PhD and Postdoc position for the Max Planck Research Group “Visualizing Science in Media Revolutions”

For the new 5-year Max Planck Research Group "Visualizing Science in Media Revolutions", led by Dr. Sietske Fransen, the Bibliotheca Hertziana - Max Planck Institute for Art History in Rome (Italy) seeks to appoint:

- one postdoctoral researcher (2-year appointment)
- one pre-doctoral researcher (1-year appointment)

The deadline for both positions is 1 April 2019. Interviews will be held in Rome on 6-7 May 2019. Both positions are to start 1 September 2019, or as soon as possible after.

The research group will explore the modes and media in which early modern scientific practitioners visualized their ideas and illustrated their objects of inquiry. New media (as a result of the printing press), new tools of observing the world (such as telescopes and microscopes) and new processes of subsequently recording and transmitting these observations (such as the more extensive use of person-al notebooks, and printed images for wider audiences) generated a new visual culture of early modern science. By comparing its different forms in areas such as medicine, architecture, astronomy, and mathematics, we will look at the impact of new media on the way in which science was communicated visually. Building on previous research on epistemic images, the group's focus will be directed at questions such as:
• How did the printing press have a lasting impact on the observational and visualization skills of early modern scientific practitioners? 
• How did scientific practitioners communicate visually for different audiences, in manuscript (letters, notebooks, hand-written books) alongside printed books? 
• How did early modern scientific practitioners deal with the practical and moral issues sur-rounding the making and manipulability of images?

Drawing upon expertise in the study of media, visualization, and science, the Research Group will also devote attention to the current impact of digital media and digital tools on our current working practic-es in the humanities and sciences. How are current innovations in media technology and data storage impacting the role of images in our own research questions and research methods? Through a series of small workshops the group will collaborate with researchers in the humanities, digital humanities, so-cial sciences, and natural sciences to open up new perspectives on how issues of new media and new methods of visualizing data pertain to our time.

For both positions: Applications from candidates in every field within the history of science, medicine and technology, history of art, digital humanities, media studies, and medieval/early modern history are welcome, with preference given to projects spanning traditional disciplinary boundaries. The work-ing languages of the Research Group will be English and German, and good knowledge of either or both is essential.  

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Postdoctoral researcher (2-year appointment)

The Postdoctoral researcher will conduct his or her own original research project within the overall framework of the Research Group. S/he will be expected to work closely with the Research Group Leader in planning seminars and workshops and to actively participate in the group's activities. There will be the possibility of organising a workshop/seminar independently within the framework of the Group. Research projects on abstract visualizations of medieval/early modern knowledge in the forms of tables and diagrams are especially welcomed.

Requirements: 
- PhD degree (including oral defence) at start of the position
- Strong interest in historical research as well as current events indigital humanities and/or digital art history
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English and/or German
- Prior knowledge of Italian welcomed
- Residence in Rome during appointment
- Playing an active role in the group's activities, including team meetings and seminars

Application: Please provide the following in a single .pdf document:
- Cover letter explaining how you see yourself contributing to the Research Group and how your background has prepared you
- Curriculum vitae and list of publications
- Research proposal (max. 1000 words), plus bibliography
- Writing sample
- Contact details of 2 referees (no reference letters)

Appointment: The appointment is for two years, and comes with a travel budget of €2000 per annum. Depending on specific individual conditions, the Max Planck Society offers a fixed-term contract of employment. Concerning remuneration and standard social benefits, the contract follows the model of the civil service collective agreement (TVöD Bund). The Max Planck Society strives for gender and diversity equality. We welcome applications from all backgrounds. Furthermore, the Max Planck Soci-ety wants to employ more severely disabled persons, whose applications are highly welcome.

Potential applicants are welcome to contact Dr. Sietske Fransen for an informal discussion prior to submitting their application: Fransen@biblhertz.itPlease send your application as a PDF by April 1, 2019, to: bewerbungen@biblhertz.it, reference Positions Group Fransen.   

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Predoctoral researcher (1-year appointment)
The predoctoral position is intended for a PhD student who has already completed the first year of their research (for US-based students this means they must be ABD), and who works on late medieval and/or early modern art, science, and media, with a special focus on Rome. This 12-months position will give the doctoral candidate the possibility to do intensive library and archival research in Rome, while being part of an interdisciplinary research group at a world-renowned institute for the history of Italian Renaissance art.

Requirements: 
- Enrolled/registered as PhD student at any university
- Having a clear idea how a year in Rome in this Research Group at the Bibliotheca Hertziana benefits the PhD research 
- Institutional and supervisor approval to reside in Rome for the year 
- Prior knowledge of Italian is essential 
- Excellent verbal and written knowledge of English and/or German 
- Residence in Rome during appointment
- Playing an active role in the group's activities, including team meetings and seminars 

Application: Please provide the following:
- Cover letter explaining how 12 months at the Bibliotheca Hertziana in Rome is essential for your PhD project, and how you see yourself benefiting and contributing to the Research Group.
- Curriculum vitae and list of publications
- Research plan for 12 months in Rome (max. 1000 words)
- Letter of support by your supervisor/dissertation advisor, endorsing your candidacy. 

Appointment: The appointment is for one year (12 months), and comes with a travel allowance of €1000. Depending on specific individual conditions, the Max Planck Society offers to doctoral candi-dates a funding contract, which combines the academic freedom of a scholarship with the security of a contract of employment. Concerning remuneration and standard social benefits the contract follows the model of the civil service collective agreement (TVöD Bund). The Max Planck Society strives for gender and diversity equality. We welcome applications from all backgrounds. Furthermore, the Max Planck Society wants to employ more severely disabled persons, whose applications are highly welcome.

Potential applicants are welcome to contact Dr. Sietske Fransen for an informal discussion prior to submitting their application: Fransen(at)biblhertz.it

Please send your application as one PDF by April 1, 2019, to: bewerbungen@biblhertz.it, reference Positions Group Fransen. The letter of support should be send separately to the same address.