Senior researcher position : ERC Translating Memories: The Eastern European Past in the Global Arena

Translating Memories: The Eastern European Past in the Global Arena, funded by the European Research Council (ERC), is being carried out at the School of Humanities, Tallinn University (2020-2024). Principal Investigator (PI) is PhD Eneken Laanes. The project is recruiting two Postdoctoral Researchers. 

Title of the position: (Research track) Associate Professor – according to TLU’s regulation 
Academic unitSchool of Humanities
The position will be filled by 01.09.2020 and the maximum duration of the contract is 46 months.

Aims of Translating Memories 
The project explores post-Soviet Central and Eastern European attempts to make their local histories of the Second World War and the Socialist regime known globally. It examines these efforts through aesthetic media of memory – literature, film and art – that circulate globally and bring local experiences to global audiences and through the heated public debates that these works of art have provoked in different national and transnational contexts. What memorial forms have been used to make Eastern European memories intelligible in the global arena? What is gained and what is lost in this translation? What can the different ways that aesthetic acts of memory are received nationally and transnationally tell us about the frictions between these scales of memory and within the national itself? How has the globalisation of memory practices reinforced national memory in Eastern Europe? The project argues that the recently reinforced comparative and competitive political discourses about twentieth-century totalitarianisms in Eastern Europe can only be understood by exploring the arts that have developed more productive comparative and translational approaches and can therefore help to untangle the most recalcitrant nodes of confrontational political discourses and addressing the ethical and political complexity of remembering war and state terror.
The aesthetic media of memory (literature, film, art, museums) are studied in the contexts of wider memory cultures, including their relationship to the politics of memory of different (trans)national memory cultures in the region. The project aims to offer a comparative and transnational view of Central and Eastern European attempts to negotiate their entangled histories of twentieth-century totalitarianisms within the global framework.

Requirements for the candidates
Candidates for the position shall meet at least the requirements of career level III of research fellow, research track associate professor (Annex 5, 9 and 10 of TLU’s Employment Relations Rules), as well as the following requirements for joining the project team: 

  • Doctoral Degree in a relevant discipline (Slavic Studies, Literary and Cultural Studies, Film Studies, Art History, Memory Studies or in a related field);
  • An excellent academic track record relevant to the project;
  • Demonstrable affinity with cultural memory studies (to be included in CV);
  • Excellent English, academic writing and presentation skills (at least on the level C1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages); 
  • Good level of one or more Central and Eastern European languages relevant for the researcher’s individual project;
  • Ability to meet deadlines and work both as an independent researcher and as a team member;

Job responsibilities 
General work duties are determined in Annexes 1, 5 and 10 of the Employment Relations Rules of Tallinn University.

The senior researcher will join a team of three doctoral students, two postdoctoral researchers and the PI at the interdisciplinary and international School of Humanities. The project funding allows for international research trips and conference attendance. The researcher is to conduct his or her research on a topic closely related to the project, write and publish academic papers, as well as assist in organising project-related academic and public outreach activities.

The individual subproject of the senior researcher will focus on one or more region in Central and Eastern Europe and on the role of aesthetic media of memory in their memory cultures in the post-Soviet period. Comparative project within Central and Eastern Europe is particularly welcomed.

Workload: 1,0 FTE.
Salary:  max 2990 euros (incl. direct taxes as income tax, unemployment insurance and the funded pension payment which are withheld from the salary automatically by the employer).
Location: The researcher is expected to live in Tallinn and work at the premises of Tallinn University.

Additional information: Practical questions on the competition should be directed to, questions about the research project and the nature of the work should be sent to Dr Eneken Laanes,