Beyond Restitution: Heritage, (Dis)Possession and The Politics of Knowledge

Call for Applications

Starting on July 1st, 2024, the Forum is looking for a

Postdoctoral Research Fellow (f/m/d)

for the research project BEYOND RESTITUTION: HERITAGE, (DIS)POSSESSION AND THE POLITICS OF KNOWLEDGE (BEYONDREST) (EG 13 TV-L, full time, location: Berlin, fixed-term contract until June 30th, 2026, a one-year extension is aspired).

BEYOND RESTITUTION: HERITAGE, (DIS)POSSESSION AND THE POLITICS OF KNOWLEDGE (BEYONDREST) is an interdisciplinary research project, funded by the European Research Council (Grant Agreement No. 101045661). At the Forum, it is affiliated with the research program EUROPE IN THE MIDDLE EAST – THE MIDDLE EAST IN EUROPE (EUME). Against the backdrop of ongoing debates about decolonializing museums, the interdisciplinary research project BEYONDREST takes restitution not as an endpoint but as the point of departure to explore what kind of loss dispossessed artworks engender, and how this loss has shaped the knowledge production on heritage. Geographically it focuses on the interlocution between Western Europe, the Near and Middle East, and North Africa, mapping relationships between people and “things†that have largely been left out of current restitution debates. The research is directed by Principal Investigator (PI) Dr. Banu Karaca. More information can be accessed here.

– Conducting independent research in areas relevant to BEYONDREST’s research agenda;
– Contributing to the intellectual development of the project and active participation in BEYONDREST’s working group;
– Coordinating BEYONDREST events and other academic activities;
– Conception and organization of academic events, such as conferences or workshops, that advance BEYONDREST’s themes and goals and support the fellow’s own research interests;
– Attending and participating in all BEYONDREST events and related academic events of EUME in close consultation with the PI;
– Contribution to BEYONDREST’s publishing agenda, an interactive online glossary, and the project’s public facing activities

– Completed dissertation in anthropology, (art) history, cultural studies, sociology, archaeology or a related field (no more than 3 years before the commencement of the fellowship);
– Established research focus on critical heritage studies, cultural policy, museum studies, politics of knowledge, material culture, and/or state violence;
– Experience with ethnographic research and preferably also with archival research;
– Regional expertise regarding the Near and Middle East and/or North Africa that complements the regional focus of the PI and the other Postdoctoral Researcher in the project;
– A clear relationship between the applicant’s research specialization and the goals of BEYONDREST, with an expressed interest in questions relating to restitution and decolonizing museums;
– Experience in the organization and coordination of academic events and publications;
– Very good knowledge of English and of at least one language spoken in the Near and Middle East and/or North Africa;
– Knowledge of German or willingness to acquire German language skills is an advantage;
– Willingness to occasional international travel (for research on museum collections and ethnographic fieldwork, especially in the Near and Middle East and/or North Africa);
– Readiness to take on organizational tasks pertaining to event organization, project development, and budgetary follow-up;
– Readiness to work in close collaboration with the BEYONDREST and Forum’s team, in addition to the fellow conducting their individual research.

The position is advertised full time, but part-time options are possible.

The fellow will receive support for relevant professional development and for open access publications on research produced during the fellowship tenure.

We offer an interesting workplace in a young and international research institution, the possibility of alternating mobile work and a pleasant working atmosphere. Our institution aims to reflect society in its entirety. Therefore, we invite applications from individuals regardless of their cultural and social background, gender, age, religion, worldviews, disabilities, and sexual orientation.

Please send your application documents (letter of motivation; curriculum vitae, incl. the names and contact details of two academic references; list of publication; a research statement of max. 3 pages; certificates) in English exclusively by e-mail and in one PDF document to The contact person is Dr. Banu Karaca, BEYONDREST’s Principal Investigator. The deadline for applications is April 15th, 2024. Job interviews are expected to take place from May 13th to 24th, 2024 at the Forum Transregionale Studien in Berlin or via video conference.

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