Postdoctoral Researcher: The Restitution of Knowledge – Artefacts as archives in the (post)colonial museum, 1850-1939

Postdoctoral Researcher: The Restitution of Knowledge – artefacts as archives in the (post)colonial museum, 1850 – 1939

Pitt Rivers Museum, South Parks Road, Oxford

Grade 7: £32,817 – £40,322 p.a.

Applications are invited for the position of Postdoctoral Researcher on the project The Restitution of Knowledge: artefacts as archives in the (post)colonial museum, 1850 – 1939, based at the Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford, and led by Professor Dan Hicks (Oxford) and Professor Bénédicte Savoy (Technische Universitaet, Berlin). The position is funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), and is a fixed-term position for 30 months, running from 1 August 2020 to 31 January 2023.

The Restitution of Knowledge is a major new transnational UK-German collaboration combining historical and curatorial approaches to understand the status of collections from the continent of Africa in European museums as colonial legacies. The project seeks to intervene in current dialogues about restitution by generating and sharing of knowledge about the ongoing histories of colonial loot. The project combines digital scholarship, provenance studies, and military history to expand public understanding and debate around incidents of colonial plunder, joining the dots between museum collections and these violent histories. The Restitution of Knowledge thus revaluates the status of anthropological museums as places filled not just with objects but also with historical knowledge of conflict, violence and loss. It explores how Europe’s “world culture” museums might be reframed as places of cultural memory, at which research can start to support restitution processes, from remembrance and the sharing of knowledge to the physical return of property.

The successful candidate will hold a PhD in anthropology, history, archaeology or another relevant discipline, completed before 1 July 2020. The post will start on 1 August 2020, or as soon as possible thereafter. Informal enquiries about this role can be sent to: dan.hicks@prm.ox.ac.uk.

The closing date for applications is 12.00 midday on Thursday 11 June 2020. Interviews are likely to take place week beginning 15 June 2020.

Applications are particularly welcome from black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic posts at the University of Oxford.

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