Postdoc in digital humanities for conceptual history research project – University of Groningen

We are seeking a highly motivated candidate for a postdoc position within a project funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO). We offer a part-time contract of 0.6 FTE for 2 years.

The project is entitled “Culture Wars and Modern Worldviews: A Transnational Conceptual History” and is located in the Department of Christianity and the History of Ideas. The core research team will consist of the PI, Prof. Dr. Todd H. Weir, and two future postdoctoral scholars, one responsible for the implementation of digital humanities databases and techniques, the second undertaking research in the history of anthropology and/or religious studies (for that position, please see the separate advertisement here: https://www.rug.nl/(…)47-02S000AC5P&cat=wp)

The aim of this project is to develop a model of the formative power of culture wars in shaping modern thought, politics and religion by investigating the history of the concept of “worldview.” It is a transnational and multilingual project, that traces the history of worldview from its popularization in nineteenth-century Germany, to its invocation by Dutch and North American Christian thinkers, to its use by political ideologies such as National Socialism, to its contemporary usage in Latin America in the context of arguments about indigenous right.

The DH postdoctoral scholar will bring to the project experience with digital humanities techniques that can be used to analyze the history of concepts in multiple languages and in multiple religious and political camps, as well as in the history of social scientific disciplines. Together with the PI and the other postdoc researcher, this DH specialist will help create relevant corpora and be responsible for selecting software and running analyses. For example, we may utilize word collocation to uncover the relationship between “worldview” and religious ideas or new epistemological concepts, such as “paradigm” or “ontological difference.” We may need data visualizations that help map the different definitional strands of worldview across social space. We may also engage in metadata analysis to reveal what role factors, such as party affiliation, religion and gender of historical actors, played in positions taken in the culture wars.

Tasks and responsibilities:

  • Setting up DH infrastructure for the project
  • Selecting and tailoring techniques and software need to undertake research
  • Training other team members in use of these DH techniques
  • Close involvement in historical research: joint analysis, writing and publishing of academic articles
  • Creating and maintaining corpora to be used in project research
  • Working with national and local DH consortia, such as the Groningen DH Lab, Clariah, the eScience Center
  • Presenting research results at conferences and workshops
  • Participating in regular meetings with the other project team members
  • Assisting in communication tasks, such as co-managing project website.

Organization
The University of Groningen is a research university with a global outlook. Quality has had top priority for four hundred years, and with success: the University is currently in or around the top 100 on several influential ranking lists. The Faculty of Religion, Culture and Society is an ambitious, interdisciplinary research hub with a dynamic and accomplished staff drawn from around the world (58% international), and a Graduate School with 60 PhD students. For more information about the Faculty, please check the link https://www.rug.nl/rcs/

Qualifications

We are looking for candidates who meet the following requirements:

  • a PhD degree (or evidence that you can complete prior to the start date) in digital humanities or in a cultural studies or humanities field, in which you have gained extensive experience in the application of DH techniques
  • knowledge or familiarity with corpus linguistics, natural language processing, data wrangling, and big data approaches is an advantage
  • a relevant publication record, demonstrating your ability to publish international academic publications
  • a clear interest in collaborative, interdisciplinary research
  • excellent command of the English language and ability to work with one or more of the other target languages: German, Dutch, Spanish
  • ability to work independently and manage joint research activities
  • a team player with strong communication skills.

Conditions of employment

We offer you in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

  • a starting salary depending on qualifications and work experience between

€ 3,226 and € 4,332 (salary scale 10.0 to 10.7) gross per month for a full-time position

  • a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income an 8.3% end-of-the-year allowance
  • attractive secondary terms of employment
  • a two-year contract (24 months).

Intended starting date: 1 February 2024

Click here for more information and apply!

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