Postdoc in Science and Technology Studies

Updated: about 1 month ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 18 Apr 2024

The Department of Digital Design and Information Studies within the School of Communication and Culture at Aarhus University invites applications for a postdoctoral position in science and technology studies (STS) with a focus on information infrastructures for territorial management. The postdoc position is affiliated with the research project Governance by Infrastructures funded by the Aarhus University Research Foundation.

The postdoc position is a full-time (37 hours/week) and 30-month fixed-term position. The position begins on 01 June 2024 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.

Project

The overall Governance by Infrastructures project tackles, in a comparative way, historical and contemporary practices of informationally infrastructuring territory and population, which are the two main assets of modern institutions. The project builds on scholarship in STS, information infrastructures and organisation studies to research how the modern institutional order that has emerged from the datafication of territory and population since the 17th century (and featured prominently in various projects of state-building and colonisation) is being challenged by current digital developments in information infrastructures for territory and population management. The overall research project asks how new forms of de facto governance are being shaped by information infrastructuring for managing territory and population.

The mutually shaping relationship between governance and infrastructure is a well-known STS tenet. The project addresses it in three respects. Firstly, governance by infrastructures is a way to exert normativity and decision-making through multiple forms of materiality, including but not limited to written texts such as laws and regulations. As datafication increasingly translates territory and populations into digital infrastructures, it is necessary to wonder about the consequences of this change in materiality for contemporary institutional ordering. Secondly, different materials entail differences in who can or cannot access knowledge. Information infrastructures implicate regimes of inclusion and exclusion, for example, in communities of practice defined by the knowledge such communities have of how infrastructures work. Thirdly, governance can be conceived as a de facto outcome of infrastructuring for information production and circulation. As historians of technology have shown, information infrastructures can constitute the building block of state-building and even supra-national-building. For all these reasons, the project assumes an organisational understanding of governance and draws on STS’s notions of ‘geography of responsibility’ and the anti-essentialist ‘vectorial glance’.

The project’s working language is English.

Postdoc position

The successful applicant will be expected to contribute to the part of the Governance by Infrastructures project that concerns the informational management of territory, with a preference for coastal territories. The postdoc will engage with literature review; archival, technical and design documentation; empirical sociological research (for example, interviews, observations, and mixed methods like visualisations, thanks to the support of the school’s facilities).

Qualifications

Applicants must have a PhD degree or document equivalent qualifications in a relevant field related to STS, information studies or neighbouring disciplines (for example, organisation studies with a technological perspective or computer studies with a governance perspective).



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