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Academic Staff Member (Postdoc) (f/m) Department of English and American Studies
University of Potsdam
Young, modern, and research oriented... the University of Potsdam has firmly established itself within the scientific landscape since its founding in 1991. Nationally and internationally renowned scientists teach and perform research here at Brandenburg’s largest university. The University of Potsdam is successful in acquiring third-party funds, delivers outstanding performance in technology and knowledge transfer, and has a very service-oriented administration. Around 20,000 students are enrolled at five faculties located on three campuses (Am Neuen Palais, Griebnitzsee and Golm). The University of Potsdam has a total of about 2,750 faculty and staff members and is located in one of Germany’s most scenic areas.
The Research Training Group Minor Cosmopolitanisms (Graduiertenkolleg GRK 2130), funded by the German Research Council (DFG) and conducted jointly by Universität Potsdam, Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, announces 1 position at the Department of English and American Studies at the University of Potsdam, starting on 1st April, 2019:
Academic Staff Member (Postdoc)
Requisition No.: 289/2018
for 40 hours of work per week (100 %). The salary is determined by the collective bargaining agreement for public employees in Germany (TV-L 13). This is a temporary position limited to a term of 3 years in accordance with Section 2 Para 1 of the Academic Fixed-Term Contract Law (WissZeitVG).
The Research Training Group (RTG) Minor Cosmopolitanisms wishes to establish 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.
Half of the working hours (50 %) are dedicated to individual research on and subsequent publication of an innovative postdoctoral project. The scope and nature of the individual research should be topical, and pertinent to the further conceptual, thematic, and methodo-logical development of the RTG. Possible foci may for instance be critical investigations of new border regimes, the relation of posthumanism and the postcolonial, or alternative ge-nealogies of cosmopolitan thought and practice.
The remaining working hours (50 %) will be dedicated to work on joint projects of the RTG. This involves the participation in and contributions to the organisation of RTG events, support in writing funding proposals, and work on joint publications. The postdoctoral researcher should also be able to mediate between doctoral fellows and local as well as international supervisors. In addition, the job entails teaching two seminars per semester (4 hours per week).
Candidates are invited to apply by proposing their own postdoctoral project, and explaining its relevance for the aims and goals of the RTG. They must hold a PhD in one of the disciplines, and ideally have a background in more than one of the fields represented by 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).
A high level of proficiency in English is required, as the RTG’s working language is English. Proficiency in German is highly welcome but not mandatory. Next to excellent academic qualifications, we expect social skills, identification with the goals of the RTG, and a capacity for teamwork. Previous experience in international projects, in the conception and organisation of scientific events, and in the writing of funding proposals is very welcome. 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 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.
Applications must be submitted by 30th October, 2018. Submission via the online application tool provided on the website
www.uni-potsdam.de/minorcosmopolitanisms is highly recommended. Please consult the website for information on the project and details of the application process. For further inquiries contact the RTG’s coordination office (
firstname.lastname@example.org). In the case of submission by post, applicants are required to include a self-addressed stamped envelope to facilitate the return of their documents.