Call for applications: Doctoral researchers
The Research Training Group minor cosmopolitanisms (Graduiertenkolleg GRK 2130), funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and conducted jointly by Universität Potsdam, Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, announces 12 Positions starting on 1st October 2019:
Academic Staff Member (PhD Researchers)
for 26 hours of work per week (65 %). The salary is determined by the collective bargaining agreement for public employees in Germany (TV-L 13). These are temporary positions limited to a term of three years in accordance with Section 2 Para 1 of the Academic Fixed-Term Contract Law (WissZeitVG).
The Research Training Group (RTG) minor cosmopolitanisms establishes new ways of studying and understanding the cosmopolitan project against and beyond its Eurocentric legacies. The minor denotes a perspective crucially informed by post- and decolonial thought and builds on interpretations of cosmopolitan practice which have been variably qualified as “agonistic,” “black,” “creole,” “decolonial,” “discrepant,” “indigenous,” “rooted,” “subaltern” or “vernacular.” They bring into being cosmopolitanisms in a ‘minor’ mode unforeseen by dominant scripts and creating new subject positions within dominant discourses and geopolitics.
Specifically designed as a training programme for early career researchers, the RTG minor cosmopolitanisms offers an international framework connecting Berlin and Potsdam with partner universities in Australia, South Africa, India and the Americas to pursue PhD and postdoctoral projects in a diverse, decentral, collective and convivial environment. Projects within the RTG examine concrete critical, artistic as well as everyday practices which challenge the divide between cultural relativism and humanist universalism haunting the humanities and social sciences. They jointly strive to develop and promote an understanding of cosmopolitanism in the plural which combines visions of transcultural justice, peace and conviviality with an ethical commitment to difference and alterity.
Research projects will be clustered around five core thematic areas of training. These are: Bodies, Ecologies, Inequalities, Indigeneity, and Alternative Genealogies. Within these fields, projects should deal with (current and/or historical) theoretical approaches, literature and other media of artistic production, and/or everyday social and political practices in which minor cosmopolitanisms are acted out.
The RTG locates Potsdam and Berlin at the crossroads of eight partner institutions on four different continents (Macquarie University Sydney, UNSW Sydney, Delhi University, EFLU Hyderabad, University of Pretoria, University of Cape Town, York University Toronto and Duke University, Durham). Successful applicants will receive an employment contract for the period of three years with one of the participating universities in the Potsdam/Berlin area. They are encouraged to spend one or two semesters at one of the partner institutions during the second year of their contract, but personal circumstances such as family commitments will be taken into account.
Candidates are invited to apply by proposing their own dissertation project within the thematic scope of minor cosmopolitanisms and within the fields represented in the RTG (Anglophone Literary Studies, Postcolonial Studies, American Studies, Cultural Studies, Gender and Queer Studies, Cultural Anthropology, History, Jewish Studies, Religious Studies, Political Theory, Sociology, German Literary Studies).
Applicants must have completed an M.A. degree or equivalent in one of the disciplines represented in the RTG or in a related academic field. A high level of proficiency in English is required. The project’s working language is English. Knowledge of German is not necessary, but successful applicants will have the opportunity to attend German language courses, should they wish to. Candidates are expected to take up residence in the Potsdam/Berlin area and to take an active part in the activities of the Research Training Group.
The majority of working hours will be reserved for the successful completion of a PhD within a period of three years. The RTG strives for a balanced gender ratio in all occupational groups; therefore women are strongly encouraged to apply. Applicants with disabilities will be given preference in case of equal qualification. The RTG specifically encourages applications by international candidates, especially from the global South. The University of Potsdam offers a variety of services for parents, and the University’s Welcome Center provides a variety of services for international candidates, including visa issues.