter, curriculum vitae (including list of publications), a research proposal on a topic related to the project (1000 words maximum), one sample of writing (i.e. article or book chapter), names and email addresses of two referees.

Note: Only successful candidates will be notified.

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

Eligible Countries
Host Country
Study Levels
Publish Date
January 31, 2018
Link To Original