Postdoctoral position in ERC-funded project THINGSTIGATE specialising in archival research methods

Ref PAR 2022/1381

The University of Gothenburg tackles society’s challenges with diverse knowledge. 56 000 students and 6 600 employees make the university a large and inspiring place to work and study. Strong research and attractive study programmes attract scientists and students from around the world. With new knowledge and new perspectives, the University contributes to a better future.

HDK-Valand – Academy of Art and Design, at the University of Gothenburg, conducts education and research in Design, Film, Photography, Fine Art, Crafts and Literary Composition – as well as teacher education in Visual Arts and Sloyd. We provide highly specialised degree programmes in an outgoing, international environment – where our unique and broad range of subjects also enables our students and staff to foster a broader artistic perspective, as well as to explore new working models and research fields. Together with our sister department – the Academy of Music and Drama – we form the most broad-ranging faculty of arts in Scandinavia.

HDK-Valand – Academy of Art and Design, at the University of Gothenburg, conducts education and research in Design, Film, Photography, Fine Art, Crafts and Literary Composition – as well as teacher education in Visual Arts and Sloyd.  

We provide highly specialised degree programmes in an outgoing, international environment – where our unique and broad range of subjects also enables our students and staff to foster a broader artistic perspective, as well as to explore new working models and research fields.  

Together with our sister department – the Academy of Music and Drama – we form the most broad-ranging faculty of arts in Scandinavia. 

We are seeking two Postdoctoral researchers to join the core team of the European Research Council-funded project THINGSTIGATE – Things for Politics' Sake: Aesthetic Objects and Social Change (ERC grant 101041284), led by Dr Tintin Wulia (Principal Investigator/PI). One of these Postdocs will specialise in archival research methods. For this position, applications are encouraged from sociologists and anthropologists of visual culture and material culture, political scientists, STS researchers, cultural studies researchers, visual sociologists and visual anthropologists, art historians, participatory art practice-based researchers, and other researchers in cognate disciplines with a doctoral degree. This position is for 2.5 years starting from 1 March 2023 or a date we later agree upon. 

Information about and application form for the other Postdoctoral researcher position "Postdoctoral position in ERC-funded project THINGSTIGATE specialising in public interventions/field methods" can be found on the University of Gotenburg's web page for vacancies: https://www.gu.se/en/about-the-university/work-at-the-university-of-gothenburg/vacancies 

These two positions are open to researchers three years out of their PhD (see “Eligibility”). However, the project will be ongoing until 2028, and we plan to have another call for similar posts in 2024 and 2025. We now already welcome expressions of interest from researchers with relevant skillsets for those upcoming positions.  

Candidates whose research aligns with THINGSTIGATE’s research agenda and are interested in applying for externally funded postdoctoral positions – such as the European Commission’s MSCA PF – are encouraged to contact the PI (Dr Tintin Wulia) as soon as possible.  

Please send these expressions of interest to Dr Tintin Wulia tintin.wulia@gu.se 

Subject area 

Crafts & Fine Art 

Research project description

Many believe that art is transformative, that it can change society and politics. But how does art exactly do this? THINGSTIGATE hypothesizes that this transformation pivots on aesthetic objects, and occurs within a tripartite framework of imagination, emotion, and sociopolitical institutions. The project combines archival studies, participatory art in everyday life, and longitudinal tracing of aesthetic objects, specifically ones that stimulate imagination and emotion on the nation-state as a sociopolitical institution. It will reinvent methods from large-scale studies of contentious politics to grammatically analyse the sociopolitical relations emanating out of objects in three decades of socially engaged art archives (this will be part of your responsibilities). Findings will be tested in public interventions – both physically in Sweden, Italy, USA, and digitally in Indonesia – where participants assemble and make aesthetic objects (this will be part of your fellow Postdoc’s responsibilities, while you focus on the digital objects). These objects will be traced longitudinally to pinpoint when and how they instigate transformations within sociopolitical institutions (this will be both Postdocs’ shared responsibility).  

Read more here.  

Duties 

As a Postdoctoral Researcher in this new ambitious project, you will have a major impact in shaping the project’s culture, and in developing future interdisciplinary research areas.  

The Postdoctoral Researcher in ERC-funded project THINGSTIGATE specialising in archival research methods will be responsible for: 

  • Working with archives-holding institutions and publicly available data to identify, collate, prepare, and aggregate contemporary archival data 
  • Evaluating mixed methods strategies, approaches, and procedures according to the project proposal, to co-design the analytical procedures and methods with the PI 
  • Conducting additional interviews and surveys as required for archival data collection 
  • Preparing and conducting dataset processing and analyses with the designed method, aiming for a typology of relational objects 
  • Working with the PI and team to creatively develop the digital fieldwork model in the form of public interventions via social media for data collection based on the project’s initial hypotheses 
  • Working with the PI to lead the digital fieldworks, collaboration with local fieldwork teams (partner organisations, fieldwork coordinators and research assistants), ensuring secure data collection via social media, following established data protection procedures 
  • Conducting longitudinal survey of digital objects’ relations with participants 
  • Maintaining documentation of the research process for reporting 
  • Attending regular team meetings  
  • Analysing data from fieldwork to develop further hypotheses, synthesising and communicating results for further analysis in the project 
  • Communicating research and research results to various publics in various forms of publication (e.g., academic journals, academic and public presentations, organising seminars, workshops, symposia, online media dissemination) 
  • Contributing to joint publications by the core team 
  • Other tasks and duties necessary for THINGSTIGATE and HDK-Valand. 

The duties described above may change over time due to unforeseen circumstances.

Eligibility 

The eligibility criteria for employing teaching staff are set out in Chapter 4 of the Higher Education Ordinance and in the Appointment Procedure for Teaching Posts at the University of Gothenburg. 

To be eligible for appointment as a postdoc, the applicant is required to have a doctoral degree, a doctoral degree in art or a foreign degree that is deemed to be equivalent to a doctoral degree. This eligibility requirement must be met before the employment decision is made. 

In the first instance, those who have completed their degree no more than three years prior to the end of the application period shall be considered. Those who have completed their degree more than three years prior to the end of the application period may also be considered in the first instance if special grounds exist. Special grounds relate to leave of absence due to illness, parental leave, commissions of trust within union organisations, service within the defence services or other similar circumstances, as well as clinical service or service/assignment relevant to the subject area.  

Assessment criteria 

Essential:

  • A PhD in sociology, anthropology, or in contemporary art and/or curating that is based on actual artistic/curatorial practice with a strong sociology or anthropology methodology, or in cognate disciplines
  • Experience in working with quantitative methods as well as qualitative methods with relevant tools (e.g., computational/computer-assisted methods like NLP, with tools like R, NVivo) 
  • Experience in working with archival materials in an art context, and/or specifically with participatory art/socially engaged art practice 
  • Excellent writing skills and an academic publication portfolio 
  • Excellent communication skills 
  • Oral and written fluency in English  
  • Able to work independently and collaboratively 
  • Evidence of a capacity to persist and complete tasks and of a willingness to acquire new skills where required to complete tasks 
  • Evidence of creative problem-solving capacity, ability to think out-of-the-box, and adaptability 
  • Experience in working with data management, data processing and data analysis at a postgraduate level  

Meritorious: 

  • Experience in working with social media data and archive  
  • Experience in curatorial or artistic practice-based research on participatory art/socially engaged art practice at postgraduate level is an advantage 
  • Good competency in languages spoken in the fieldwork locations  

We will select the most suitable candidate to carry out the tasks included in the position, cooperate with other personnel, and contribute to a positive development of the environment. 

Regulations for the evaluation of qualifications for academic positions are given in Chapter 4, Section 3 - 4 of the Higher Education Ordinance. 

Employment 

The employment is full time employment, time restricted for two and a half years, with possible extension. The placement is at HDK-Valand in Gothenburg, Sweden.  

Start date is 1 March 2023, or a date we later agree upon. 

Contact information 

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Dr Tintin Wulia, tintin.wulia@gu.se 

If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Human Resources at HDK-Valand, hr@hdk-valand.gu.se  

Unions 

Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg can be found here: https://www.gu.se/om-universitetet/jobba-hos-oss/hjalp-for-sokande 

Application 

Submit your application via the University of Gothenburg’s recruitment portal by clicking the “Apply” button. It is your responsibility to ensure that the application is complete as per the vacancy notice, and that the University receives it by the final application deadline.   

The application should contain: 

  • A cover letter giving a brief description of previous research experience, and a motivation to why you are applying (max 2 pages). 
  • A CV including a complete list of publications. 
  • One PDF file containing a portfolio of 10 (ten) most relevant text publications. If also publishing works of art, applicants can include up to 3 (three) of these, each with 3 (three) images and a 1000-word project description.
  • Proof of completed PhD – or a proof of expected date of completion. See also the eligibility requirement above. 
  • Two recommendation letters – one of these needs to be from a prior supervisor. 

Applications must be received by: 22 December 2022.

Interviews are planned for January 2023 via Zoom.  

Information for International Applicants 

Choosing a career in a foreign country is a big step. Thus, to give you a general idea of what we and Gothenburg have to offer in terms of benefits and life in general for you and your family/spouse/partner please visit: 

https://www.gu.se/en/about-the-university/welcome-services 
https://www.movetogothenburg.com/ 

The University works actively to achieve a working environment with equal conditions, and values the qualities that diversity brings to its operations.

Salaries are set individually at the University.

In accordance with the National Archives of Sweden’s regulations, the University must archive application documents for two years after the appointment is filled. If you request that your documents are returned, they will be returned to you once the two years have passed. Otherwise, they will be destroyed.

In connection to this recruitment, we have already decided which recruitment channels we should use. We therefore decline further contact with vendors, recruitment and staffing companies.