Institut für Klassische Philologie, Mittel- und Neulatein, Universitätsring 1, 1010 Wien

Stellenausschreibung: PhD-Stellen Universität Groningen

An der Universität Groningen werden aktuell zwei finanzierte PhD-Stellen im Rahmen eines ERC-Projekts (in englischer Sprache) ausgeschrieben:

Applications are invited for two fully funded, four-year PhD positions in Classical Literature within the research project Roman Making and its Meanings: Representations of Manual Creation in the Literature and Art of Imperial Rome (Acronym: FACERE), financed by the European Research Council (ERC) and led by Dr Bettina Reitz-Joosse ( Both PhD projects relate to processes of manufacture, ‘making’, in Roman literature. How did Greek and Latin authors of the Roman empire represent processes of making in their texts? Each of the projects approaches this question from a particular angle. In their cover letter and research statement, applicants must clearly state a preference for one of the two projects, but will automatically be considered for both positions.

In the first PhD project, ‘Sustainable Processes of Making in Roman Literature’, the chosen candidate will analyse depictions of manual production in the literature of the Roman empire (i.e. spinning, weaving, woodworking, stone carving, or glassblowing) from an ecocritical perspective. Questions that may be addressed in this project include: is there such a thing as ‘sustainable making’ in Roman thought? How do authors portray the interaction of humans and the environment in processes of making? What metaphors do they employ and how can we interpret them? How do they depict the distribution of agency between human maker, tool, and material? What ethical considerations do different authors connect with particular materials, or particular forms of making? The selected candidate will be able to design their own project around one or more of these questions, and may choose to focus on particular approaches, authors, or themes.

The second PhD project, ‘Making and the Senses in Roman Literature’, focuses on the multisensory nature of processes of making. Makers use their sensory awareness – their perception of how something looks, sounds, feels, or smells – to guide them during the process of manufacture. For observers, too, making is a multisensory experience: they feel the heat of a furnace, hear the noises of weaving, or smell the smell of paint. The dissertation will examine how Roman literature captures, refracts and interprets the sensory side of making in ancient Rome. Questions that may be addressed include: When and how are sensory experiences of making evoked in Roman texts? What images or metaphors are used to convey them? How do narrative descriptions of making depict or create embodied experiences? Are there particular aesthetic or moral dimensions to the narration of smell, sound, or touch? The selected candidate will be able to design their own project around one or more of these questions and may choose to focus on particular approaches, authors, or themes.

The two PhD candidates will write individual dissertations, but also work as part of a team which will also include the principal investigator, a post-doctoral researcher, and two research assistants. Together, the team will work towards a new understanding of the ethics and aesthetics of making in the Roman world. The positions offer the opportunity to be part of an inspiring international university environment, to gain valuable research and teaching experience, and to collaborate with the other team members in the organisation of workshops and public engagement activities.

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