Postdoctoral Research Associates

University of Cambridge

4 Posts

Applications are invited for four three-year Postdoctoral Research Associates (PDRAs) to work on the European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant project (2017-22), ARCTIC CULT , Arctic Cultures: Sites of Collection in the Formation of the European and American Northlands, led by Dr. Richard Powell.

The project investigates the construction of the Arctic that emerged from the exploration of the region by Europeans and North Americans and their contacts with indigenous people from the middle of the sixteenth century. It examines that ways that texts, cartographic representations and objects were collected and returned to sites like London, Copenhagen, Berlin and Philadelphia. The construction of the Arctic thereby became entwined within the growth of colonial museum cultures and, indeed, western modernity. This project delineates the networks and collecting cultures involved in this creation of Arctic Cultures. It involves research at museums, archives, libraries and repositories across Europe and North America, as well as in Greenland and the Canadian Arctic. The project aspires to a new understanding of the consequences of colonial representations and decolonial processes for debates about the Circumpolar Arctic today.

The project is based in the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI) and Department of Geography, University of Cambridge. The holders of the four posts will have office space in the SPRI.

Candidates will have (or be about to obtain) a PhD (or similar qualification) and may also have some postdoctoral experience in a relevant area. Relevant subject areas include but are not limited to: human geography, cultural anthropology, colonial history, museum studies, global history, history of science, science and technology studies, history of art or material cultural studies. Candidates will have knowledge and/or experience of research into the cultures and peoples of the Circumpolar Arctic (or related issues), the ability to work independently and with colleagues in a team, and good data analysis and communication skills. Fluency in English is essential for all posts. For each of the four posts, knowledge and reading of relevant languages is desirable, including ability in one or more of the following languages, among others: Inuktitut, Kalaallisut, Danish, German, Norwegian, Swedish (see the Further Particulars for specific information on each post).

The successful candidates will be expected to undertake research at relevant museums, archives, libraries and repositories across Europe and North America, as well as in Greenland and the Canadian Arctic, in support of their case study. In addition to academic outputs, the project will create a website, an exhibition, a major international conference, a series of workshops, seminars and public events. All team members will take active roles in these activities.

Preferred start date for each post is 1 October 2018 and the posts are funded for three years.  The salary range is £31,604 to £38,833.

The closing date for applications is 30 April 2018.

Interviews for shortlisted candidates will be held on 21/22 May 2018 in Cambridge.

Please apply online via

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