The Zentrum Jüdische Studien Berlin-Brandenburg (ZJS – Center for Jewish Studies Berlin-Brandenburg) at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin is seeking to fill one postdoctoral position (E 13/TV-L 75%, third-party funded through 31.03.2022, subject to funding commitment) in the field of Jewish studies, from 1 May 2017 to 31 March 2022, in the research area: Diaspora – Migration – Transnationality
Thematic keyword: “Transcultural Jewish History – Extra-Territoriality”
The postdoctoral position is governed by the regulations of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. It is thematically affiliated with the chair of Transcultural Jewish History (Prof. Dr. Liliana Ruth Feierstein) and is located at the Zentrum Jüdische Studien Berlin-Brandenburg. It is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
Applicants should have completed an academic university degree and a completed, above-average doctorate in the field of Jewish studies, history, literature or cultural studies; very good knowledge of MS Office as well as the German and English language, both spoken and written. Knowledge of Yiddish or a Romance language, and experience in planning and organizing of academic events and in fundraising are a plus.
The project can lead to a post-doctoral qualification if the applicant does not yet hold a “Habilitation”.
Applicants must submit a proposal for an individual project in the research area. The project also must be suitable as a basis for forming a junior research group that will include two additional doctoral projects. Therefore, the proposal should indicate possible starting points for two dissertation projects. The project is to be structured in such a way that it has advanced sufficiently for the two doctoral students to join at the start of the second year. The postdoc will take part in the selecting process for the two doctoral students.
In addition to working on the individual research project and managing the junior research group, the successful applicant is expected to oversee the organization of an international workshop; participate actively in and help organize events at the ZJS; raise additional funds; and teach one course per semester at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
Thematic Description: The word “Diaspora” crystallizes important features of Jewish history – including the dialectic of exile and homeland, the encounter with different cultures and the adoption / adaptation of some elements of these cultures. In each case something new emerged that did not negate cultural differences or traditions. For some 2,000 years, the transcultural and transnational moment has been inherent to Judaism, while at the same time it is based on extraterritorial notions of belonging.
While the countries of Europe have clearly defined borders, no map in the world has strictly delineated areas for “Yiddishland” or “Sefarad”. Their “territories” are defined primarily by cultural criteria. Today, as geographical concepts again take hold in both politics and social sciences, it seems appropriate to reflect on supranational forms of cohesion, in other words to consider models of extraterritoriality, whose communities are defined by a certain understanding of time, language and common forms of remembrance. Jewish history offers excellent examples. At the same time, inflationary use of the term Diaspora should be analysed critically. The research project is to examine historical or current Jewish experiences of Diaspora, narratives, proposals and utopias, and common typologizing definitions.
The planned research group is to deal with the Jewish Diaspora as an alternative and extraterritorial-cultural experience and thereby also to elaborate on its role as a model for modernity. Berlin and the surrounding region, where the Zentrum Jüdische Studien is based, have a long history of immigration and emigration, of Jews and other population groups: This offers a possible starting point. In addition, other themes related to migration can be examined: for instance Latin America, whose Jewish communities have grown significantly since the late 19th century due to immigration waves from Eastern Europe; or North African countries. Proposals for this posted postdoc position should be located within this research area and be suitable for expansion through additional doctoral projects. The research is located within the field of cultural studies.
Applications must include a detailed curriculum vitae, copies of degree certificate(s), a list of publications, a proposal of 5-8 pages outlining an innovative research project in the context of assembling a junior research group (research question and objective, state of research, own preliminary work, possible cooperation partners – both persons and institutions –, as well as methodologies) and the name of two references.
The deadline for applications is 15 March 2017.
Applications are to be sent in printed form and electronically as one single PDF file to:
Zentrum Jüdische Studien Berlin-Brandenburg
attn. Dr. Monika Schärtl
For more information please contact:
Dr. Monika Schärtl
Phone: 030 / 20 93 – 66 310.
In order to ensure gender equality, applications from qualified female scholars are particularly welcome. Severely disabled applicants with equivalent qualifications will be given preferential consideration. People with an immigration background are specifically encouraged to apply.
Since we will not return your documents, please submit copies in the application only.