12 Research Fellowships 2019 - Universität Weimar Research Training Group “Identity and Heritage”, Germany

Publish Date: Mar 04, 2019

Deadline: Apr 15, 2019

12 positions - Research Assistant - 0.5 part-time - salary grade E 13 TV-L Berliner Hochschulen 

12 doctoral positions are currently available in the DFG Research Training Group 2227 “Identity and Heritage” (TV-L 13, 50%) in the participating subject areas of disciplines such as historic preservation, architectural and art history, cultural and media studies, landscape architecture and planning, urban planning, spatial social sciences and other similar disciplines. Six of these positions are in Berlin and six in Weimar. These doctoral positions are limited to 1.5 years. The contracts can be extended for a further 1.5 years, subject to approval. In a collaborative endeavor between the Technische Universität Berlin and the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, the Research Training Group “Identity and Heritage” conducts critical research into the constructions of identity and heritage, based upon buildings, historical sites and other tangible and discursive examples of cultural heritage. The issue of “identity and heritage” has gained considerable currency in recent years. Neo-national movements seeking to demarcate and cordon off what they regard as their “own” are using the term identity as a rallying cry for their cause. “Post-factual” claims of absolute and immiscible purity of origin and culture are becoming increasingly present in media, particularly social networks. At the same time, global refugee and migration movements hit the core of identity and heritage constructs based on spatial and social belonging to places of origin. Post-colonial debates concerning looted art and its restitution are attracting ever more attention, altering how we view the processes of heritage and preservation. Therefore a critical engagement with the modalities of heritage is becoming all the more important.

Working field: During the second funding period, the Research Training Group continues its focus on the critical research into the relationship between the need for affirmation of the collective, and the appropriation of cultural heritage as they are mobilized both within the politics of history and identity. Aiming at a critical historization of the overall concept of identity construction based on cultural heritage in national and other social and political groupings which are defined in terms of inclusion/exclusion, we wish to intensify our examination of the conditions, contingencies and impacts of heritage. Does heritage operate in a space-time and social continuum or is it marked by political, territorial, dynastic, social and cultural ruptures? Are the various claims and (self) assertions of the various candidates and repudiators of heritage opposed to one another? Can there be an instance of conciliation and adjustment and how should one think of it? Heritage and the related assertions of identity take place in a social, political and cultural context, which is in constant interaction with the observable phenomena of material transfer and perpetual renewal. This is equally true for artifacts as for buildings, urban and rural spaces. In the second cohort of the Research Training Group commencing in October 2019 we wish to strengthen our focus on the relations, contradictions, paradoxes and interstices emerging from these interactions. 

The objects and discourses of this research are to be understood as mediums of shapeable and moveable bonds (in terms of space, time and society) between heritage and those “inheriting”. The ability to recognize and interpret historic materials, forms and meanings remains indispensable if contemporary negotiation processes are not to become detached from their material and historical bases. The Research Training Group’s objective is to further develop models for interdiscplinary critical heritage research and theory combining the approach of a democratic interpretation of heritage and the detailed observation and interpretation of the form and the material character of the objects. 

During the project, doctoral candidates receive an excellent education with the objective of completing their doctorates. Topics for dissertation projects include: cultural heritage and the promise of stability; participation and heritage; heritage loss, rejection, destruction of heritage; identity of locations/buildings and reconstruction; economization and tourist-oriented marketing; site management; actors of heritage and legacy; identity politics and their mediums; post-colonial thinking and identity asserrtions; spatial legacies of the Welfare State; studies on identity-based collective narratives of loss. Members of the Research Training Group are expected to actively participate in the group’s events, colloquia and other activities. You are required to be present twice a week at the location (Berlin or Weimar) where you are employed. Funds are available for research trips and attending conferences.

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