2 PhD Positions in project Translating Memories: The Eastern European Past in the Global Arena 

Job description
Translating Memories: The Eastern European Past in the Global Arena, funded by the European Research Council (ERC), is being carried out at the School of Humanities, Tallinn University (2020-2024). Principal Investigator (PI) is Dr. Eneken Laanes. The project is recruiting two PhD students. The appointment will start on 1 February 2021. The maximum duration of the contract is 48 months.

Aims of Translating Memories 
The project explores post-Soviet Central and Eastern European attempts to make their local histories of the Second World War and the Socialist regime known globally. It examines these efforts through aesthetic media of memory – literature, film and art – that circulate globally and bring local experiences to global audiences and through the heated public debates that these works of art have provoked in different national and transnational contexts. What memorial forms have been used to make Eastern European memories intelligible in the global arena? What is gained and what is lost in this translation? What can the different ways that aesthetic acts of memory are received nationally and transnationally tell us about the frictions between these scales of memory and within the national itself? How has the globalisation of memory practices reinforced national memory in Eastern Europe? The project argues that the recently reinforced comparative and competitive political discourses about twentieth-century totalitarianisms in Eastern Europe can only be understood by exploring the arts that have developed more productive comparative and translational approaches and can therefore help to untangle the most recalcitrant nodes of confrontational political discourses and addressing the ethical and political complexity of remembering war and state terror.
The aesthetic media of memory (literature, film, art, museums) are studied in the contexts of wider memory cultures, including their relationship to the politics of memory of different (trans)national memory cultures. The project aims to offer a comparative and transnational view of Central and Eastern European attempts to negotiate their entangled histories of twentieth-century totalitarianisms within the global framework.

The project has an opening for two PhD researchers. This is a renewed call with a narrowed down regional focus.

2 PhD positions in ‘Memories of WWII and Socialist Past in Polish or Belarussian or Baltic literature, film, art or museums, 1990–2020’
The main aim of the sub-project is to examine how the memories of WWII and socialist past are represented in one or several aesthetic media of memory within one or several national and transnational contexts in East Central Europe, with a specific focus on Poland, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia or Estonia. Preference will be given to literature, film and art over museums.

The PhD researchers will join a team of three postdoctoral researchers and three PhD researchers and affiliated scholars at the interdisciplinary and international School of Humanities.

Your tasks as PhD candidate will include
- completion and defense of a PhD thesis within four years; regular presentation of intermediate research results at workshops and conferences;
- publication of at least two articles in journals or edited volumes;
- co-organisation of project workshops and conferences;
- participation in all project-related activities, including outreach activities;
- some teaching duties;
- participation, where relevant, in the training programmes offered by the Estonian Graduate School of Culture Studies and Arts.

- Master's degree, or equivalent in a relevant discipline (a.o. Slavic Studies, Literary and Cultural Studies, Film Studies, Art History, Memory Studies or in a related field);
- an excellent academic track record;
- demonstrable affinity with cultural memory studies;
- excellent English, academic writing and presentation skills (at least on the level C1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages);
- ability to read primary source materials in the languages relevant to the individual project;
- ability to meet deadlines and work both as an independent researcher and as a team member;
- good organisational, social and communication skills.

Workload: 1,0 FTE. Appointment will start on 1 February 2021 and the maximum duration of the contract is 4 years subject to positive evaluation of research in the course of studies. The PhD researcher will be enrolled in an interdisciplinary doctoral programme in Cultural Studies. The PhD researcher will be offered a doctoral allowance € 660 per month and a gross salary of € 747 per month. The position includes full social security coverage. Funding is available for international research trips and conference attendance. The PhD researchers are expected to live in Tallinn and work at the premises of Tallinn University.

About Tallinn University
Tallinn University is a young, vibrant public university located in Tallinn, a charming city with a medieval Old Town on the Baltic coast, offering a safe and high quality of life and an affordable cost of living. Tallinn University is the largest university of Humanities in Tallinn and the third biggest public university in Estonia with more than 7,500 students (9.5% of them international), and over 800 employees.
The School of Humanities at Tallinn University is a competence centre for a wide range of knowledge and experience in humanities. The School has a strong international background with both staff and students from a number of different countries. The School is home to research centers such as TU Centre of Excellence in Intercultural Studies, Centre for Landscape and Culture and Centre of History, Archaeology and Art History.

Required application documents (shall be submitted only in English).

The candidates are expected to submit the following documents (in .pdf format if possible) for preview before applying on the application database:

  • one or two-page CV 
  • research proposal of max 1500 words (not including footnotes, references and bibliography). It should outline the research that you wish to pursue in your PhD dissertation and connect it to the Translating Memories project. It should demonstrate knowledge of the state of the art in the field, formulate a research question and include a description of methodology and a short bibliography. When drafting your research proposal please indicate also the ways in which your research would intersect with the project and contribute to it, as well as how your past research activities have prepared you for a position in the „Translating Memories” project team.
  • A one page description of candidate’s teaching experience so far and a vision of the possible teaching assignments to be conducted during the PhD studies at Tallinn University

Questions about the research project and the PhD proposal should be sent to Dr Eneken Laanes, eneken.laanes@tlu.ee.

Read about the admission process to the Studies of Cultures PhD programme

Full information on application (deadline 1 November 2020)

Additional information about PhD admission:
Maris Peters maris.peters@tlu.ee