Postdoctoral Researcher in ERC project on Ecologies of Violence

Postdoctoral Researcher in ERC project on Ecologies of Violence

Geplaatst Deadline Locatie
7 mei 1 jun Utrecht

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Interested in researching the cultural imaginary of environmental violence in a vibrant interdisciplinary team? Join the ERC-funded project EcoViolence!


Interested in researching the cultural imaginary of environmental violence in a vibrant interdisciplinary team? Join the ERC Consolidator Grant project “Ecologies of Violence: Crimes against Nature in the Contemporary Cultural Imagination [EcoViolence]” as a postdoctoral researcher.

Wat ga je doen?
As a postdoctoral researcher you will be working on a subproject within the Consolidator Grant project EcoViolence (2024–2029) funded by the European Research Council (ERC) and directed by Dr Susanne C. Knittel (Principal Investigator, PI) at the department of Languages, Literature, and Communication. EcoViolence is an interdisciplinary, transnational, and comparative study of the cultural imaginary of environmental violence. The project’s aim is to understand how contemporary culture frames and remembers environmental degradation as violence; how it can make visible the deep historical roots that tie eco-violence to other histories of violence, especially colonialism and genocide; and how it articulates and reflects on questions of guilt, responsibility, and implication. EcoViolence will bring together research in cultural memory studies and ecocriticism in order to develop an innovative ecological model for the study of violence, its memory and representation. Furthermore, the project explores how these representations harness affect and emotion to promote critical self-reflection. The project focuses on narrative and visual media and takes a comparative, multilingual, and media-specific approach.

This subproject Aesthetics of Eco-Violence will contribute to current debates on the role of art in representing eco-violence and in raising awareness about the multidirectional links between histories of human and non-human exploitation. The focus will be on three main facets of contemporary art production: first, art installations and memorials that use the materiality of objects and natural forms, such as trees, ice, rocks, or sand to defamiliarise cultural spaces and provide an aesthetic and affective encounter with otherwise abstract or remote processes of slow violence. Second, artists who employ investigative methods and archival research in order to track and visualise the entangled legacies of eco-violence, genocide, and colonialism. Third, artists and collectives whose work blurs the boundary between art and science and who utilise interdisciplinary methodologies, not just representing and mediating but rather actively participating in the production of scientific knowledge. The subproject will explore the interaction between art and activism, social and environmental justice, focusing particularly on how contemporary art reflects on questions of guilt, responsibility, and implication. The subproject will draw on recent scholarship in cultural memory studies, eco-aesthetics, and affect theory. Its approach will be transnational and transcultural, and the methodology will be comparative, visual analysis as well as discourse analysis.

You will have the following tasks and responsibilities:
  • conducting research within the period of appointment;
  • publishing peer-reviewed journal articles or book chapters;
  • co-editing one special journal issue with the PI;
  • helping with the organisation of workshops and an international conference;
  • participating in project meetings, and closely collaborating with the other members of the research team;
  • helping with setting up and managing project data;
  • assisting with knowledge dissemination and other activities of the project;
  • presenting research results at national and international workshops and conferences.

You will be embedded within the Institute for Cultural Inquiry (ICON) and affiliated with the Utrecht Forum for Memory Studies and the Network for Environmental Humanities.


Universiteit Utrecht


General qualifications:
  • You hold a PhD degree in a relevant field (e.g. art history, visual culture, cultural analysis) at the time of appointment.
  • You have a proven track record of academic publications.
  • You have excellent command of spoken and written English.
  • You have very good reading and speaking ability of at least one of the following languages: Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Dutch. Knowledge of other world languages is desirable but not required.
  • You have demonstrable background in one or more of the research fields central to the project: cultural memory studies, eco-aesthetics, postcolonial or decolonial theory, affect theory, posthumanism.
  • You have team spirit and experience working in an interdisciplinary, international setting.
  • You are willing to travel abroad for research stays, conferences and workshops.
  • You have strong interpersonal, analytical and organisational skills.


We offer:
  • a job for 30 months;
  • a working week of 32 hours and a gross monthly salary between €4,036 and €4,332 in the case of full-time employment (salary scale 10.5-11.0 under the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU));
  • 8% holiday pay and 8.3% year-end bonus;
  • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave and flexible terms of employment based on the CAO NU.

In addition to the terms of employment laid down in the CAO NU, Utrecht University has a number of schemes and facilities of its own for employees. This includes schemes facilitating professional development, leave schemes and schemes for sports and cultural activities, as well as discounts on software and other IT products. We also offer access to additional employee benefits through our Terms of Employment Options Model. In this way, we encourage our employees to continue to invest in their growth. For more information, please visit Working at Utrecht University.


Universiteit Utrecht

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major strategic themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Pathways to Sustainability. Sharing science, shaping tomorrow.

The Faculty of Humanities has around 7,000 students and 1,100 staff members. It comprises four knowledge domains: Philosophy and Religious Studies, History and Art History, Media and Culture Studies, and Languages, Literature and Communication. With its research and education in these fields, the Faculty aims to contribute to a better understanding of the Netherlands and Europe in a rapidly changing social and cultural context. The enthusiastic and committed colleagues and the excellent amenities in the historical city centre of Utrecht, where the faculty is located, contribute to an inspiring working environment.


  • Postdoc
  • Gedrag en maatschappij
  • max. 32 uur per week
  • €3226—€5090 per maand
  • Gepromoveerd
  • 3887


Universiteit Utrecht

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