PhD positions in Munich, “Radical Utopian Communities”

The research group “Radical Utopian Communities: Global Histories from the Margins, 1900-1950” invites applications for two (2) doctoral positions (TV-L E13, 65%) to join the team on 1 April 2020 or at an early date thereafter. The research project is funded by the VolkswagenStiftung as part of the Freigeist-Fellowship program. The group will be integrated in the Department of History at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU) and closely affiliated with the Munich Centre for Global History. A master’s degree (M.A.) or equivalent in History or related discipline in the humanities and social sciences such as Anthropology, Area Studies, Culture Studies, Political Science, Religious Studies etc with a significant historical focus is required by the time of appointment. Preference will be given to applicants with a training in global and/or extra-European history, including language proficiency in non-European languages (and relevant to the doctoral thesis). International academic experience (study, research, conferences etc.) is an advantage. Moreover, applicants should demonstrate ability in archival and/or fieldwork, commitment to teamwork, and reliability to meet deadlines.

“Radical Utopian Communities” analyzes communal projects in the first half of the twentieth century. The project aims at writing a decentered global history that unearths marginalized histories with new archival evidence and innovative historical narration. It investigates communes in various places, including but not limited to case studies in Asia, Africa and the Americas. The communities are showcases for the high degree of mobility and entanglement in the early twentieth century. Yet the project critically engages with the image of borderless mobility and ideals of communal harmony. And it focusses people and communities who too often fall through the cracks of mainstream historiography and who provide unexpected angles to look at the modern world and its make-up from the margins.

Each of the two doctoral positions are offered for the duration of three years. Budget for archival/fieldwork travels, conferences etc. is available. Doctoral candidates will be integrated into a young, dynamic, and internationally well-connected research environment. Over the course of three years, candidates are recommended to gain teaching experience at LMU.

Applications must include:
1) cover letter,
2) CV,
3) doctoral thesis proposal related to the research project “Radical Utopian Communities” (no longer than 3,000 words, including references),
4) writing sample (preferably in English),
5) diplomas/certificates, and 6) names and contact information of at least two academic referees.
Please submit all documents in a single PDF to by 31 December 2019.

We especially seek applications from qualified individuals with disabilities and welcome applications from women.

For further information and questions regarding the positions and the research project please contact the principal investigator Dr. Robert Kramm (

Interviews are scheduled for mid/late January and conducted either in person in Munich or via Skype.

About Travis

I am a scholar of Japanese & Okinawan history with a particular interest in the history of arts and culture, and inter-Asia interactions, in the early modern period. I have been fortunate to enjoy the opportunity to live in Okinawa for six months in 2016-17, and in mainland Japan on multiple occasions, including from Sept 2019 to now.
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