JOB: PhD Position (100%), University of Lucerne (23.07.2023)

Steven Howe Discussion

We are looking to appoint a PhD Researcher (100%) to join the project “Imagining Justice: Law, Politics and Popular Visual Culture in Weimar Germany”, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and based out of the University of Lucerne. 

The SNSF project is an interdisciplinary undertaking that will explore the relations between law, justice and popular visual culture during the era of the Weimar Republic. The overarching aim is to develop a set of new and innovative critical perspectives on the following three key points of focus: (i) the forms of legal image-making engendered by the visual media of the Weimar era; (ii) the meanings these images generate in the context(s) of their production, circulation and reception; and (iii) the cultural work these images perform in fostering and shaping a popular legal imagination outside the formal spaces of law and politics.

Within this framework, the successful candidate is expected to write a PhD thesis focusing on the forms, meanings and effects of photographic representations of law and justice during the Weimar period. The project will sit at the crossroads of German cultural and legal history on the one hand, and of visual culture and aesthetic theory on the other.

The exact angle and focus of the PhD can be discussed with the project leader. Supervisory and co-supervisory arrangements can be tailored to the candidate’s own main disciplinary domain (German studies, history, legal theory, legal history, visual studies, cultural studies). 

The project will include two further sub-projects on cinema (Dr. Steven Howe) and visual art (Dr. Laura Petersen).


Activities and Responsibilities

The successful candidate will be expected to dedicate 80% of their work time to the PhD thesis, which is to be completed within four years. They will be supervised and supported by the other members of the project team, and encouraged to disseminate their research at conferences and via publications. The remaining 20% of their time will be spent contributing to the organisation and delivery of other project activities (publications, conferences, workshops, public-facing events).

The salary will be in line with SNSF guidelines, starting at ca. 47’000.- CHF in the first year.

Start date: 1 September 2023 or by agreement.



  • Master’s degree in German studies, history, law, visual studies, photography, cultural studies or another relevant discipline
  • Aptitude for interdisciplinary work
  • Openness to critical and creative thinking
  • Willingness to work collaboratively as part of a team with ambitious aims
  • Ability to work independently with the support of supervisor and other project team members
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Excellent English and German skills

For an informal discussion about the role, please contact Dr. Steven Howe ( A detailed summary of the project is available on request.

Please submit applications (letter of motivation, CV with details of two referees, in English or German) by 23 July 2023 to


Redaktion: Constanze Baum – Lukas Büsse – Mark-Georg Dehrmann – Nils Gelker – Markus Malo – Alexander Nebrig – Johannes Schmidt

Diese Ankündigung wurde von H-GERMANISTIK [Lukas Büsse] betreut –