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The GSSC is part of the UoC’s Institutional Strategy “Meeting the Challenge of Change and Complexity”. It was implemented as an innovative and integrated approach to further and promote top-level international research on “Socio-Economic, Cultural and Political Transfor-mation of the Global South” at the UoC.

We invite applicants from the fields of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Geography, History, Cultural- and Area Studies and Linguistics. The successful candidates will conduct research, support international cooperation and produce academic output in one of the three research areas of the GSSC: “Migration, Citizenship and Labour”; “Natural Commodities and Changing Markets” and “Communicative Repertoires”.

The applicants are expected to hold a Ph.D. in one of the above-mentioned disciplines and to submit an excellent research proposal. Candidates are also expected to have published in-ternationally; fluency in English and research experience in the Global South are further nec-essary prerequisites. Experience in interdisciplinary research as well as in applying for grants are of advantage.

The positions are full-time; the salary is based on the German TVL-13 scale if terms and conditions under collective bargaining law are fulfilled. The initial contract period is two years and, based on an evaluation, there is also the option of extending the contract for up to three more years. The University of Cologne is an equal opportunity employer in compliance with the German disability laws. Women and persons with disabilities with equal capability, suit-ability and professional experience are favored and strongly encouraged to apply.

For further information on the GSSC and the research areas, please see Please direct any further questions to Dr. Clemens Greiner (

To apply, please send all relevant documents, a letter of motivation, a research proposal of no more than five pages as well as a summary of your last thesis (max. five pages) and the contact details of two referees in one pdf file to Prof. Dr. Barbara Potthast: Please indicate the research area you are applying for in your cover letter. Deadline for applications: 15 January, 2014.

The Global South Studies Center Cologne (GSSC) is a center of excellence that brings to-gether well-established and internationally renowned area studies focusing on Latin America, Asia and Africa as well as a range of disciplinary approaches. Our objective is to gain a deeper understanding of how actors and organisations from the Global South conceptualize, express, define and move themselves, objects and ideas across the globe and across re-gions, and between cities and hinterlands. In doing so, they not only transform the Global South in manifold ways but also change global conditions in the world at large. These deep transformations constitute the focus of the GSSC. We especially value three approaches which make the center distinct from others working on these topics: a) its adoption of a broad temporal time frame, i.e. the combination of the historical perspective with current dynamics of globalization; b) its explicitly comparative and contrastive focus on translocal and transcon-tinental perspectives; and c) its firm orientation toward South-South linkages.

In 2014, the GSSC will start off with a comprehensive research agenda in three separate yet interconnected fields of study that address salient dynamics in the Global South: a) Migration, Citizenship and Labour, b) the production and flows of natural commodities, and the trans-formation of communicative repertoires. Four post-doctoral research fellows will be selected on a 2+3 year basis to advance these three fields of study. Together with the principal inves-tigators and the international guests associated with the GSSC, they will work on producing excellent academic output and push the GSSC towards attracting new research funding.

Please refer to one research area only when writing your application and indicate area you applying for in the cover letter.

Research area I: Migration, Citizenship and Labour in the Global South

The aim of this thematic research area is to establish a comparative framework to investigate the relationship between migration, citizenship and labour in the Global South. We bring to-gether perspectives and methods from different disciplinary angles, including history, anthro-pology, romance and cultural studies, Islamic studies, Chinese studies and law. Moreover, we trace entanglements across continental divides that link Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

The research area comprises two thematic fields: The first seeks to develop a comprehensive understanding of the variations in migration regimes and citizenship debates in the Global South – which ultimately cannot be considered without their interconnections with the Global North. In addition to this, we wish to integrate the perspectives of states, citizens, and non-citizens. All three play crucial roles in shaping and negotiating civic participation in a highly mobile world. We also seek to theorize the interplay of political-ideological considerations, pragmatic restrictions, and actors’ individual and collective strategies. The second thematic field aims at analyzing historical and contemporary forms of unfree labour since 1850 taking into account slavery and coolie cultures, and migration flows in the Global South. This entails a comparative approach to institutional and legal frameworks, forms of knowledge transfer as well as questions on identity and belonging. In order to understand contemporary forms of indentured or contract labour worldwide, we suggest applying the Caribbean-based concept Coolitude.

For this area, we are inviting applications for two postdoctoral research positions. The post-docs will contribute with their own research project to these thematic fields and -together with the research area’s principal investigators – develop a comparative framework to analyze the dynamics of migration, citizenship and labour.
This research area focuses on historical and current South-North and South-South com-modity flows. It brings together researchers from the disciplines of anthropology, geogra-phy and history, whose main areas of interest are the various paths through which food and other natural commodities find their way from the areas of production in the Global South to the places of their consumption. Research, for example, focuses on how produc-ers in the Global South have responded and catered to the changing demands of a global market from the early modern period onwards. In today’s highly volatile markets, produc-ers of food in the Global South have to negotiate between local provisioning and food se-curity rooted in their own traditions, meeting the demands of the rising middle classes in urban areas, and producing for an increasingly standardized global marketplace. The aim of the research area is to study selected commodity chains of food, medical substances and other related natural products as well as the localized processes of change and trans-formation they induce. Specific research projects could examine one or more of the fol-lowing key issues: Restructuring and changing environments of production and global value chains; compatibility of globalized production and local social and cultural traditions, and old and new forms of agriculture and aquaculture at the urban fringe

Research area II: Natural commodities and changing markets in the Global South

The post-doctoral research project could focus on specific natural commodities and/or specific regions in the Global South profoundly affected by the globalization of commodity chains or may analyze such dynamics in a comparative manner.

Research area III: Communicative Repertoires in the transforming Global South

The ongoing transformations in the Global South are perceived and mediated through communication. Research Area 3 focuses on the communicative repertoires of individuals and groups (their language, symbols, etc.). These repertoires are understood as forms of social and symbolic capital that form an integral part of the economic relationships and social networks in which actors are positioned. The investigation of the transformations in communicative practices and the symbolic capital attributed to them will shed light on changes of power relations and their negotiations in everyday life. On the one hand differ-ent developments in the Global South can be compared in order to identify common ten-dencies and more locally confined features. On the other hand, these developments can be contrasted with trends in “the North”. The research area examines these developments by applying a methodological approach that combines survey data and participant obser-vation with conversation analysis and case studies on the micro-level, based on multi-media recordings. The overall goal of the research area is to contribute to the develop-ment of an extended theory of language and society.

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