Five PhD-Scholarships at the GNK-Research Training Group

„Testimonies. Media and Cultures of Witnessing“

Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, FB 05  - Faculty of Philosophy and Philology - Department of Film, Theatre and Cultural Anthropology

Deadline for applications: April 13 2018

Five doctoral scholarships will be awarded in the research training group „Testimonies. Media and Cultures of Witnessing“ at the Institute for Film, Theatre, and Cultural Anthropology, from June 1, 2018 onwards. The research training group examines the subject of testimony in an interdisciplinary perspective. The program explores how the epistemic conditions of testimony and witnessing change according to current as well as historical transfor- mations of media and culture. Testimony, understood here as a media-based cultural practice, authenticates and legitimizes knowledge, but also has the power to select and suppress knowledge. The research training group explores testimony and witnessing in three interrelated areas: everyday practice, documentary and aesthetic practice.

  1. As everyday practice, testimony focuses on different strategies of attesting, witnessing and visualizing in everyday life as modes of knowledge production. Everyday practices of testimony generate cultural knowledge that has implications for biographical and familial narrative, community-building and identity politics.
  2. As documentary practice, testimony establishes and valorizes historical knowledge in documentary representation. In particular, this research area deals with questions of memory politics, cultural heritage and witnessing in film, performance, exhibitions, and museum displays.
  3. As aesthetic practice, testimony is related to the sensory dimension of testifying as an epistemic strategy. This area covers sensory and aesthetic aspects of both artistic and non-artistic stagings of testimony in contemporary theatre, film and media art, in television formats (such as court shows and political talk shows), and in historical re-enactments.

The research training group intends to recruit Ph.D. candidates with backgrounds in Film Studies, Media and Culture Studies, Theatre and Performance Studies, Cultural Anthropology, and with an interdisciplinary interest in the other participating disciplines. Applicants should have an above- average Master's degree, that shows a dedication in academic work (PhD). The scholarships are initially limited to two years. The scholarship amounts to 1.400 EUR per month.

The application (German or English) should include a curriculum vitae and copies of academic diploma, a proposal for the PhD project (3-4 pages plus bibliography), and a letter of motivation.

The research training group is committed to a policy of diversity and gender equality. International applicants must have German language skills (at least B2 level).

Please send your application in electronic form (in one PDF document) by e-mail to by April 13, 2018 to program director, Alexandra Schneider,       Institute for Film, Theatre, and Cultural Anthropology, Medienhaus, Wallstraße 11, 55122 Mainz.

Further information on the participating scholars can be found on the Homepage.