The Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis
(ASCA) currently has a vacant PhD position as part of the ERC-funded research project Fashioning Power through South-South Interaction: Re-thinking Creativity, Authenticity, Cultural Mediation and Consumer Agency along China-Africa Fashion Value Chains
, led by main researcher dr. Tommy Tse. ASCA is one of the five Research Schools within the Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research
. ASCA is home to more than 120 scholars and 160 PhD candidates, and is a world-leading international research school in Cultural Analysis. ASCA members share a commitment to working in an interdisciplinary framework and to maintaining a close connection with contemporary cultural and political debates.What are you going to do
This PhD position is embedded in the ERC-funded research project Fashioning Power through South-South Interaction: Re-thinking Creativity, Authenticity, Cultural Mediation and Consumer Agency along China-Africa Fashion Value Chains
. The aims of the project are 1) to move beyond a Western-centric epistemology to map the chains, restraints and materialities of China's power expansion through everyday fashion; 2) to collect and triangulate empirical information along complete South-South commodity chains through multi-sited ethnography, semiotic and visual analysis, individual and focus group interviews, wardrobe archival studies, and other digital methods; and 3) to provide evidence of how Chinese-African fashion industries impact upon the social, cultural, economic and affective lives of Eastern African consumers in the context of increasing globalisation, digitalisation, consumerism, and China's ambition abroad.
While the ERC-funded research as a whole will use an assortment of research methods to map out the (1) production, (2) trade, (3) retail, and (4) consumption processes of fashion products along the China-Africa fashion value chains, the PhD researcher - focussing on one of the four subprojects - will primarily focus on the second stage (trade) and work closely with one Postdoc researcher (first stage, production) in the fieldsites, the main researcher (dr. Tommy Tse), and another full professor from the Media Studies Department (as co-supervisor).
The PhD's research includes the following:
Your tasks and responsibilities:
- Conducting ethnography in key trading sites in China in his/her second and third year of study, including wholesale markets, trade shows and online trading platforms (the fieldsites are primarily based in Guangzhou, but may also extend to other Chinese cities following the full fashion value chains);
- Building rapports and carrying out formal interviews and informal dialogues with various actors (e.g. designers, traders, trend forecasters, wholesalers), observing their everyday work procedures, work conditions and online-and-offline social interactions with others, and partaking in both their work-related and leisure activities;
- Joining the full research team for a short multi-sited ethnographic visit to Eastern Africa (Nairobi, Kenya and/or Maputo, Mozambique) in his/her third year of study.
- Conducting research and completing a PhD thesis within the period of appointment;
- Publishing three peer-reviewed journal articles within the period of appointment;
- Setting up and managing project data (while taking into consideration the project's risk analysis, and complying to its data management plan);
- Participating in the meetings of the project, and closely collaborating with the main researcher, 2 other Postdoc researchers, and 1 other PhD;
- Assisting with knowledge dissemination and with the organization of project workshops, conferences and a creative exhibition;
- Presenting research results at national and international workshops and conferences;
- Contributing to the content of the project website with your research findings.