Academic Positions

Postdoctoral Research Position in Heritage Studies 960905

Applications are invited for a two-year postdoctoral position that will start on 1st September 2018 (or as soon as possible thereafter), to carry out research on the convergence between cultural heritage, natural heritage, and Anthropogenic environmental change in the case of Table Mountain, South Africa.

Place of employment: Moesgård, Moesgård Alle, 8270 Højbjerg, Denmark.

The Heritage and the Anthropocene research project
The funding for this two-year post has been generously made available by the Aarhus University Research Foundation (Aarhus Universitets Forskningsfond), through the project entitled “Heritage and the Anthropocene (HATA): Nature-cultures of Table Mountain, South Africa”.

Research and postdoctoral project
The successful applicant will collaborate on an ongoing research project on “Nature-cultures of Table Mountain, South Africa”. Taking Table Mountain as a case study, this project focuses on historical and contemporary land management regimes, rewilding initiatives, “alien” clearances, ecological imperialism, tourism practices, fire management regimes, and future scenario planning, as well as on the impact of colonial and apartheid social and spatial planning, contemporary struggles around access and resources, and questions of social and environmental justice.

In addition, the postdoctoral researcher will be able to pursue projects of their own, in collaboration with the principal investigator and compatibly with the time constraints of a two-year contract. Applicants should, thus, with the letter of application include a description of their intended research project during their prospective contract, providing details on the budget, timeline and expected scientific output of the work. Proposed projects should be in keeping with the concerns of the project on “Nature-cultures of Table Mountain”, but should develop a case study in northern Europe as a point of comparison.
The successful candidate will be encouraged to apply for funding, and expected to present their research at international meetings and publish results in peer-reviewed international scientific journals in a timely fashion. The position may involve some teaching commitments, as agreed upon with the head of department and project principal investigator.

•    Additional, important duties that go with the position include assisting the principal investigator in writing grant applications, and actively seeking further funding for the project on HATA; and
•    assisting the principal investigator in preparing a volume of papers for publication.

Qualifications and job requirements
Applicants for the position must hold a PhD or equivalent qualification in a relevant subject and should also document:
•    a deep understanding of the debates and literatures around natural heritage, cultural heritage, and Anthropogenic environmental change;
•    familiarity with research contexts in Cape Town, South Africa;
•    an international research profile, as well as excellent research quality; and
•    the ability to work independently and in collaboration within a research group.

Applications must be submitted in English.

For further information about the position, please contact Associate Professor Nick Shepherd (

For more information about the application, please contact HR supporter Marianne Birn (

Research environment
The successful applicant will join the Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies (School of Culture and Society, Aarhus University) and a new research group led by Dr. Nick Shepherd (Associate Professor in Heritage Studies). Anthropogenic environmental change is increasingly regarded as a central challenge of our times, demanding new research formations that combine the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. The convergence between Heritage Studies and the Anthropocene is a burgeoning research agenda, and has been the subject of significant recent scholarly attention. HATA brings this emergent research direction to AU, and adds a comparative global north/ south perspective, by pairing case studies in southern Africa and northern Europe.

Aarhus University has a solid research infrastructure that includes the Centre for Environmental Humanities, AURA (Aarhus University Research on the Anthropocene), the Uses of the Past research grouping, and ECHOES (a Horizon2020 project focused on European Colonial Heritage in comparative context).

The School of Culture and Society
At the School of Culture and Society the object of research and teaching is the interplay between culture and society in time and space:

-  From the traditional disciplines of the humanities and theology to applied social research.
-  From Antiquity to the issues facing contemporary societies.
-  From familiar Danish cultural forms to other very different worlds.
-  From local questions to global challenges.

The school’s goal is to produce compelling research with an international resonance, as well as offering teaching and talent development of high quality. The school has a broad cooperative interface with society, both in Denmark and abroad, and contributes to social innovation, research communication and further and continuing education.

For a more detailed description of the school, please see

Deadline: 2 March 2018.

Qualification requirements

Applicants should hold a PhD or equivalent academic qualifications.


All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background.


All applications must be made online and received by:

Please apply online here

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