PhD scholarships: call for doctoral applications at the University of Heidelberg

The Graduate School for Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Heidelberg invites applications for:

6 doctoral scholarships

We are looking for highly motivated, excellent PhD students with a strong interest in interdisciplinary research.

The Graduate School is an integral component of the interdisciplinary research in the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Heidelberg. Its aim is to foster the productive use of existent cross- and interdisciplinary research at the University of Heidelberg and to promote innovative, interdisciplinary research projects in these areas. Thematically, the research projects should contribute to the Field of Focus 3, “Cultural dynamics in globalized worlds” and/or Field of Focus 4, “Self-regulation and regulation: individuals and organizations” (http://www.uni-heidelberg.de/forschung/profil/fields_of_focus).

The prestigious Graduate School offers a dynamic and collaborative research and study environment with an excellent national and international network. Successful applicants will benefit from a structured graduate programme which contains a large selection of core seminars and other courses in English and German. The scholarships of €1.110 per month are intended for national and international applicants and have a duration of two years, with the possibility of a one-year extension. The earliest starting date is 1 October 2014.

Applicants must hold an M.A. or equivalent in one of the disciplines of the Humanities or Social Sciences with an above-average grade (at least 1.7, 5.5, B+, 2+, “magna cum laude”, or similar). The transcript has to indicate at least four years of study at the university level. Excellent knowledge of English or German, in addition to another language, is expected. Knowledge of German can be acquired or improved during the first year of the programme. Applicants are expected to contact a potential supervisor in Heidelberg in order to discuss their research plans and to obtain his or her supervision agreement.

Applications must be submitted online via the HGGS Homepage:

http://www.hggs.uni-heidelberg.de/bewerbung-eng.html

The deadline for submission is 15 March 2014. Successful candidates will be invited to present their projects to the Selection Committee at an interview in Heidelberg or via Skype in mid-May 2014.

For questions, please contact the Coordinator:

Dr. Astrid Wind
E-Mail: applications@hggs.uni-heidelberg.de

The University of Heidelberg has particular interest in supporting women and encourages them to apply for the doctoral scholarships. Applications from disabled candidates with equal qualifications will be given preference.

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CFP for the international symposium: ‘What is a letter? An interdisciplinary approach’

‘What is a letter? An interdisciplinary approach’
Oxford, St Edmund Hall from 2 to 4 July 2014

Deadline for submitting abstracts: 3 March 2014

Over recent years the number of studies, conferences, international networks, and editorial projects which focus on letters, letter writers, and letter-writing cultures has grown remarkably. As a result, our understanding of the letter as a form of text, as a material object, and as a generator or reflector of social norms and cultural practices has become more nuanced. However, at the same time our concept of the letter has become less well defined, as theoretical aspects of the epistolary form have not received comparable attention. The topical, interdisciplinary discussion of what exactly a ‘letter’ is and what terms and methods one should adopt to deal with it, is still very much in its infancy.

There are many questions to answer: how – if at all – can we conceptualize letters as a genre, and what is to be gained from that? What characteristics of letter-writing are relevant across disciplines? What are the key frames of reference in the process: single letter, correspondence, or ‘epistolarium’ (Liz Stanley)? In what ways do variable transmission processes – including the collection, archiving, editing, or exhibition of letters – influence our perception of the epistolary? Finally, and this is perhaps the most important question, how does one approach a type of text which is used both as a pragmatic and as a literary form and which is rooted in historical reality while at the same time retaining its potential to deploy fictional qualities?

In order to address these and related questions, the symposium aims to bring together scholars from a variety of disciplines and countries, and from universities and public institutions, for an exchange of knowledge which will lay the foundations for an inclusive and interdisciplinary model of and methodology for analysing letters. The symposium will primarily consider and compare theories and practices of letter-writing from the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries, but proposals relating to earlier periods are also welcome. We invite papers (20–25 minutes in length) which address aspects of letters and letter-writing against this background. Analyses of theoretical aspects of letters as a type of text are welcome on their own or in the context of a case study or studies.

We would expressly like to invite scholars from the following disciplines to submit a proposal: linguistics, philosophy, psychology, medicine, sociology, theology, media studies, law, history of art, history (including, in particular, postal history), editorial studies, cultural studies, and modern languages (including English).

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

* Genre typology

* Types of letters, themes of letters

* Relationships between pragmatic and literary qualities in and of letters

* The effect of editing/archiving/exhibiting letters (practices and processes) on defining the genre (and vice versa)

* Aspects of transmission

* Letters in competition with other media

English and German are the working languages of the symposium, and an interpreter will be present to summarize papers and assist with the discussion. The papers will be published in a conference volume. We hope that the international and interdisciplinary focus of the symposium will lead to further collaborative projects.

If you are interested in giving a paper, please send an abstract of no more than 350 words plus a short paragraph with bio-bibliographical information to:

Dr Marie Isabel Matthews-Schlinzig (Oxford), isabel.matthews-schlinzig@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk

Caroline Socha (Heidelberg), caroline.socha@gs.uni-heidelberg.de

The deadline for submitting abstracts is 3 March 2014.

Please note: travel expenses and accommodation costs will, in all likelihood, not be reimbursed; St Edmund Hall has agreed to offer speakers single en-suite rooms (including breakfast) at a discounted rate.

 

OCLW events Hilary Term 2014

We have a great line up this term! OCLW is starting off the term with a special collaborative workshop on ‘Literary Letters’ from the eighteenth century to the present, followed by the Weinrebe Lecture series which occur in conjunction with our other events this term (see our post on the Weinrebe Lectures), and talks from our OCLW scholars, as well as Tom Couser, Paul Strohm, and a lunch seminar with James Hamilton (free, but registration required). Finally, take a look at the conferences we’re hosting in March and April!

Unless otherwise stated, all events are open to all, free of charge, with no reservation required.

Tuesday 28 January (Week 2), 5-7pm, Leonard Wolfson Auditorium, Wolfson College:

‘An OCLW Workshop on Literary Letters’. This event will focus on literary letters from the 18th century to the present day. Papers will explore aspects of genre, reciprocity, self-presentation, and the material culture of letters. Individual letter-writers to be considered include Samuel Johnson, Keats, Godwin, Wollstonecraft, Yeats, and Isaiah Berlin. Convened by Professor Pamela Clemit. Speakers include: John Barnard, Pamela Clemit, Grace Egan, Daniel Hitchens, Priyasha Mukhopadhyay, Mark Pottle, Henriette van der Blom, Maria Rita Drumond Viana. This event is free of charge and open to all. For information, please contact pamela.clemit@wolfson.ox.ac.uk

Wednesday 19 February (Week 5), 5.30-7pm, Haldane Room, Wolfson College:

‘Work-in-Progress Seminar’: OCLW’s Visiting Scholar, Dr Tracey Potts (Nottingham), and Visiting Doctoral Students, Jeffrey Gutierrez (Brown), Sophie Scott-Brown (ANU) and Maria Rita Drumond Viana (Sao Paolo), will discuss the research they are conducting whilst in residence at OCLW.

Tuesday 4 March (Week 7), 5.30-7pm, Leonard Wolfson Auditorium, Wolfson College:

Lecture: Tom Couser (Hofstra), ‘The Work of Memoir; or, Why Memoir Matters’. This lecture will be followed by a drinks reception in the LWA foyer, to which all are welcome.

Thursday 6 March (Week 7), 5.30-7pm, Leonard Wolfson Auditorium, Wolfson College:

Lecture: Paul Strohm (Columbia), ‘Was there Life-Writing in the Middle Ages?’

Tuesday 11 March (Week 8), 1-2pm, Haldane Room,

Life-Writing Lunch Seminar: James Hamilton, ‘Unrolling the tapestry – weaving inter-related lives in books and exhibitions’. This event is free of charge and open to all: places are limited, and because we provide a sandwich lunch, you must register in advance. To register online, please follow the link on www.wolfson.ox.ac.uk/clusters/life-writing/events/lwlunch

Hosted Events Taking Place at OCLW:

20-22 March 2014, Isaiah Berlin’s Enlightenment: a two-day interdisciplinary conference will be held at OCLW to examine Isaiah Berlin’s view of the Enlightenment and the presence of the Enlightenment in his work. For information, please contact Professor Ritchie Robertson, ritchie.robertson@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk

15-16 April 2014, The Sixteenth Oxford Dance Symposium: The Dancer in Celebrity Culture in the Long Eighteenth Century: Reputations, Images, Portraits. Building on the success of the 2009 symposium, ‘Dance and Image’, the 16th Oxford Dance Symposium, in association with the Oxford centre for Life-Writing at Wolfson College, takes as its subject dancer celebrity in all its forms. There will be a particular focus on dancers’ portraits, and also on the wider issues of patronage, practice and philosophy of dance during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. For more information, and to register, please visit www.wolfson.ox.ac.uk/clusters/life-writing/events/dance

The Weinrebe Lectures: Hilary Term 2014

The annual Weinrebe Lectures in Life-Writing will take place over four weeks in the Leonard Wolfson Auditorium at Wolfson College beginning on Tuesday, 4 February 2014.

The lectures are open to all, free of charge, with no reservation required.

The Weinrebe Lectures in Life-Writing: ‘Voicing the Self’

Tuesday 4 February (Week 3), 5.30pm, Leonard Wolfson Auditorium, Wolfson College:

Blake Morrison, ‘“The Worst Thing I Ever Did”: Confession and the Contemporary Memoir’

Thursday 13 February (Week 4), 5.30pm, Leonard Wolfson Auditorium, Wolfson College:

Edward St Aubyn in conversation with Hermione Lee
Please note that this lecture will take place on a Thursday, not a Tuesday.

Tuesday 18 February (Week 5), 5.30pm, Leonard Wolfson Auditorium, Wolfson College:

Richard Holmes, ‘The Biographer’s Other I’

Tuesday 25 February (Week 6), 5.30pm, Leonard Wolfson Auditorium, Wolfson College:

Marina Warner, ‘Hearing Voices, Travelling Back’

Video: ‘The Art of Life’ with Hermione Lee, Ray Monk and Stephen Frears

In The Art of Life, a debate hosted by the Institute of Art and Ideas, Wolfson College President and biographer Hermione Lee, director Stephen Frears and biographer Ray Monk consider the boundaries that lie between fact and fiction in biography. Discussing questions of responsibility to their subjects, the making of myth and how to shape a life, they explore whether biographers are ever really able to create a ‘definitive’ life of a person.

The video can be viewed here: http://iai.tv/video/the-art-of-life