Postdoctoral Fellowships (Five) for Zukunftsphilologie: Revisiting the Canons of Textual Practice - Berlin 2011/12 - Deadline: Jan. 17, 2011

Postdoctoral Fellowships (Five) for Zukunftsphilologie: Revisiting the Canons of
Textual Practice / Berlin 2011/12
From: Georges Khalil


The Berlin-based Forum Transregionale Studien invites scholars to apply for
five postdoctoral fellowships for the research project


The project Zukunftsphilologie endeavors to promote and emphasise primary
textual scholarship beyond the classical humanistic canon. In an age of
advanced communication, intellectual specialisation, and unprecedented
migration of knowledge and people, the discipline of philology assumes new
relevance. Zukunftsphilologie aspires to support research in marginalised,
undocumented and displaced varieties of philology by revisiting pre-colonial
texts and scholarly traditions in Asia, Africa, the Middle East as well as
in Europe.

The title 'Zukunftsphilologie' is inspired by the 1872 polemic between the
classicist Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff and Friedrich Nietzsche on the
method and meaning of classical studies. The project draws on recent calls
for a return to philology as particularly emphasised by Sheldon Pollock in
his essay 'Future Philology?' and the late Edward Said?s essay 'The Return
to Philology'.

In order to promote historically-conscious philology, the project will
foster research in the following areas: the genealogy and transformations of
philological practice, philology?s place in the system of knowledge (e.g.
its relation to science, theology, and jurisprudence), philology and the
university, and philology and empire. Zukunftsphilologie aims to examine the
role mobility, calamities, expulsions, and natural catastrophes play in the
dissemination and globalisation of knowledge. How does the mobility of
scholars, books, and manuscripts bring about scientific innovation (e.g. in
tenth-century Baghdad, during the European Renaissance, or during the Ming
dynasty)? What kind of knowledge systems are also displaced by these
processes of reorganisation? What transformations and translations accompany
such mobilisations?

In addition, Zukunftsphilologie aims to support critical reviews of
historical and philological practice. In revisiting important philological
debates, the goal is not to merely evaluate the argumentative worth of these
debates, but to reflect on the wider cultural and political context in which
these debates emerged and how they have shaped our knowledge of the past.

The project Zukunftsphilologie is associated with and located at the
Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School for Literary Studies at Freie
Universitaet Berlin. Zukunftsphilologie is directed by Angelika Neuwirth and
Islam Dayeh (both Freie Universitaet Berlin).


The fellowships are intended primarily for scholars of Arabic, Chinese,
Hebrew, Persian, Sanskrit, Syriac, Turkish, and other linguistic and
philological traditions from Africa, Asia and Europe, as well as for
scholars of intellectual and literary history, of comparative linguistics,
philology, religion and the history of science from outside Berlin, who wish
to carry out their research projects in the framework of the initiative
Zukunftsphilologie in Berlin. Applicants should be at the postdoctoral level
and should have obtained their doctorate within the last five years. Fellows
are given the opportunity to pursue research projects of their own choice,
provided the topic falls within the research agenda of the project. In the
overall context of the project Zukunftsphilologie, they will participate in
regular working meetings of the project group as well as in lectures,
conferences and summer and winter academies, organised by the project and by
the Forum Transregionale Studien.


Individual research projects should fall within one of the themes of the
project Zukunftsphilologie. Projects should have a comparative perspective,
whereby the plurality of textual practices, polyphonic textuality, and the
trajectories and genealogies of philological traditions in early modernity
are examined.

For the year 2011/2012, research projects focusing on intellectual debates,
polemics, correspondences, and transregional encounters are especially
welcome. A revisiting of major philological debates will enable us to
explore the significance of philology in the cultural and political
transformations beyond the modern/pre-modern divide. Moreover, an
examination of philological debates will shed light on marginal philological
traditions and undocumented intellectual positions as well as the way in
which the canonical positions were consolidated and normalised.


start October 1, 2011, and will end on July 31, 2012. Shorter fellowship
terms can be considered. Postdoctoral fellows will receive a monthly stipend
of EUR 2.250 plus supplements depending on their personal situation.
Organisational support, regarding visa, insurances, housing, etc. will be
provided. Successful applicants will be fellows of the project
Zukunftsphilologie at the Forum Transregionale Studien and associate members
of the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School for Literary Studies. Through this
association they will be integrated into the Department of Philosophy and
Humanities at the Freie Universitaet Berlin and will have access to an
academic milieu of literary and philological Studies as well as to libraries
and other research facilities.


To apply, please send the following documents in English exclusively by
e-mail as separate word or PDF files. The letter of recommendation can be
sent directly by e-mail.
- a curriculum vitae
- a project description (no longer than five pages), stating what the
scholar will work on in Berlin if granted a fellowship
- a sample of scholarly work (maximum 20 pages, article, book chapter,
conference contribution)
- a letter of recommendation from one academic faculty
The application should be submitted in English and should be received by 17
January 2011, addressed to:


The Forum Transregionale Studien is a new research platform of the Land of
Berlin designed to promote research that connects systematic and
region-specific questions in a perspective that addresses entanglements and
interactions beyond national, cultural or regional frames. The Forum works
in tandem with established institutions and networks engaged in
transregional studies and is supported by an association of the directors of
research institutes and networks mainly based in Berlin. It started its
activities in 2010 by supporting three research projects in the fields of
law, philology, and urban sociology. The Forum Transregionale Studien is
funded by the Senate of Berlin.

For more information please see

Forum Transregionale Studien
c/o Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin
Attn: Georges Khalil
Wallotstrasse 19, D-14193 Berlin / Germany