Postdoc in Media and Cultural Studies and/or Postcolonial Studies

The School of Communication and Culture at Aarhus University invites applications for a postdoctoral position in media and cultural studies and/or postcolonial studies. The postdoc position is affiliated with the research project Playing with ghosts – affective ambivalence in decolonial art practices (2022-2025) funded by the Aarhus University Research Foundation.

The postdoc position is a full-time position lasting 18 months. The position begins on 01 June 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The School of Communication and Culture is committed to diversity and encourages all qualified applicants to apply regardless of their personal background.

Art and cultural practices continue to play a significant role in decolonial endeavours that fight colonial structures, racist practices and legacies that continue to haunt contemporary societies because art and culture open the way to sense new futures and bring them to live in the here and now. Playing with ghosts looks into whether decolonial art and cultural practices could work against polarisation in creating playful encounters and possibilities of co-habitation between different and diverse minority and majority groups in affectively ambivalent spaces on the basis of the assumption that colonialism is inherited through structural asymmetries. The project will 1) generate knowledge about playful practices, modes and moods in contemporary art, culture and activism from former and contemporary colonised spaces, in particular the U.S. Virgin Islands and Kalaallit Nunaat; 2) develop a digital artistic intervention with local artists and citizens; and 3) test this interactive artistic work on particular groups in order to conduct reception studies and detect the concrete transformative and empowering impact that engaging in critical-playful artistic practices may have on different groups. Playing with ghosts will be a significant contribution to postcolonial and decolonial studies in studying the modes, moods and impact of playful cultural forms and spelling out the capacities of practice-based artistic interventions in a-symmetrical and conflictual social environments for paving ways toward living together differently.

Postdoc position
We are looking for an applicant who is able to collaborate closely and effectively in a small interdisciplinary project group which connects perspectives from cultural and media studies, regional studies and practice-based art research. The applicant is expected to have a PhD degree (or equivalent qualifications) in, for example, cultural studies, media studies, postcolonial studies, development studies, critical Inuit studies, Greenlandic and Arctic studies or from a different relevant discipline. Experience of various qualitative – participatory, decolonial and/or creative – methods will be an advantage. Previous experience of doing research that involve citizens as research participants is also an advantage, but not a requirement. In terms of language requirements, empirical material will be in Greenlandic, Danish and English, and research should be written in English. Therefore, the applicant needs to be able to manage in a Danish-Greenlandic environment and also to be fluent in spoken and written English.

Your main tasks will be:

  • to be responsible for the collection of empirical material (for example digital texts, interviews, participatory reception studies) in close collaboration with the other participants
  • to be the first author of at least two research articles, and the co-author of one other research article, in close collaboration with the project participants
  • to take an active part in developing and fulfilling the different processes, meetings and events related to the project in close collaboration with the project participants

Teaching and Supervision
As postdoc in cultural and media as well as postcolonial research your position is primarily research-based, but it will also involve a small amount of teaching and supervision. To that end, the successful applicant will be expected to take part in the department’s teaching and supervision activities, and to teach and supervise courses on the Bachelor’s supplementary subject in the culture of eventsKandidatuddannelsen i nordisk sprog og litteratur (especially Norden i verden (both in Danish only)) and The Master’s Degree Programme in the Experience Economy (especially Cultural analysis and Design Project).

Applicants must have a PhD degree or must document equivalent qualifications in a relevant field related to cultural and media studies with a strong interest in postcolonial and decolonial issues. Applicants must be able to document, relevant to the position:

  • an internationally oriented research profile within cultural and media studies and/or postcolonial and decolonial studies (or another relevant field) as documented by a PhD dissertation and/or research publications
  • experience in the self-directed management of research projects and in various qualitative research methods
  • experience of publishing articles in international research journals
  • strong communication and interpersonal skills, in order to engage productively both within the research team and with external organisations and partners and diverse citizens

Furthermore, it will be considered an advantage if applicants can document

  • a track record of research publications of a high international standard, commensurate with the length of the applicant’s academic career
  • an innovative PhD dissertation (or equivalent qualification) in an area related to and relevant for the project
  • relevant teaching experience at university level
  • experience of participation in national and international research networks

Finally, applicants are asked to provide a proposal for research to be undertaken within the stated framework of the research project (max. 1-2 pages). This could include ideas for relevant articles and/or relevant topics to research further.

Please note that applications that do not include uploaded publications (maximum five) will not be considered.

Please do not include references or letters of recommendation with the application. Applicants who are invited to an interview may be asked to provide references.

Work environment
Active participation in the daily life of the department is a high priority, and we emphasise the importance of good working relationships, both among colleagues and with our students. In order to maintain and develop the department’s excellent teaching and research environment, the successful applicant is expected to be present at the department on a daily basis.

We respect the balance between work and private life and strive to create a work environment in which that balance can be maintained. You can read more about family and work-life balance in Denmark.

Aarhus University also offers a Junior Researcher Development Programme targeted at career development for postdocs at AU.

International applicants
International applicants are encouraged to read about the attractive working conditions and other benefits of working at Aarhus University and in Denmark, including healthcare, paid holidays and, if relevant, maternity/paternity leave, childcare and schooling. Aarhus University offers a wide variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including a relocation service and career counselling for expat partners. You can also find information about the taxation aspects of international researchers’ employment by AU.

The department
The place of employment is the Department of Scandinavian Studies and Experience Economy, Jens Chr. Skous Vej 2, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.

The focus of the programme is Danish culture, traditionally divided into language, media and literature, but it also has a long tradition for interdisciplinary theoretical practice and development. Researchers at the Scandinavian studies programme are currently working on topics such as colonialism and its postcolonial aftermaths in the Nordic countries, narrative theory, rhetoric, digital health, the use of language in social media, gaming, affect theory, affect in media, art and heritage activism, Danish dialects, globalisation and genre studies.
Prospective applicants are invited to view the department’s website.

School of Communication and Culture
The school is a part of the Faculty of Arts. You will find information about the school and its research programmesdepartments, and diverse activities on its website.

For further information about the position, please contact the principal investigator, Professor Britta Timm Knudsen:

If you need help uploading your application or have questions about the recruitment process, please contact Arts HR support by email:

Qualification requirements
Applicants should hold a PhD or equivalent academic qualifications.

The Faculty of Arts refers to the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Danish Universities(the Appointment Order).

Aarhus University also offers a junior researcher development programme targeted at career development for postdocs at AU. You can read more about it here:

If nothing else is noted, applications must be submitted in English. The application deadline is at 11.59 pm Danish time (same as Central European Time) on the deadline day.

Aarhus University’s ambition is to be an attractive and inspiring workplace for all and to foster a culture in which each individual has opportunities to thrive, achieve and develop. We view equality and diversity as assets, and we welcome all applicants.

Shortlists may be prepared with the candidates that have been selected for a detailed academic assessment. A committee set up by the head of school is responsible for selecting the most qualified candidates. See this link for further information about shortlisting at the Faculty of Arts:shortlisting

Faculty of Arts
The Faculty of Arts is one of five main academic areas at Aarhus University.

The faculty contributes to Aarhus University’s research, talent development, knowledge exchange and degree programmes.
With its 550 academic staff members, 240 PhD students, 9,500 BA and MA students, and 1,500 students following continuing/further education programmes, the faculty constitutes a strong and diverse research and teaching environment.

The Faculty of Arts consists of the School of Communication and Culture, the School of Culture and Society and the Danish School of Education. Each of these units has strong academic environments and forms the basis for interdisciplinary research and education.

The faculty’s academic environments and degree programmes engage in international collaboration and share the common goal of contributing to the development of knowledge, welfare and culture in interaction withsociety.


30 March 2023

The application must be submitted via Aarhus University’s recruitment system, which can be accessed under the job advertisement on Aarhus University’s website.

Aarhus University 
Aarhus University is an academically diverse and research-intensive university with a strong commitment to high-quality research and education and the development of society nationally and globally. The university offers an inspiring research and teaching environment toits 38,000 students (FTEs) and 8,300 employees, and has an annual revenues of EUR 935 million. Learn more