Postdoctoral researcher ‘Digital Media History – Radio Archives in Central Europe, 1930-1960’
Tracking Radio Archival Collections across Europe, 1930-1960 (TRACE) is a collaborative research project whose central aim is to unpack the ways in which radio sound collections were archived, circulated and used during and after World War II. An important source for this research project is historical archival catalogues, which are used to understand how radio archives were subject to processes of transformation, relocation and valorisation across the period 1930 to 1960. The insights from this project will thus provide media-specific perspectives on the fate of cultural collections during and after WWII, and offer a novel approach for how to map transnational dynamics of media collections in a comparative European framework.
Your subproject explores the histories of Central European radio collections (focusing on historical recordings held today in Berlin/Potsdam and Prague) and contributes to discussions within the fields of contemporary history, media studies and archival studies. You will contextualize archival sources, seeking to understand the cultural-political status of radio archival collections (e.g. in view of past technological practices, institutional settings, state policy and geopolitical frameworks). In doing so, you will trace how and why institutions (and social actors) archived and used radio collections under conditions of war, occupation and Cold War-era reconstruction.
You will collaborate with the project team in charting the historical creation, dislocation and partial-restitution of radio collections, as part of the project’s overall goal in ‘tracking the traces’ of these collections across Europe. This Postdoc role will therefore include collecting historical radio catalogue data for inclusion in the TRACE project’s database.
Your tasks include:
- conducting on-site archival research and data collection at selected relevant archives, and developing case studies concerned with the history of radio archiving in East-Central Europe (1930-1960);
- contributing archival data to the project’s database;
- delivering a number of publications directly related to the ‘TRACE’ project in international journals and/or as chapters with leading presses;
- presentation of intermediate research results at (inter)national workshops and conferences;
- participation in meetings of the project research group; assisting with organisational matters connected to the project, such as conference co-organisation.
We expect you to have:
- a completed doctoral degree in a discipline with a clear relevance to the research project (e.g. History, Media Studies, Sound Studies, Heritage and Memory Studies, European Studies);
- excellent research skills;
- good written and spoken English;
- prior research on or expertise in Central/Eastern Europe during the twentieth century;
- strong language skills for working with German and Czech-language archival materials;
- a proven track record in conducting research in historical archives;
- an affinity with digital humanities, and/or prior experience with digital research data;
- a strong cooperative attitude and willingness to engage in collaborative research and knowledge dissemination activities;
- a willingness to travel for on-site research in archives and conferences;
- strong organizational skills.