The University of Groningen seeks a highly motivated candidate for a postdoc position within a project funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO), for a period of 35 months.
The project is entitled “Culture Wars and Modern Worldviews: A Transnational Conceptual History” and is located in the Department of Christianity and the History of Ideas. The core research team will consist of the P.I., Prof. Dr. Todd H. Weir, and two postdoctoral scholars, with one focusing on the history of anthropology and/or religious studies, and the second providing expertise in digital humanities.
The aim of this project is to develop a model of the formative power of culture wars in shaping modern thought, politics and religion by investigating the history of the concept of “worldview.” It is a transnational and multilingual project, that traces the history of worldview from its popularization in nineteenth-century Germany, to its invocation by Dutch and North American Christian thinkers, to its use by political ideologies such as National Socialism, to its contemporary usage in Latin America in the context of arguments about indigenous rights.
The postdoctoral scholar will contribute to research into the impact of worldview-thinking on theory production in academic disciplines concerned with religion and the secular. Following training in the project methodology, which combines conceptual history with digital humanities techniques, the postdoc will co-design and then carry out research into the role of worldview in the history of religious studies and anthropology from around 1900 to the recent calls for replacing religious studies with “worldview studies.” In particular, the postdoc will look at the role of international anthropological research in the translation of Weltanschauung into the Spanish cosmovisión and its application to indigenous cultures in Latin America. The project team is interested in the role of theories of worldview/cosmovisión in the “ontological turn” in contemporary anthropology and will explore its appropriation by public actors advocating for indigenous rights.
Tasks and responsibilities:
- Semi-autonomous research in the history of anthropology and/or religious studies from ca. 1900 to the present, with the ability to engage in transnational investigations
- Learning and utilization of digital humanities techniques of conceptual history
- Presenting research results at conferences and workshops
- Publishing academic articles
- Participating in regular meetings with the other project team members
- Participation in teaching activities related to the research
- Assisting in communication tasks, such as co-managing project website, writing blog posts, participating actively in creation of a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course).