3 PhD positions, 'Beyond Utopia: New Politics, the Politics of Knowledge, and the Science Fictional Field of Japan’
|Institution Type:||College / University|
The Modern East Asia Research Centre (MEARC) at Leiden University, the
Netherlands, invites applications for three 4-year PhD positions within the NWO VICI
research project ‘Beyond Utopia: New Politics, the Politics of Knowledge, and the
Science Fictional Field of Japan’.
Principle researcher is Prof. dr. Chris Goto-Jones,Professor of Comparative Philosophy & Political Thought, Leiden University.
Successful candidates will begin their position no later than September 2010 and are
expected to complete their theses within four years.
Recognizing that, since the end of the Cold War, political theorists around the world have embarked upon a deliberate quest for difference and innovation in their discipline, triggered by the apparently ‘world historic’ victory of liberal capitalism, this project aims to uncover a series of sites of difference and innovation. In particular, it locates itself in two kinds of distancing: geo-cultural (ie. in the non-European space of Japan) and medial (ie. in innovative expressive media). Utilising the ‘techno-media’ of anime, manga and video games, and focusing on the radical potentials of the genre of speculative science fiction, this project aims to analyze and model a series of political visions as potential alternatives to liberal capitalism, hence contributing to the field of political thought.
Furthermore, acknowledging that these widely popular techno-medial products utilise different grammars of expression from conventional, text-based media, this project seeks to formulate a research methodology for scholars to employ for critical interventions into these fields. Accepting that the dimensions of the public sphere change with time and technological developments, and hypothesizing that the public sphere in many contemporary societies is now informed by this techno-politics, at stake is the ability of scholars to remain in touch with (and persuasive in) political realities: new forms of literacy are required if scholars seek to remain involved in the new public sphere. This project attempts to outline those forms of literacy, as implied by the rapidly globalizing force of Japanese anime, manga and video games.
Each PhD project will focus primarily on investigating political expression in one of
the three aforementioned key media: 1. anime; 2. manga; or 3. video games.
The goals of each PhD project are:
• An analysis of the ways in which techno-cultural media (anime, manga or video
games) express political meanings and their impacts on the public sphere (in
Japan and elsewhere), and hence the development of a sense of what it means to
be politically literate in these media;
• An analysis of the political positions/theories that are explained or explored in
these media, relative to existing ideas in the canon of political thought.
The deliverables of each PhD project are:
• a PhD thesis;
• a conference paper.
Teamwork with the other researchers on this project (PhD candidates, a PostDoc and
the principal researcher) is essential.
PhD candidates may also be asked to contribute to associated teaching programmes
in the latter stages of their projects.
Candidates should hold an MA degree or equivalent.
Preference will be given to candidates with:
• an MA in Political Science/Thought or Philosophy and a demonstrable knowledge
of modern Japanese;
• an MA in Japanese Studies and a demonstrable specialization in Political Thought,
• an MA in Media Studies, with demonstrable expertise in Political Thought or
Philosophy and in Japanese language.
• Outstanding research qualities manifest in a high-quality MA thesis or equivalent;
• Excellent command of English
MEARC offers three fulltime (38hrs/week) PhD positions for a limited period of 4
The salary of the PhD candidate is € 2.042,- gross per month in the first
year, increasing to € 2.612,- gross per month in the fourth year, based on fulltime
employment (in accordance with current salary scales as set out in the collective
labour agreement for Dutch Universities).
How to apply
Applications can be emailed in PDF format to the following email address:
Applications can also be send via registered mail:
Modern East Asia Research Centre
Attn. Esther Truijen
PO Box 9515
2300 RA LEIDEN
The deadline for applications is 15 December 2009.
Only applications emailed or postmarked on or before this date will be accepted.
In order to apply, the applicant must submit the following:
• a curriculum vitae;
• the MA thesis or other major writing sample;
• an academic transcript;
• name and contact details of two referees;
• a short research proposal of up to three pages, including a letter of motivation.
NB Each document should contain the applicant’s name and state the PhD position
he/she is applying for (1. anime, 2. manga or 3. videogame).
When applying via email, each of the above mentioned documents should be a
separate pdf file.
|Secondary Categories:||Asian History / Studies
Journalism / Media Studies