One postdoc position within the project “UNESCO frictions: Heritagemaking across global governance”

One postdoc position within the project “UNESCO frictions: Heritagemaking across global governance”, funded by the Agence Nationale de laRecherche by way of a @RACTION grant and coordinated by Chiara Bortolotto.

The project is hosted by the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS)
and based at the Institut interdisciplinaire d’anthropologie du contemporain (IIAC)
in Paris.
The contract will start in October 2016 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The project explores cultural heritage policies in the era of global governance,
focusing on their most recent and contentious domain, that of Intangible Cultural
Heritage (ICH), and in particular its controversial cornerstone, namely, the
“participation” of “communities” in heritage identification and selection.
In tracing the social life of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the
Intangible Cultural Heritage from diplomatic discussions in UNESCO boardrooms
to the implementation of local heritage projects, this research investigates the entire
policy chain that links the international arena where standards are negotiated,
national heritage institutions where they are domesticated, and local heritage
programmes where they are implemented in three case-study countries (Greece,
Brazil and China), chosen on the grounds of the diversity of their national heritage
In order to trace the successive translations of an international standard, the project
focuses on the interactions of particular actor networks in observable situations
across multiple scales and explores the controversies arising from these regimes’
interpretations of the shifts introduced by the UNESCO convention.
As anthropological expertise overlaps with the field of ICH, the project will engage
with ICH policies while reflexively analysing the radical complicity between
researchers and research subjects with the aim of questioning the theory/practice
divide in heritage and beyond.

Postdoc assignments
The postdoc will be responsible of a sub-project comprising the Greek arm of the
research. He or she is expected to engage in advanced multi-level research within
Greek national heritage institutions (in particular the Modern Cultural Assets and
Intangible Cultural Heritage Directorate, within the Hellenic Ministry of Culture
and Sports), NGOs and local communities. Together with the principal
investigator, the postdoc will select one local-level case study based on his or her
suggestions and the relevance of the proposed cases to the project.

The candidate will work in collaboration with two other postdocs working on
related projects in China and Brazil and will be committed to the overreaching
research agenda of the “UNESCO frictions” project. He or she is expected to
disseminate project outcomes at international conferences and workshops, and to
publish in international journals and with major presses in the field. He or she
should be willing to engage with local communities, heritage organisations and a
range of different stakeholders. Successful candidates will work closely with Greek
academic counterparts. Candidates are furthermore expected to contribute to the
project’s organisation and administration.

The postdoc will be based in Paris for the duration of the contract where he or she
is expected to attend regular team meetings. The successful applicant will also be
required to spend extensive periods (up to 4 months per year) conducting
fieldwork in Greece. During this time he or she will report on the on-going
research and discuss possible issues with the research team through Skype
meetings. The candidate should develop and maintain collaborations with a
network of researchers in his or her area of competence.

Postdoc profiles
The successful applicant will have an interest (and preferably research experience)
in heritage policies in Greece.

Candidates should have a doctoral degree in anthropology or other related field.
Preference will be given to applicants with previous research experience in the
anthropology of policy or institutions.

Candidates should be fluent in English and should be able to work in a Frenchspeaking

environment. They are furthermore expected to have a strong command
of Greek and other relevant local languages where applicable.

Research team and research environment
The core research team will be composed of five persons: the principal investigator,
three post-docs, and a research assistant. The extended research team comprises an
international advisory board and a network of local gatekeepers and specialists in
Greek, Brazilian and Chinese heritage policies.

Comprising 47 specialised research centres the École des hautes études en sciences
sociales (EHESS) is an exciting and dynamic international research environment
with a strong commitment to high-quality multi-disciplinary scholarship in social

Contract, salary and benefits
The postdoc will be employed by the École des hautes études en sciences sociales
on a one-year full-time contract to be extended for one additional year.
Remuneration will be dependent on the candidate’s experience. Minimum gross
monthly salary will be 2,365.00 euros.
The project will cover the postdoc’s research expenses, including fieldwork costs.
The contract covers basic national health insurance and unemployment insurance.

Application procedure
Interested candidates should submit the following documents to
– a CV
– a copy of their PhD certificate
– a short statement of motivation
– a two-page research proposals indicating how the candidate intends to develop
his or her sub-project and suggesting possible case studies within both nationallevel

heritage institutions and local-level community heritage projects. Candidates
should also specify if and how they will mobilise their previous research in this
– contact details for two referees
– sample publications.

Short-listed candidates will be contacted for an interview in Paris or via Skype.
The application deadline is 22 April 2016.

For further information, please contact Chiara Bortolotto