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ERC Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Continuity or Rupture? Art and Architecture in Central Europe, 1918-1939

The Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies at the University of Birmingham is seeking to make a fixed- term appointment at Research Fellow level. This fixed-term post is part of a 5 year ERC Advanced Grant project, Continuity or Rupture? Art & Architecture in Central Europe, 1918-1939 (CRAACE). The post is part of a research team including two other Research Fellows and the Primary Investigator, Professor Matthew Rampley. 

The project is concerned with the legacy of the Habsburg Empire in the visual arts after 1918. Specifically, it asks: When new political elites and social structures emerge out of a historical rupture, how are art and architecture affected? Through comparative analysis of the visual arts in 3 states built on the ruins of the Habsburg Empire (Austria, Hungary and [former] Czechoslovakia), this project examines how such political discontinuity affected art and architecture between 1918 and 1939. The project is organised into 4 themes:

1. Vernacular modernisms, nostalgia and the avant-garde
2. Presenting the state: world fairs and exhibitionary cultures
3. Piety, reaction and renewal
4. Contested histories: monuments, memory and representations of the historical past

The project also considers the impact of the political and ideological imperatives of the three successor states on the visual arts; how did governments treat the past? Did they encourage a sense of historical caesura or look to the past for legitimation? How did artists and architects respond to such new impulses? In answering these questions, the project analyses the conflicts between avant-gardes and more conservative artistic movements; the role of the visual arts in interwar memory politics; the place of art in the nexus of religion, national and state identity.

The successful candidate will be an excellent researcher, holding a PhD or equivalent qualifications and with extensive research experience and scholarship within the required subject specialism, plus a track record of working in areas of linguistic and disciplinary complexity.

The language of the project is English, but in addition, candidates will have advanced knowledge of at least one of German, Hungarian, Czech / Slovak

The candidate will be expected to produce a research monograph on one of the themes of the project, as agreed with the PI and other members of the team, as well as organising workshops, conferences and administration of the project website.