As part of the Horizon 2023 project CONCILIARE (CONfidetly ChangIng coLonIAl heritage) that has been awarded funding under Horizon Europe Research and Innovation Action (RIA), we are looking for a postdoctoral researcher for 34 months, starting 1 May 2024. You will be part of a large international consortium of research (i.e., seven European universities) and societal partners (e.g., museums of colonial history). Your job
You will work at the European Research Centre on Migration and Ethnic Relations
(ERCOMER) at the department of Interdisciplinary Social Science
at Utrecht University. ERCOMER has a strong track record in interethnic relations with a particular focus on international migration, group identities and cultural diversity, and intergroup relations. ERCOMER is part of the Dutch research school Interuniversity Center for Social Science Theory and Methodology
CONCILIARE will investigate changes in colonial cultural heritage (CCH) in Europe across four domains: textbooks, public spaces, museums, and products and traditions. The aim is to develop evidence-based methods that promote confidence and intergroup dialogue related to these changes.
As a postdoc, you will be part of work package led by Utrecht University on cultural products and traditions associated with the colonial history. This sub-project aims at gaining a deeper understanding of how and when changes in cultural consumption of products (e.g., foods) and traditions related to CCH (e.g., blackface make-up performances, such as the tradition of Black Pete in the Netherlands) can foster positive societal change (i.e., less tolerance of controversial practices and better intergroup relations) as well as help increase confidence in the changing societies of the present and future in European youngsters (adolescents and young adults). The specific objectives of the project are:
- to gain a deeper understanding of the ways in which youth of ethnic majority and colonial origin minority backgrounds in Europe think about and feel about changes in cultural consumption of products and traditions related to colonial heritage;
- to conduct studies in four European countries on how attitudes about and emotional reactions to changes in cultural consumption of products and traditions related to colonial heritage affect relations between ethnic majorities and minorities as well as a sense of confidence in the future;
- to develop an evidence-based method for teaching about changes in cultural consumption of colonial heritage focusing on products and traditions with colonial symbolism.
You will implement a mixed-methods design to reach these objectives. This means that you will design, conduct, and coordinate different parts of the data collection in collaboration with researchers from other European countries. You will start by organising and conducting focus groups with youngsters from ethnic majority and colonial origin minority groups. This will be done in three European countries with a colonial past (the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy) and one without direct connections with colonialism (Croatia). Building on the findings from this qualitative study, you will subsequently coordinate and conduct studies with survey-embedded experiments in the above-mentioned European countries. One set of experiments will focus on food products with colonial connotations and one set on traditions of blackface make-up and costumes. Finally, based on the results of the qualitative and quantitative studies, you will coordinate and develop a podcast series (in collaboration with researchers from the other European countries) for high school and university teachers on how to discuss changes in products and traditions related to CCH.
You will work together with Dr Borja Martinović
(work package leader) and Dr Anouk Smeekes
(co-leader of the work package) and you will be a member of the CONCILIARE consortium. 80% of a fulltime appointment is reserved for research time. Apart from that, you can choose to enlarge the contract by spending an additional 20% on teaching.
Core tasks include:
- coordinating, conducting and analysing focus groups in four European countries;
- coordinating, conducting and analysing surveys with embedded experiments in four European countries;
- reporting results at consortium meetings;
- reporting results at conferences and in articles in peer-reviewed journals;
- project (work package) management.