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Two PhD positions in Near and Middle Eastern Studies

The Near and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Basel are offering

two fully funded doctoral positions

for the research project Ottoman Afterlife in Jordan and Iraq. Politics of Remembering and Forgetting in New Arab States (1920-1958).

The five-year project starting in October 2020, is led by Aline Schlaepfer (principal investigator) and funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation – Eccellenza Professorial Fellowship.

Your position
This collective research project examines multiple aspects of memory production and memory cultures on the Ottomans in various layers of society, after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in the Arab Middle East (focus on Iraq and Jordan). The methodological purpose of this research project is threefold: A- Identify typologies, profiles and group formations of individuals who produced their own narratives on the Ottomans and then articulate them with the social environment, B- Examine the multiple factors and contexts (socioeconomic, generational, colonial, educational, ethno-religious, and gender) involved in the production and spreading of these memories, and C- Discuss the individuals' or groups' motives and their modus operandi. The main thematic fields of this collective research project are: 1- Ottoman memory within minority groups 2- Memory on the Ottomans in education, and 3- Circulations, exchanges and diplomatic relations between Republican Turkey and post-Ottoman Arab States. In order to conduct the research, members of the team will collect and examine periodicals, memoirs, textbooks, literary and historiographical production, as well as official correspondences and reports, available in various physical or online database, institutions and libraries in the Middle East, Europe and the USA.

Details about the research project:

Your profile
• MA in history and/or Middle Eastern studies
• Knowledge of English and Arabic (modern or Ottoman Turkish a plus)
• The two selected candidates will actively participate in the discussions and events organized within the programme in Basel and abroad
• Background and/or interests include (but are not limited to): Intellectual, political or social history of the modern Arab Middle East, the Ottoman Empire, Middle Eastern historiographies, memory studies, relations between history and memory, transition between Empire and nation-states. The regional focus of the project is on Jordan and Iraq, however applications from candidates with an interest and/or expertise on the Bilad al-Sham are also welcome

We offer you
• A joint research project of the University of Basel
• International research environment
• Duration: 4 years (2021–2025)
• Salary: 4'400–4'600 CHF gross/month
• Working Time: 100% (full time)
• The employment conditions follow the guidelines of the university.

Application / Contact
Deadline for submission: October 30, 2020

Submissions must include: a letter of application (cover letter) explaining your background and motivations for the project, a curriculum vitae, a project proposal (2 pages), scanned copies of relevant diplomas and certificates, and contact information (e-mail addresses and phone numbers) for two academic references for recommendations. Send your application documents via e-recruitment tool of the University of Basel.

For further information or questions, please contact Prof. Dr. Aline Schlaepfer (


Job advertisement36.52 KB
Near and Middle Eastern Studies Basel
Employment percentage: 
Place of work: 
Application deadline: 
30. October 2020