The Department of Digital Design and Information Studies within the School of Communication and Culture at Aarhus University invites applications for two postdoctoral positions in Critical Environmental Data Studies. The postdoc positions are affiliated with the research project Design and Aesthetics for Environmental Data funded by the Aarhus University Research Foundation (AUFF).
The postdoc positions are full-time, two-year fixed-term positions. The positions begin on 1 March 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter.
The School of Communication and Culture is committed to diversity and encourages all qualified applicants to apply regardless of their personal background.
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Design and Aesthetics for Environmental Data focuses on historical and current practices of seeing, knowing, and designing the environment and the planet as data: as patterns, visualizations, projections, models, simulations, and other aesthetic objects with epistemic value. The transdisciplinary project builds on scholarship in critical data and design studies (such as speculative design), science and technology studies, and environmental humanities to research how datafication of the planet has emerged since, at least, the nineteenth century. The project addresses how critical design, speculative and theoretical practices help to understand the long history of environmental data in the context of current digital culture while paying attention to issues of historical mediations as well as politics and justice. The aim is to develop and employ innovative new methods for investigating the material practices of environmental data in collaboration with academic and non-university partners. The working language of the project is English.
We are looking for applicants to deliver individual postdoc projects under the auspices of the project while contributing to the collective task of developing insights into critical environmental data. The proposed project should address one or more of the three core areas of the project’s research and practice:
1) digital aesthetics of environmental data
2) design methodologies for environmental data
3) architectures and spaces of environmental data.
Applicants and projects that can combine theoretical insights with design methods, such as innovative practices in data visualization or machine learning, are encouraged to apply, as are applicants whose projects might bring an historical or a media archaeological angle to the core areas of the project. Applicants should be able to build and sustain relevant networks with Aarhus University researchers in other faculties (e.g., environmental sciences) as well as in the art/design/museum sector beyond the university. Applicants must demonstrate excellent communication and interpersonal skills in order to engage productively both within the research team and with external organisations and institutions.
The successful applicants will be expected to conduct new original research in the areas defined above; publish in relevant journals, academic books, and non-academic publications on critical environmental data; help coordinate the project activities, including possible guest seminars and researcher visits, and curatorial projects; participate in project meetings and joint events; work collaboratively with the principal investigator (PI) and other team members; actively develop the research area including identifying and maintaining contact with academic and non-academic partners; develop follow-up grant applications for the project.
The Project PI, professor Jussi Parikka, will coordinate the research and mentor the research projects in order to support the career development of the postdocs.
Teaching and supervision
The postdoc positions in this project are primarily research-based but will also involve a small degree of teaching and supervision. To that end, the successful applicants will be expected to take part in the department’s teaching and supervision activities and to teach and supervise at BA and MA level.
Given the international focus of the degree programmes, the successful applicant will be expected to teach in English.
Applicants must have a PhD degree or must document equivalent qualifications in a relevant field (media, design, STS, or interdisciplinary visual studies) related to issues of environmental data with a special focus on design and aesthetics. Applicants must be able to document, relevant to the position:
- an internationally oriented research profile within critical humanities including visual and design studies, and/or a relevant area of STS as documented by a PhD dissertation and/or research publications
- experience of the self-directed management of research projects
Furthermore, it will be considered an advantage if applicants can document
- a track record of research publications of a high international standard, as commensurate with the length of the applicant’s academic career
- an outstanding and innovative doctoral dissertation in an area related to and relevant for the project
- relevant teaching experience at university level
- experience of participation in national and international research networks
- skills in working with data and design methods (e.g., data visualization) and machine learning and related techniques
- knowledge of and ability to work with global environmental databases and scientific repositories (including beyond the West)
- time spent abroad working at one or more internationally recognised research institutions
Finally, applicants are asked to provide a proposal for research to be undertaken within the stated framework of the research project (max. 2 pages).
Please note that applications that do not include uploaded publications (maximum five) will not be considered.
Although the Aarhus University application system includes an option to upload letters of recommendation, please do not include letters of recommendations or references with the application. Applicants who are invited to an interview may be asked to provide references.