JOB: Research Group Leader, "Grammars of Dependency", Bonn (30.09.2019)

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Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies

Research Group Leader, "Grammars of Dependency"


Institution Type:  College / University
Location:  Germany
Position:  Post-Doctoral Fellow


The Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn is an international research university that offers a wide range of degree programs. With 200 years of history, about 38,000 students, over 6,000 employees, and an excellent domestic and international reputation, Bonn University is among Germany’s leading universities.


From 1 January onwards, the Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies seeks to employ for up to 6 (3+3 years), max. until 31 December 2025

1 Research Group Leader

Research Area A “Grammars of Dependency”


The successful candidate will be employed at the Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies (BCDSS): In September 2018, the BCDSS was awarded the status of "Cluster of Excellence" by the German Research Council. We are therefore recruiting early-career researchers who are interested in contributing to an outstanding interdisciplinary and international research centre. In the unique position of a Research Group Leader, you will be a key member of the BCDSS in a position to shape the BCDSS' future research strategy and research activities.

We are looking for applicants whose research focuses on forms of durable, asymmetrical individual, social and spatial dependency in societies (before the 20th century). By this we mean dependencies which are primarily connected to labour (slavery, serfdom, debt bondage, etc.) or linked to wider social dynamics (e.g. tribute, punishment, religion, etc).

Preference will be given to applicants interested in the history of concepts.

The successful candidate will be expected to take a leading role in the development of the Cluster of Excellence and its study programs.

Research Area A (Grammars of Dependency) aims at establishing a new language of analysis. It questions our own analytical vocabulary. The goal of Research Area A is the exploration of historical semantics, narrative patterns, and discursive structures depicting asymmetrical dependencies. The research group leader is therefore expected to contribute principally to the reflection of this research area.

The topic of the Research Group should be designed to provide broad conceptual entry points for the study of forms of strong asymmetrical dependencies. They are aimed at stimulating research with a global, epoch-spanning and multi-disciplinary approach. Therefore, the individual research projects of the members of each Research Group may deal with various contexts, while seeking to address the key issues of the Research Group.

Your tasks:

  • Designing the research profile for the Research Group for the study of strong asymmetrical dependencies in pre-modern societies
  • Recruiting two PhD candidates for the Research Group
  • Scientific coordination and development of the Research Group
  • Conducting an independent research project that will be concluded by a monograph
  • Developing innovative theoretical and methodological concepts
  • Organizing and participating in international seminars, workshops and conferences.
  • Creation of Networks within the international scientific community
  • Teaching at least two seminars to BA or MA students during the period of employment.

Your profile:

  • A postdoctoral researcher with at least 2 years of postdoctoral experience in one of the BCDSS’ or any related disciplines: History, Philology, Anthropology, Sociology, Law, Theology, Regional Studies, Art History.
  • An independent scholar who wants to shape research on coercion and dependency.
  • Interest in making comparisons across time and space and in exploring methodological and epistemological problems.
  • An interest in interdisciplinary and collaborative research.
  • The administrative and personal aptitude to lead a small team of researchers.

We offer:

  • Participation in the international research hub The Cluster of Excellence "Bonn Center of Dependency and Slavery Studies".
  • The opportunity of conducting independent research and the support that is necessary to do so.
  • An open, stimulating and interdisciplinary work environment where good ideas are encouraged and supported.
  • The opportunity to lead a Research Group and supervise two PhD-candidates.
  • An advanced training program that will give you a competitive advantage when seeking a permanent position and help you balance work and family life.
  • Mentoring by two experienced professors from The Cluster of Excellence.
  • Institutional support for applicants with families and for women.
  • TVL E 14 on the salary scale.

The BCDSS focuses its research on strong asymmetrical dependencies in pre-modern societies. Ten Research Groups will be at the core of this research. For information on the Research Groups, their role within the BCDSS, their connection with the five research areas within the BCDSS and the range of disciplines cooperating within the BCDSS, please see

Applicants are asked to submit:

  1. An application consisting of: (a) a letter of motivation (1 page); (b) a curriculum vitae; (c) a list of publications; and (d) one copy of your PhD certificate;
  2. An outline of the concept for a Research Group (max 6 A-4 pages):
    1. The general concept of the Research Group, outlining ideas for innovative methodological and theoretical approaches that benefit the BCDSS in general, and RA A in particular.
    2. Suggestions for seminars, workshops and/or other activities for the Research Group, RA A and the BCDSS more generally
    3. An outline of the individual research project.
    4. An outline of possible PhD projects that would fit the general concept of the Research Group and will benefit the BCDSS’ research aims
  3. The name and contact of two referees (position, professional address and e-mail).

The University of Bonn is committed to diversity and equal opportunity. It is certified as a family-friendly university and aims to increase the number of women employed in areas where women are under-represented and to promote their careers. To that end, it urges women with relevant qualifications to apply. Applications will be handled in accordance with the Landesgleichstellungsgesetz (State Equality Act). Applications from suitable candidates with a certified disability or equivalent status are particularly welcome.

If you are interested in this position, please send your complete application documents by 30 September 2019 to with the application code 50/19/3.202. Before sending your application, please combine and convert all of your documents into one PDF file. For further information please contact Jeannine Bischoff – managing director of the Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies, email:



Jeannine Bischoff
Managing Director
Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies
Adenauerallee 18-22
D-53113 Bonn

Primary Category:Humanities
Secondary Categories:African American History / Studies
African History / Studies
American History / Studies
Ancient History
Area Studies
Asian American History / Studies
Asian History / Studies
Atlantic History / Studies
Australian and New Zealand History / Studies
Black History / Studies
British History / Studies
Canadian History / Studies
Chicana/o History / Studies
Classical Studies
Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies
Cultural History / Studies
Early Modern History and Period Studies
East Asian History / Studies
European History / Studies
German History / Studies
Intellectual History
Islamic History / Studies
Italian History / Studies
Japanese History / Studies
Jewish History / Studies
Labor History / Studies
Law and Legal History
Latin American and Caribbean History / Studies
Local History
Maritime History / Studies
Medieval and Byzantine History / Studies
Middle East History / Studies
Military History
Native American History / Studies
Pre-Columbian History / Studies
Religious Studies and Theology
Research and Methodology
Rural History / Studies
Social History / Studies
South Asian History / Studies
Spanish and Portuguese History / Studies
Women, Gender, and Sexuality
Chinese History / Studies
Korean History / Studies
Eastern Europe History / Studies
Russian or Soviet History / Studies
Arabic History / Studies
Modern European History / Studies
Southeast Asian History / Studies
Colonial America
Comparative Literature
Posting Date:07/24/2019
Closing Date09/30/2019

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

Diese Ankündigung wurde von H-GERMANISTIK [Nils Gelker] betreut –