Postdoc Political Ecology of Extraction in Africa (0.8 FTE) (V23.0356)
Specialty areas: political ecology, contemporary history, African history, environmental history
Applications are invited for a 2.5 years (30 months) postdoctoral research position within the AFREXTRACT project Environmental Histories of Resource Extraction in Africa: Understanding Cultural and Political Responses to Environmental Transformation, financed by the European Research Council (ERC) and led by dr Iva Peša (see: www.rug.nl/let/AFREXTRACT).
Through a comparative study of three African localities of resource extraction (oil drilling in Nigeria; copper mining in Zambia; gold mining in South Africa), focusing on the period 1950-2020, this project aims to analyse and explain the diversity of political responses to environmental transformation. The postdoctoral researcher will focus on forms of mobilisation (protest movements, NGO activity, as well as how communities learn to live with pollution) to gain insights into popular understandings of environmental change caused by mining and oil extraction. This postdoctoral project will involve research stays in all three countries (c. 6 months in total).
The environmental changes caused by mining and oil drilling have elicited a variety of political responses, ranging from organised protest movements to more everyday ways of accommodating extraction. Why did some adopt violent tactics or take to the streets, while others sued mining companies over pollution? This project aims to historicise these political responses and to understand why people reacted differently to environmental transformation. The postdoctoral researcher will be part of a larger team (PI, two PhD students, and one postdoctoral researcher on cultural production), collaborating closely with the Universities of Port Harcourt, Copperbelt University, the University of Pretoria, and local partners (including NGOs).
This postdoctoral project offers a unique opportunity to work in an international research environment as well as to acquire valuable teaching experience (should the candidate be interested). In addition, the postdoctoral researcher will collaborate with the other team members to organise conferences and workshops, and to plan outreach activities.
For additional queries regarding the project and if you would like to get access to the full project proposal, please get in touch with the project’s PI, dr Iva Peša: i.pesa rug.nl
The University of Groningen, founded in 1614, is an international research university in the north of the Netherlands. Our staff create and share knowledge through outstanding research and education. The Faculty of Arts – which includes the History department – is located in the historic heart of the city of Groningen. Our research covers the following fields: Archaeology, Cultural Studies, History, International Relations, Journalism, Language and Literary Studies, and Linguistics.
- a PhD (or proof of imminent completion) in a relevant field, such as political ecology, anthropology, African history, or environmental history (degrees in related fields such as African studies, political science or international relations will also be considered)
- excellent command of English
- experience in conducting research in Africa (preferably in Nigeria, Zambia, or South Africa) and willingness to conduct c. 6 months of research in the three study localities
- familiarity with and strong interest in debates on environmental history, resource extraction, African history, social mobilisation, and political ecology
- a strong motivation to publish your research (the candidate will be expected to publish two articles in peer-reviewed journals)
- ability to work both independently and as a team player.
- a research network in the Niger Delta, the Zambian Copperbelt, and/or Johannesburg
- knowledge of local languages, e.g. Ijaw, Bemba, or Zulu.
Conditions of employment
In accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, the University of Groningen offers you:
- a salary, depending on qualifications and work experience, between € 2,970 and € 3,974 (salary scale 10.7) gross per month, based on a full-time position
- a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income
- an 8.3% end-of-the-year allowance.
This 0.8 fte appointment is temporary, for a specified period of 2.5 years (additional teaching tasks up to 0.2 FTE are possible).
For more detailed information about working conditions and working for the University of Groningen, please check: https://www.rug.nl/about-ug/work-with-us/new-staff/
The prospective starting date is 1 January or 1 February 2024.
Applications should be in English and contain the following materials:
- short statement (c. 1,000 words), explaining your motivation for applying
- curriculum vitae
- copy of PhD certificate and list of grades
- writing sample (e.g. a chapter of your PhD thesis, a draft article, or a publication)
- contact details of two academic referees (no letter of recommendation is required; only the referees of shortlisted candidates will be contacted).
Please send in your application as two PDF files (one for the writing sample, and one for all other documents). You may apply for this position until 13 August 11:59pm / before 14 August 2023 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).
Interviews with selected candidates will be held in early September 2023.
The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage: https://www.rug.nl/about-ug/policy-and-strategy/diversity-and-inclusion/
Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): https://www.nvp-hrnetwerk.nl/nl/sollicitatiecode and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers: https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu/jobs/charter/code
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For information you can contact:
- Dr Iva Peša, for information about the project itself, i.pesa rug.nl
Please do not use the e-mail address(es) above for applications.