1-2 Postdoc positions in the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies

The Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Humanities, University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark, invites applications for 1-2 postdoc positions to be filled by February 1st, 2024, or as soon as possible thereafter. The positions are fully funded for 2 years. 

The postdoc positions are part of a research project, Data Loss: the Politics of Disappearance, Destruction and Dispossession (DALOSS), financed by the European Research Council (ERC) and led by Associate Professor Nanna Bonde Thylstrup. Applicants are requested to explicitly situate and develop their research plan within the overall DALOSS project, yet within this framework individual and original research ideas are highly encouraged.

About the project
DALOSS is dedicated to interdisciplinary and collaborative research into data loss as a constituent part of digitization and datafication, that is also steeped in political and ethical considerations. The project is infused by an interdisciplinary ambition to mobilize distinct, but integrated approaches, to challenge and complement existing research paradigms of data loss through empirical examples and theoretical frameworks across different disciplines, sectors and societal levels.

DALOSS has two main objectives, one substantive and one theory-building:

  • To investigate and create unique insights into ongoing practices and processes of data loss and their political implications for the development of digital knowledge infrastructures in societies.
  • To develop new theories on the politics of data loss within the changing interrelations of digital infrastructures, power dynamics and social practices; thereby situating data loss as a central research concern for humanistic and social science studies.

This is an important and timely moment to examine the politics of data loss. We are at a stage in the digitization of European societies where public and private individuals, communities, organizations, and states are increasingly confronted by a variety of complex data loss problematics. The current and ad hoc responses to data loss moreover carry important political implications for both individuals and democratic structures. Europe has championed the Right to Be Forgotten, but still faces new and difficult questions about what it means to lose or destroy data in computational regimes, and what potential future losses could mean for fundamental rights of data subjects.

DALOSS’s rich potential lies in its ambition to provide a novel systematic study of data loss as part of ongoing digitization and datafication processes, which will provide new critical insights into the political, social and infrastructural implications of data loss.

The position
DALOSS is conceptually organized around three overlapping conceptual themes, corresponding to a specific form of data loss: Disappearance, Destruction, Dispossession, and empirically organized around digital infrastructures. We are looking for a researcher who wishes to conduct research within this conceptual and empirical framework. The postdoc projects are expected to empirically and theoretically examine how digital technologies generate new mechanisms and experiences of data loss. Examples of settings could include e.g. the public sector, social media and/or counter-archival communities. The projects may investigate how understandings of data loss are generated and measured, what risks and opportunities are associated with data loss, and how these understandings influence actors’ understanding of its politics. A comparative perspective across different institutions, actors and political contexts is encouraged. Methods may include analysis of scientific papers and legal frameworks; interviews and observation studies; and experiments with digital methods including linkrot scoping, digital forensics, FOIA and counter-archiving. Engagements with feminist, post/decolonial and Global South/Majority World perspectives are especially welcome. 

We welcome applications from scholars who hold (or near completion of) an MA in any humanistic or social scientific field, including (but not limited to): Anthropology; Communication; Cultural Studies; Geography; History (of Science and/or Technology); Information Studies; Media Studies; Sociology; or STS. Applications from scholars with an MA in science, engineering, or other technical fields are also invited to apply, so long as the social dimensions of the project are core to their work. The candidate should have a keen interest in questions related to memory and forgetting, digital infrastructures and data economies. Prior knowledge of these subjects is advantageous but not required.

As a postdoc with DALOSS, you will be part of a dynamic team of humanities and social science scholars in the heart of Copenhagen. You will actively participate in the overall research project, from data collection to analysis and dissemination; from identifying promising case-studies to the writing of articles; from organizing workshops and contributions to the website and project volumes, and everything in between. Within the wider scope of the project, you will be able to craft your own sub-project, resulting in a postdoc project that will both contribute to the project's overall aims and present an in-detail and in-depth study of its own. As such, there will be ample space to bring in and further develop your own skills, experience, and expertise, whilst at the same time working with experts operating at the cutting-edge of research on digital culture.

An Equal Opportunity Workplace
University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the diversity of society, and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates, regardless of their personal backgrounds. For more information on the diverse working place environment at the University and the University’s participation in the HRS4R HR Excellence in Research, see https://employment.ku.dk/working-at-ucph/eu-charter-for-researchers/

Recruitment seminar
Two online recruitment seminars will take place on 26 September (10-11 and 15-16 CEST). The seminars involve an introduction to DALOSS as well as a presentation of expectations regarding applications. There will be time for questions and exchanges. Link to registration can be found at https://kunstogkulturvidenskab.ku.dk/forskning/daloss/.

Potential applicants are encouraged to contact Associate Professor Nanna Bonde Thylstrup (nannab@hum.ku.dk), for more information about the DALOSS project.

Qualification requirements
Appointment as a postdoc presumes research qualifications on at least PhD level.

For more about postdoc positions and qualification requirements, see the Ministry of Education and Research’s Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.

All applications must be submitted online, in PDF or Word format, via the link “Apply for the position” at the bottom of the page.

Applications may be written in Danish or English and must include the following attachments:

  1. Personal statement (max. one page)
  2. CV (max. two pages)
  3. Documentation of qualifications (exam certificates and PhD diploma) 
  4. Complete publication list (attached publications must be marked with an asterisk). The list must be structured systematically and divided into the following categories:
  • Peer-reviewed publications:
    • Monographs and anthologies
    • Articles in journals
    • Book chapters/anthology contributions, etc.
  • Non-peer-reviewed publications:
    • Publications disseminating research findings, etc.

Applicants can attach a maximum of three publications. The publication dates must be clearly marked on the list. The selected publications must be uploaded as attachments and numbered 1–3. 

  1. A research plan that includes a brief description of previous research, current research areas and upcoming research, and also accounts for experience with research organisation, research collaborations, international relations and any external/intersectoral collaborations (max. three pages).
  2. Documentation of teaching competencies/teaching portfolio (see the UCPH guidelines for teaching portfolios here) and other work on the dissemination of research.

Only material in Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and English will be evaluated.  

Assessment criteria
Applicants will primarily be assessed in relation to their research qualifications, including their publications, ability to conduct independent research and participate in research collaborations, and their experience of research management. In addition, the applicant’s research plan and research potential will be assessed in relation to the overall project described above.

Teaching qualifications are not a requirement, but if the postdoc is expected to teach, then documented teaching experience can be included in the overall assessment. 

The recruitment process
Once the deadline for applications has expired, the head of department will consider advice from the appointment committee and select applicants for assessment. All applicants will be notified whether they have been shortlisted. The Dean will then set up an expert assessment committee to consider the applications. The selected applicants will be informed who is serving on the committee. They will be offered the opportunity to comment on the committee’s assessment of their application before the appointment is announced.

Further information about the application procedure can be found on the University of Copenhagen’s website: https://jobportal.ku.dk/videnskabelige-stilling/rekrutteringsproces and at HR, e-mail: hrsc@hrsc.ku.dk. Please state ID number 211-1571/23-2I, on request. 

Further information about the position is available from the PI Nanna Bonde Thylstrup, e-mail: nannab@hum.ku.dk

Remuneration and terms of employment
The appointment is for a fixed term of 2 years and will be made in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC). In addition, a total pension contribution of 17.1% of salary and pensionable supplements will be allocated. It will be possible to negotiate further supplements on the basis of qualifications.

We seek to reflect the breadth and diversity of society and encourage applications irrespective of personal background.

The deadline for applications is 23:59 [CEST] on 15 October 2023.  

Any applications or additional material submitted after the deadline will not be considered. 


Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.


Application deadline: 15-10-2023
Employment start: 01-02-2024
Department/Location: Institut for Kunst- og Kulturvidenskab
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