Postdoctoral Fellowship at Stockholm University – Memory and Meaning in Cultures of Connectivity

Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Media Studies,
Stockholm University

Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Media Studies. Reference number SU FV-0230-15. Deadline for applications: February 28, 2015.

The Department of Media Studies (IMS) is an internationally oriented research environment encompassing the Section of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMK), the Section of Film Studies and the Centre for Fashion Studies. Both JMK and Cinema Studies have been defined as nationally outstanding and internationally prominent by Stockholm University and external examiners. The section of JMK hosts a range of large, externally funded research programmes that span broad fields of media research.

The Department now announces a post doctoral fellowship within the research programme Existential Terrains: Memory and Meaning in Cultures of Connectivity, headed by Associate Professor Amanda Lagerkvist (Wallenberg Academy Fellow), financed by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, the Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Foundation and Stockholm University.

Within the research programme we are exploring one of the major issues of our time: what it means to be human in the digital age. Our rapidly changing communication culture offers new spaces for exploring what is important in life, but our digitalised lives also pose new challenges that heighten the vulnerabilities of being human. Digitalisation affects our existence in a number of ways, and the overarching research question concerns how people navigate the transformations involved in the digitalisation of our lifeworld. One pertinent area for such emergent existential issues is the desequestering of death in the digital age: in the Global North death has returned to everyday life in digital memory practices; on digital memorials, in communities of grief and remembrance, on suicide sites and in cancer blogs.

We live in a world where our memories and identities emerge through socio-technological ensembles, but these rely upon storage in rapidly ageing and dying machines. Questions about the quantified and wired self, and its archiving in our era of hyperconnectivity, have been accompanied by debates about the ‘right to be forgotten’ in a world where algorithms trace and shape our movements online. The very nature of memory is simultaneously transitioning in our era of temporal instantaneity. And hyper connectivity is also supplemented by different forms of disconnection.

Setting out from theoretical debates within the fields of media, religion and culture, digital memory studies and existence philosophy, and by employing a multi-method research design (combining online ethnography, interviews and analysis of digital form and content) the project aims to develop an existential approach within media studies. The purpose of the programme is to produce new knowledge about the possibilities for meaning-making in relation to the profundity of our lives, existential and spiritual issues, while acknowledging the fundamental affective ambivalence, potential loss of meaning and predicaments for existential public health in the digital age.

The successful applicant for this position will be an important contributor to the research group, and will participate in the broader research community within the Department. The position also enables international conference participation and the project generously covers such expenses.

Job assignments
The primary job assignments within this position include research within the programme, and participation in and administration of activities within the research network. The fellow may also be assigned departmental administrative duties and/or teaching

General eligibility requirements
A postdoctoral fellow is someone who is primarily hired to conduct research and who has a PhD degree, or the equivalent.

Selection criteria
Degrees should have been received within three years of the deadline for applications. If there are particular reasons the degree may have been received earlier. These my involve leave of absence du to illness, parental leave, clinical service, positions of trust and simliar etc.

In appointing the postdoctoral fellow particular emphasis will be placed on scientific qualifications. The applicant should have documented research experience of studying the internet and/or digital cultures. An applicant who has done previous research on media and memory, and on digital memory cultures in particular, or who has been engaged in research about disconnection, media phenomenology or who has done research on digital media within the field of media, religion and culture will be considered highly qualified for the post. So is someone with a particular track record of  having developed qualitative methods in studying digital cultures.

Conditions of employment
The post implies a full time employment for two years, with a possible extension if there are particular reasons. The starting date is September 1, 2015 or as agreed.

Stockholm University strives to be a working place free of discrimination, affording equal opportunities for all.

For more information about this position, contact Amanda Lagerkvist, tfn 08-164431, e-mail:

Union representatives
Anqi Lindblom-Ahlm (Saco-S) and Lisbeth Häggberg (Fackförbundet ST), phone: 08-16 2000 (vx), and Gunnar Stenberg (SEKO), phone:  070-316 43 41.

The application should be written in Swedish or English and should contain:

* a cover letter;
* a resumé;
* a copy of your PhD Degree Diploma;
* a research plan (2 pages), where the purpose, materials and methods of the proposed study are specified. The assignment is here to describe how the study  will contribute to the programme Existential Terrains: Memory and Meaning in Cultures of Connectivity, and to the new emergent field of research surrounding digital media and existential issues;
* a list of publications;
* references.

Welcome with your application marked with SU FV-0230-15, and submit it no later than February 28, 2015 by e-mail to:

Files submitted electronically should be in Word or pdf-format. NOTE: refer to the number SU FV-0230-15 in the subject area of your e-mail message.

Amanda Lagerkvist
PhD Associate Professor
Wallenberg Academy Fellow

Dept. of Media Studies (IMS/JMK)
Stockholm University
PO. Box 27861
115 93 Stockholm

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