“Between the Times”:
Embattled Temporalities and Political Imagination in Interwar Europe
Tallinn University invites applications for three Postdoctoral Researcher positions in intellectual history to commence on 1 September 2018 (the expected start date is negotiable and the maximum duration of the contract is 36 months).
Post-doctoral researcher is a researcher who has been awarded a doctoral degree or equal qualification within the last five years, excluding the time spent on parental leave and time served in the Defence Forces.
The postdoctoral researcher positions are available within the 5-year European Research Council funded (ERC Starting Grant) project “BETWEEN THE TIMES – Embattled Temporalities and Political Imagination in Inter-war Europe”, led by Dr. Liisi Keedus. The project explores:
1) conceptions of time and historicity in inter-war Europe, comparatively and interdisciplinarily, including how these translated into methodological innovation and social discourses; and
2) the possibilities of thinking politically and historically beyond the narratives of progress.
The post-doctoral researchers will join a team of two doctoral students, three postdoctoral researchers and several senior researchers at the interdisciplinary and international School of Humanities. The project funding allows for international research trips and conference attendance and the researchers are given support for publishing in international peer-reviewed journals. They are expected to conduct their own research on a topic closely related to or on a case study of the project, write and publish academic papers, as well as assist in organising academic and public outreach activities.
The project seeks to offer a pan-European intellectual history of the political imagination in the interwar period that places the demise of historicism and progressivism – and the emerging anti-teleological visions of time – at the center of some of its most innovative ethical, political and methodological pursuits. You will explore reinventions of temporality across and between different disciplines (theology, jurisprudence, classical studies, literary theory, linguistics, sociology, philosophy), as well as other creative fields. We also seek to experiment methodologically by reconstructing the dynamics of political thought prosopographically, through intellectual groupings at the forefront of the scholarly and political debates of the period. The project further challenges the sufficiency of the usual focus in interwar intellectual history on individual or two-three (usually, “Western” European) national contexts by following out the intersections and synergies between intellectual groupings in Germany (dialectical theology, Free Jewish Study House), Romania (“Generation’27”), France (sociology of law, early existentialist Vendredi-group), Britain (“The Bright Young People”), Russia and Czechoslovakia (Russian Formalism and Prague Linguistic Circle) – whose members often moved across national contexts.
The main questions guiding this study are: What were the wider aims of these (mostly young) interwar intellectuals in contesting the teleological visions of human temporality? What were the political languages encoded in their novel representations of time and vice versa – how did the political aims translate back into theoretical innovations? How were these efforts not only communicated and employed across disciplines, but also across different national scholarly contexts in Europe – in the highly cosmopolitan interwar period? How did their implications differ in different national contexts and why? Anti-historicist impulses emerged across the political spectrum, from the Left to the Right – which calls for a more multi-layered intellectual history than the conventional, neatly classified narrative of inter-war ideological Left-Right divides. What are the fragmented legacies of this rupture, disbursed in and through the philosophical, methodological and political dicta and dogmas that rooted themselves in post-1945 thought? How can these alternative historicisms illuminate the present crisis of progressivism?
The candidate must fulfill all the general requirements of the position of researcher stipulated in the Employment Relations Rules of Tallinn University, annex 9, as well as the following requirements for joining the project team:
- Doctoral Degree in Intellectual History, Cultural Studies, Philosophy, Literature, Political Science, Linguistics, History or a related field.
- Demonstrated capacity to conduct research of a high quality in 20th-century intellectual history, 20th-century history of humanities and the social sciences, on interwar Europe or on the case studies of the project, or on political theory (information to be included in CV).
- A record of research publications relevant to the project.
Workload: 1,0 FTE
Salary: 2200 euros (incl. direct taxes as income tax, unemployment insurance and the funded pension payment which are withheld from the salary automatically by the employer).
Location: The postdoctoral researchers are expected to live in Tallinn and work at the premises of Tallinn University.
Language skills: Excellent level of spoken and written English (at least on the level C1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) plus a good level of an additional language most relevant for the researcher’s individual project. Knowledge of Estonian is not required.
Required application documents
The candidates are expected to submit by 2nd of May 2018 (including) to Personnel Office of Tallinn University (Narva mnt 25, room T-218, 10120, Tallinn, or digitally signed to email@example.com), with the title “Academic competition” the following documents (in .pdf format if possible):
- A signed application-motivation letter addressed to the Rector in which the candidate provides an overview of the aims that he or she will pursue in the project period
- A CV containing data listed in Annex 11 (.doc .pdf) of Empoyment Regulation Rules. Data on teaching, research and development and creative activity may also be presented in the form of a printout from databases. In presenting a printout, it must be noted in the CV which data, as listed in Annex 11, are presented as a printout.
- Research proposal of 2000-2500 words (not including footnotes, references and bibliography). It should outline the research that you wish to pursue and connect it to the “Between the Times” project. It should demonstrate knowledge of the state of the art in the field, formulate a research question and include a description of the methodology and a short bibliography. When drafting your research proposal please indicate also the ways in which your research would intersect with the project and contribute to it, as well as how your past research activities have prepared you for a position in the „Between the Times“ project team.
- Copies of the documents proving the qualification to hold the position and its annexes. Originals of the document proving qualification and its annexes or certified copies may be requested from the candidate. If a degree has been earned abroad, an assessment from the ENIC/NARIC Centre certifying the correspondence of that qualification to the requirements established for the employment position, may be requested from the candidate.
- A list of research publications that sets out in a separate section the research work published in international editions that have an international editorial board and employ a peer review system;
- Link to the full text of, or, if it is not possible, a file of one representative research publication (preferably related to the topic of the project).
The application documents shall be submitted only in English.
May and June 2018:
- Assessment of compliance with the job requirements of the candidates (Personnel Office, Research Administration Office and Election Committee)
- The Rector decides whether a candidate will be allowed to participate in the competition or not (on the basis of the documents submitted by the candidate and the opinion of the election committee)
- Shortlisted candidates may be asked for additional information and will be invited for an interview, expert assessments etc.
- The election of researchers will be held in the School of the Humanities
The Personnel Office shall contact every candidate concerning the results of the competition/election as soon as possible, but not latest than 2 weeks after the decision.
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