Position: Seven Fully Funded Four Year PhD Studentship
Organisation: University of Göttingen / Seven European Museums
Location: Göttingen and Collaborating Institutions
Closing Date: 30/04/2018
Salary: Tuition Fees, Maintenance, Research Expenses for Four Years
University of Göttingen:
- Department of Art History with Professor of the Materiality of Knowledge, Dr Margarete Vöhringer
- Senior research professors working in a range of disciplines and departments
- Zentrale Kustodie / University Museums
- National Museum of World Cultures, Netherlands
- Historisches Museum, Frankfurt
- Museum of the Second World War, Gdansk
- Haus der Europäischen Geschichte, Brussels
- Völkerkundemuseum der Universität Zürich
- Gustavianum, Uppsala Universitetsmuseum
- ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien, Karlsruhe
- Deutsches Medizinhistorisches Museum, Ingolstadt
‘Exhibiting Knowledge / Knowledge in Exhibitions. An Epistemic History of Exhibitions in the Second Half of the 20th Century’
These studentships are open to applications from international students regardless of nationality. They are advertised in English and German and these are the languages of the research colloquium.
The stipendiary support payment over the four-year period of the studentship will be pro-rata at 65% of the German TV-L E13 position salary.
Exhibitions are spaces where society absorbs, negotiates, changes, and mediates current and past knowledge. They are interpretative institutions creating meaningful reference points. They serve to affirm cultural and social categories and how societies perceive themselves. Thus, they play a decisive role in the process of generating and negotiating knowledge in knowledge-based societies.
The planned Research Training Group will examine the interdependent field on which knowledge and exhibitions met in the second half of the 20th century. It will use seven case studies to analyse this relationship based on history of knowledge approaches. What kinds of knowledge, already circulating in academic and social discourses, found its way into an exhibition? Who are the people possessing and mediating knowledge? How do exhibitions explain and interpret this knowledge? How do they translate knowledge into spatial object arrangements? What are the selection processes and how is knowledge changed in these processes?
We assume that exhibitions are the results of multi-layered negotiation processes visible for a short period of time. This involves a wide range of visible and invisible actors and is characterised by a multitude of explicit and implicit contexts. Hence, in addition to the common study of written and pictorial sources that originated from the conception, implementation and reception of exhibitions, a comprehensive analysis of the interdependencies between knowledge and exhibitions needs to focus also on implicit and tacit knowledge, which is generally not recorded in writing. Consequently, the seven doctoral students will spend a year of their total four-year funding phase at a cooperating museum in order to understand the complexities at work in preparing exhibitions and also the effects of the exhibitions’ impact. During this hands-on phase they cooperate in preparation of an exhibition and by doing so gain another perspective on the historical material they work with.
The combination of theory and practice in the curriculum safeguards that the seven doctoral students pursue an extended research approach. At the same time, the practical year enables them to gather skills and experiences during their qualification phase and to establish networks important for their future academic careers, but in particular their careers outside of universities.
The program will also further develop and expand the networks of non-university institutions of knowledge transfer and structured doctoral education by sustaining the contacts of doctoral students established within the framework of the Research Training Group.
The subjects of the seven collaborative doctoral projects are:
- Exhibiting colonial knowledge: Museums of European colonial powers since the 1960s.
- Exhibiting migration? A history of knowledge of a thematic constriction.
- War – Remembering, Experiencing, Weeping: About knowledge production in WW2 exhibitions at the crime scenes.
- Researching and exhibiting Ethnology.
- The Viking – A myth: Design and backlash on museum communication.
- Knowledge of pictures: Visual argumentation in exhibitions.
- The ‘show value‘ of human remains: Exhibitions as actors in the medical-ethical discourse.