25/06/2021
The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers

Assistant Professor

This job offer has expired


  • ORGANISATION/COMPANY
    University of Warsaw
  • RESEARCH FIELD
    Cultural studies
    Literature
  • RESEARCHER PROFILE
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
  • APPLICATION DEADLINE
    30/08/2021 23:00 - Europe/Brussels
  • LOCATION
    Poland › Warszawa
  • TYPE OF CONTRACT
    Temporary
  • JOB STATUS
    Full-time
  • HOURS PER WEEK
    40
  • REFERENCE NUMBER
    IA-1210/3/2021

OFFER DESCRIPTION

Call for a position for Assistant Professor

at the Institute of English Studies, Faculty of Modern Languages

Institution

University of Warsaw, Institute of English Studies, Faculty of Modern Languages

Position

Assistant Professor (post-doc)

Job type

Research

Number of positions

1

Scientific discipline:

Literary studies/cultural studies

Key words

animal studies, human-animal studies, ecocriticism, interspecies relations, Anthropocene, pastoralism

Type of employment

Fixed term employment contract

Working pattern

Full time

Salary

PLN 10,000 per month (incl. employer’s and employee’s tax and social security contributions) which is ca. PLN 5500 after taxes

Position starts on

1 November 2021

Period of employment

36 months

Description

This is a full-time research position (36 months) in the project “Figurations of Interspecies Harmony in Literature, Film and Other Cultural Texts of the English-Speaking Sphere, from the mid-19th to the 21st Centuries” led by Justyna Włodarczyk, funded by National Science Centre Poland (NCN) in the Sonata BIS scheme.

All inquiries regarding the position should be directed to Justyna Włodarczyk, j.wlodarczyk@uw.edu.pl

The place of employment is going to be the Institute of English Studies, University of Warsaw, ul. Hoża 69, 00-681, Warsaw, Poland

Job description and responsibilities

  1. Conducting research tasks in the project, including preparing and conducting eye-tracking studies in cooperation with other members of the research team, including analyzing representations of interspecies relationships in literary and cultural texts while applying the critical perspective of animal studies.
  2. Processing research data and its analysis
  3. Preparing publications with research results
  4. Presenting research results at scientific conferences
  5. Other tasks necessary to carry out the project as requested by the Principal Investigator

Key requirements and qualifications

Key requirements:

  • PhD in humanities or social sciences (literary studies, cultural studies, cultural history or similar)
  • Proficiency in English (written and spoken) at the C2 level
  • Knowledge of research methods typical for literary or cultural studies and documented experience with carrying out such research
  • Familiarity with methodologies used in animal studies, documented with previous publications in the field of animal studies
  • Excellent organisational and time management skills
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Excellent computer skills, including MS Office (Word).

Experience in the following will be an advantage:

  • Interest in representations of animals in religious discourses and interest in postsecularism

Application

To apply, please send an email to j.wlodarczyk@uw.edu.pl with the following documents (see the attachments):

  1. An employment application addressed to the UW Rector (PDF file with an electronic signature/signature scan)
  2. Personal questionnaire for the person applying for employment (available at BSP UW website: https://bsp.adm.uw.edu.pl/bsp-druki-do-pobrania/ )
  3. Statement that UW will be your primary place of employment (available at BSP UW website: https://bsp.adm.uw.edu.pl/bsp-druki-do-pobrania/)
  4. Information on personal data processing - PDF file with an electronic signature/signature scan (available at BSP UW website: https://bsp.adm.uw.edu.pl/bsp-druki-do-pobrania/)
  5. Declaration that they have read and accepted the rules for conducting competitions at the University of Warsaw (PDF file with an electronic signature/signature scan) set forth in UW Rector’s Ordinance No. 106 dated 28 September 2019 available here: https://inicjatywadoskonalosci.uw.edu.pl/wp-content/uploads/sites/11/202...
  6. CV in English including a list of publications
  7. Cover letter in English, max. 2 pages A4
  8. A scanned copy of your PhD diploma
  9. A list of max. 2 people whom we can contact for references (their name, affiliation and email)
  10. A PDF copy of your recent research article (published not longer than 2 years ago)

Please send the above documents as PDF files which include your last name in the file name.

Successful applicant will be required to submit an original paper copy of these documents.

How to apply

Please send an email to j.wlodarczyk@uw.edu.pl with “post-doc” in the subject line

Closing date for applications

30 August 2021

Interview (invited applicants online)

31 August-10 September 2021

Notification of the results

By 15 September 2021

Results will be announced

By email

 

The candidate will be employed in accordance with the regulations of the National Science Centre Poland and the University of Warsaw. The candidate must meet all of the following criteria:

  • The Principal Investigator of this project was not a supervisor or a co-supervisor of the candidate’s doctoral dissertation.
  • The candidate obtained their PhD in a higher education institution other than the University of Warsaw.
  • The candidate had not been employed at the University of Warsaw under employment contract for a period of two years before the start of employment in the project.
  • At the time of receiving this remuneration the candidate will not receive any other remuneration from NCN funds awarded as direct costs.
  • During the employment period in the project, the candidate will not be employed elsewhere and will not receive any other remuneration under the employment contract with any other employer, both in and outside of Poland.
  • The candidate must have obtained their doctoral degree not earlier than 7 years before the year of starting employment in the project. This period does not include career breaks related to maternity leave, child-care leave or parental leave, granted in accordance with the provisions set forth in the Labour Code or in relation with a sickness benefit or rehabilitation benefit in connection with inability to work, including sickness resulting in medical rehabilitation. For women, the 7-year period indicated above can be extended by 18 months for each born or adopted child. A woman can choose which method of calculating the career break is more favourable for her.

The position is open only to candidates who meet the criteria set forth in Article 113 of the Law on Higher Education dated 20 July 2018 (Journal of Laws 2021 item 478).

The Selection Committee will short-list candidates who will be invited for interview. The interviews will be held (most probably online) between August 31 and September 10 2021.

Please note that this call is the first stage of the recruitment procedure for the position of Assistant professor specified in the University of Warsaw Statute. Its positive conclusion will be the basis for further proceedings. Only the short-listed candidates will be invited to an online interview. The University of Warsaw reserves the right to cancel the competition without providing reasons.

 

Project description

Scientific Goal of the Project The project focuses on considering the questions “What strategies have been used in narrative and visual depictions of “desirable” human-animal coexistence? What factors have influenced the development of these strategies?” through a careful and detailed analysis of various figurations of “desirable” human animal-relationships produced in North America and in Great Britain, in the period 1850s-2000s. The project is going to analyze literary depictions and various visualizations of these ideas – from utopian literature of the nineteenth century to the very contemporary trend of heartwarming “viral” videos depicting interspecies friendship through the aesthetics of cuteness. Some of these cultural texts were crafted specifically with the goal of providing solutions to what were/are perceived as pressing issues directly related to interspecies coexistence, while others present these positive relationships as a side-text. An obvious and strong hypothesis for beginning the research is that in the earlier texts, harmonious coexistence is the result of careful but active human stewardship of nature, while the more contemporary texts and narrative modes depict the non-human animals themselves as more active agents in the processes of shaping interspecies harmony: interspecies friendships become model templates for performing acts of kindness. Another strong hypothesis, largely tied to the preceding one, is the growing secularization of depictions of interspecies harmony in British and American literature and art between the mid-19th century and the 21st . It is in the mid-19 century, when the traditional Christian symbolism flowing directly from the Book of Isaiah’s “the lion and the lamb” gradually begins to be abandoned in favor of a range of other non-religious connotations. It is also interesting how contemporary environmentalist/animal studies discourses rehash the old “peaceable kingdom” imagery in a new postsecular framework. The primary sources for this project range from “high” literature, through popular literature (here, especially children’s literature and cinema, due to its overtly didactic character, abound in depictions of model human-animal coexistence, or at least aim to teach children how to interact with animals), popular Hollywood cinema and various performances (nonovertly artistic, but rather explicitly educational or entertaining) incorporating animals (from descriptions and illustrations of nineteenth century “dog and pony” shows to instructional videos produced by animal “experts” like Monty Roberts (aka The Horse Whisperer) or Temple Grandin. This project brings together cultural texts that have not been seen as forming a specific canon: they are divergent and have rarely been read together. However, it is precisely through the juxtaposition of these couplings (like nineteenth century animal exhibits and contemporary Instagram videos, or Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s utopia Herland and Disney’s Zootopia) that new understandings of broader discourses can emerge. The strength of the project lies not only in its bringing together of texts that have not been read as related, but also in its potential influence on both academic and non-academic debate and public consciousness. After all, the topic is closely tied to very practical questions which define contemporary public discourse: how can humans – to paraphrase Haraway – live response-ably with other beings? While the goal is NOT to provide prescriptive guidelines for the general public, the deconstruction of some of the images and narratives that circulate in the public sphere as answers has potential for changing not only academic but also public discourse; to encourage consumers of these narratives to rethink their own interactions with them. Of course, to achieve this goal, a level of public involvement is going to be a necessary part of the project and this is why activities such as blogging, running a Twitter account and interviews with the media are also planned. Luckily, the animal turn in the academia is accompanied by huge public interest in animals and a general reconceptualization of human-animal relationships. In other words, a huge community receptive to the ideas developed by the team exists and can easily be harnessed. In terms of its significance for the field of animal studies and the broader environmental humanities, the project is going to fill a gap in existing research and, hopefully, provide guidance for the field’s development. Significantly, it can also serve as something of a lens of self-examination, 2 as it probes certain aesthetic and narrative strategies that are sometimes adopted by animal rights and environmentalist activist discourses. While animal studies is undeniably linked to pro-animal activism and the environmental humanities to ecological activism, the purpose of academic research coming from within these field should always focus on the truth-telling (parrhesia, using Foucault’s terminology) function. If environmentalist discourses tend to create certain myths of their own, there exists a moral imperative to deconstruct these myths just like any other myths. The predominance of the aesthetics and affects of cuteness can, paradoxically, have negative effects on the animals themselves, as humans form unrealistic expectation about human-animal interactions and the animal umwelt. Regardless of the detailed findings of the project, the very act of examining the figurations that constitute “interspecies harmony” brings to the surface the cultural constructedness of this often-unexamined concept.

More Information

Offer Requirements

Skills/Qualifications

Key requirements:

  • PhD in humanities or social sciences (literary studies, cultural studies, cultural history or similar)
  • Proficiency in English (written and spoken) at the C2 level
  • Knowledge of research methods typical for literary or cultural studies and documented experience with carrying out such research
  • Familiarity with methodologies used in animal studies, documented with previous publications in the field of animal studies
  • Excellent organisational and time management skills
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Excellent computer skills, including MS Office (Word).

Experience in the following will be an advantage:

Interest in representations of animals in religious discourses and interest in postsecularism

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Uniwersytet Warszawski
Poland
Warszawa
00-927
Krakowskie Przedmieście 32

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Know more about it at University of Warsaw

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EURAXESS offer ID: 656298

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