Doctoral Researcher (PhD position) in English Literature University of Freiburg, English Seminar

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The University of Freiburg's human resources policy is oriented toward the principles of equal opportunity and diversity. The university is committed to the goal of creating a family-friendly university.

The English Seminar is looking for
Doctoral Researcher (PhD position), English Literature (Lists of Excess in Early Modern Literature and/or Postmodern Literature)

Part-time position (65%), start date: 01.04.2018

The ERC Project “LISTLIT: Lists in Literature and Culture: Towards a Listology” investigates the cultural practice of list making and its manifestations in literary texts from antiquity until the twenty-first century. Situated at the intersections between cultural history, literary history, and cognitive theory, LISTLIT scrutinizes how literature and list making as a cognitive tool and cultural practice are interrelated. The aim of the project is to establish a ‘listology’, that is, the systematic and diachronic study of lists and listing structures in cultural productions.


We are looking for a PhD student specialising in English Literature, as demonstrated by an excellent Master’s degree. Expertise in another philology and comparative literature is essential. An emphasis on questions of theory (literary theory, narratology, history of knowledge) is desirable.


The successful candidate is expected to develop and conduct a research project that focuses on lists of excess, that is, lists in which the mere length and scope of what is being enumerated takes precedence. Since these lists emerge in the 16th and 17th centuries, the project should consider the forms and functions of early modern lists and enumerations, in particular with respect to the works of Rabelais and his reception (e.g. Thomas Urquhart). An additional (comparative) emphasis may be put on excessive lists in modern and postmodern literature. Alternatively, postmodern lists of excess could also be taken as the starting point of the investigation. The exact scope and outline of the dissertation is to be defined by the PhD students in collaboration with the PI.


The project is situated at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS) and closely associated with the Department of English at the University of Freiburg, which offers an intellectually stimulating and vibrant environment for research and scholarly exchange. We are looking for a person with great interpersonal skills who will engage actively in the discussions with the other members of the team, and who is excited by the prospect of diachronic and comparative work.


The doctoral researcher will carry out research under the supervision of the Principal Investigator, and will be required to contribute to the collaborative research project LISTLIT. In addition, the successful candidate will also be part of collaborative activities, present his/her research on national and international conferences, and co-organise workshops. A strong background and/or interest in interdisciplinary work is highly desirable.


Please submit the following documents as part of your application:

- Cover letter, outlining your motivation for applying and interest in the project
- CV, including list of publications (if applicable)
- (Copy of) your Master’s degree and transcript of records
- 2 letters of reference
- Research proposal (2-5 pages)
- Writing sample (e.g. the introduction or a chapter from your Master’s thesis; article)


Interviews will be held in December 2017.

The contract is a fixed-term contract for 3 years. The salary will be determined in accordance with TV-L E13. We are particularly pleased to receive applications from women for the position advertised here.

Please send in a complete and convincing application with all relevant supporting documents, including the reference number 10473, by 31.10.2017 at the latest. Please send your application to the following address in written or electronic form:

University of Freiburg
English Department
Dr. Eva from Contzen
79085 Freiburg


For further information, please contact Dr. Eva von Contzen at Tel. 0761/203-3314 or E-mail

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