Post-Doctoral Position, Eur’ORBEM research centre (with the support of Sorbonne University)

A post-doctoral researcher will be recruited from 1 September 2020 for one year at Eur’ORBEM research centre with the support of Sorbonne University. The salary will be €42,120 before taxes. The selected applicant will be affiliated to Eur’ORBEM and to a relevant department at Sorbonne University. They will work within the frame of the collective research project “SAMSON – Sciences, Arts and Medicine and Societal Norms” described below.
The post-doctoral researcher will be recruited on the basis of the quality of their previous
work and the relevance of their topic for the general research project.

Deadline for submission: 20 April 2020
Interview period: 5-7 May 2020
Period: 1 September 2020—31 August 2021
Application Language: French or English
Address for submission:

The SAMSON Research project
The SAMSON research project is funded through the “Émergence” grant launched by Sorbonne University in 2019. With Prof. Luba Jurgenson as its PI, it is an interdisciplinary project which already includes five other researchers. It deals with the construction of societal norms as a result of the dialogue between arts, literature, medicine and sciences in Central Europe and Russia from the 18th century onwards. Our working hypothesis is that the evolution of societal norms proceeds from the interactions between different scientific and cultural developments and the common vocabularies and imaginaries they might share. We aim to explore how such interactions have shaped up normative patterns in Central and Eastern Europe, a region whose late socio-economic modernization triggered new theories aiming at overcoming the developmental gap or on the contrary, at warning against the dangers of industrial civilization.
As they combine specific imperial, multinational legacies with a long experience of (state and non-state) violence, Central Europe and Russia can be viewed as a theoretical incubator of new societal norms. To quote but two phenomena, the elaboration of psychoanalysis in Central Europe, or the formalist theory born in Russia, are cases in point. Indeed, the cultural field—including arts, literature, but also behavior patterns as studied by cultural anthropology—does not merely “reflect”, but spreads questions and co-creates the norms elaborated by the scientific fields.
Because of the belated institutionalization of the disciplinary fields in Central and Eastern Europe, the boundaries between sciences and arts were oftentimes very porous. The cultural habitus of many of the social actors we study allowed them to easily switch professional interests. What usually connected these diverse discourses and practices was their inclusion into general debates about societal norms: the impact of modernization, the role of the individual, the structure of state power, gender roles, etc. It was the broad nature of these discussions, spanning across the disciplines, that ensured a certain coherence to the larger cultural field. Our use of the general concept of “societal norms” aims at tackling exactly these overarching debates.
Current team members work on a variety of topics ranging from Russian sentimentalist narratives about science and their political metaphors at the turn of the 18-19th centuries;
physician writers; gender, sexuality and cultural hygiene in the 19-20th centuries and the
elaboration of sexual and socio-cultural deviances; antisemitism; new norms produced by the historical memory of state generated violence in Russia and Central Europe.
The project is founded on complementary approaches from the history of sciences and cultural history, literary studies, art history, sociology of literature, gender studies and cultural anthropology. It seeks to open a fruitful dialogue with colleagues from the medical science and other scientific fields.

Work at Eur’ORBEM
Under the tutelage of the Sorbonne University-Faculty of Arts and of the CNRS, the research unit (UMR-8224) EUR’ORBEM is dedicated to the study of the cultures and societies of Central, Southern-Eastern and Eastern Europe. A centre of fundamental research and scientific popularization toward a larger public on the cultures and expressions of the above-mentioned areas, Eur’ORBEM is grounded on an interdisciplinary approach (social and cultural history, literary studies, art history) pertaining to the area studies.

The selected applicant will be welcome at the Centre d’études slaves, 9, rue Michelet, FR-
75006 Paris, a major hub of study on Central Europe and the Slavic countries. The selected applicant will be provided with workspace, a laptop and granted access to the library and archives of the Institut d’études slaves, Centre d’études slaves’ twin institution.

The selected applicant will have the following missions:

• The co-organization of an international workshop in 2021
• The coordination of a research seminar
• The updating of the SAMSON research blog on Eur’ORBEM website

Service Obligations
The selected applicant will contribute to the scientific work of the team through their own
research, which will be presented in the course of the research seminar and during the 2021 international workshop.

Eligibility Criteria
• Candidates must have already written a PhD dissertation within the scope of the general
• They must have defended between 1 January 2014 and 30 March 2020.
• The post-doctoral researcher will be recruited on the basis of the quality of their previous
work and the relevance of their topic for the general research project.
• Candidates must already be engaged in research on at least one of the cultures of Central
and/or Eastern Europe.
• Candidates must be fluent in English and/or French.
• Candidates must demonstrate solid experience in organizing scientific events.

Application Package
The application form includes:
• A description of a research project (between 5 and 10 pages), which will highlight the
methodological approach, originality and the inputs of the research, and provide with a
selected bibliography (max. 1 page-long)
• Two letters of reference, one of which must be written by the former PhD supervisor
• A detailed CV
• A list of publications
• A copy of the PhD diploma
Preselected applicants will be invited to an online interview between 5 and 7 May 2020.


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