Call for applications for a funded PhD position studying black middle class in South Africa

Call for applications for a funded PhD position in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Helsinki:

An Academy of Finland-funded project is searching for a PhD student, who has an MA in anthropology and relevant research experience, preferably in South Africa. The funding period is three years and four months, and the successful candidate is to begin work on the project in early 2017, or by June 2017 at the latest. S/he is to affiliate her-/himself with the Doctoral Programme in Social Sciences at the University of Helsinki.

Project, position and duties

The position exists within a project titled “The Morality of Success among the Emerging Black Middle Class in South Africa”. This project investigates the aims, practices and moral values of different segments of the emerging Black middle class in South Africa. It contributes to two main bodies of scholarly literature: the social scientific research on the values of the Black middle class and the anthropological research on morality. The project employs one (already identified) post-doctoral researcher in addition to the PhD student to be selected through this call.

The successful candidate will be required to undertake the collection of research material in South Africa and the writing of a PhD dissertation based upon this material. We are seeking a candidate with a proven track record in anthropology, and relevant research experience, ideally in South Africa. The successful candidate will conduct research on the practices and values of persons who belong to the new or the emerging Black middle class. The time reserved for field work in South Africa is 10-12 months.

In addition to completing his/her doctoral studies, the successful candidate will be expected to participate in the teaching of anthropology. The successful candidate will affiliate herself/himself with the unit of Anthropology and the Doctoral Program of Social Sciences and, with the exception of fieldwork and holiday periods, will be required to reside in the Helsinki area for the duration of the project. The working language of the project will be English.

The salary will be EUR 2300 per month. The appointment starts with a probationary period of four months.

Eligibility and applying

A doctoral student applicant must hold a Master’s degree with a strong passing grade and have a preliminary research plan submitted with the application. Other requirements include demonstrated ability and motivation to pursue doctoral studies according to the approved study plan.

Applications must be accompanied by the following documents:

–       Preliminary research plan including most relevant references (maximum length 5 pages);
–       Curriculum Vitae including a possible list of publications (maximum length 2 pages);
–       MA certificate and a transcript of grades
–       Description of the current stage of the dissertation work and motivational statement (maximum length 1 page);
–       Two academic references from persons who know the applicant’s work.

All qualifications and references will be carefully validated.

Further details on the University of Helsinki’s Doctoral Programme in Social Sciences are available online here:

For practical details on studying at the University of Helsinki see here:

Please submit your application by 31 January, 2017.

Send your application by email, with all the above-listed attachments, to the two following persons: the Principal Investigator of the project, Tuulikki Pietilä (<>) and project’s post-doctoral researcher, Ibrahim Abraham (<>).

Further information about the position may be obtained from Tuulikki Pietilä.

Launch and First Workshop of The Irish Network for the Study of Esotericism and Paganism


Launch and First Workshop of The Irish Network for the Study of Esotericism and Paganism

In association with the Department of Study of Religions

University College Cork

Friday 31st March 2017

We are pleased to invite scholars to take part in the launch and first workshop of the Irish Network for the Study of Esotericism and Paganism (INSEP), a multidisciplinary research network for scholars working on any aspect of Esotericism (historical or contemporary) or Contemporary Paganism that relates to the Irish context. Its mission is to provide a forum for networking and collaboration among scholars who are based in Ireland and those based abroad who have research interests in the subject areas of esotericism and contemporary Paganism as they relate to Ireland. A general goal of the network is to establish a forum for academics – whether established researchers, postgraduate students, early career researchers or independent scholars – to communicate with each other, share information on relevant conferences and other events, and to promote interdisciplinary collaboration among those researching in the areas of Irish esotericism and Pagan Studies. The Irish Network for the Study of Esotericism and Paganism is a Regional Network of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism:
The INSEP invites papers and contributions on the subject of esotericism and Contemporary Paganism that relate to the Irish context, including areas such as:

  • Esotericism, political change and social movements
  • Ethnography and Western Esotericism
  • Contemporary Pagan Studies in Ireland and/or international connections
  • Media representations
  • The notion of Celtic Spirituality
  • Theoretical frameworks/changing paradigms in the academic study of religions

Call for papers: Please submit your proposal in the form of a title and an abstract (max. 250 words), stating institutional affiliation (or independent scholar) to Dr Jenny Butler: j.butler[at] by 21 December 2016. Please put ‘INSEP Proposal’ in the subject line.


Crossing Borders, Breaking Walls: Movement in the French and Italian Speaking Worlds

An interdisciplinary graduate student conference
Hosted by the Department of French and Italian
Indiana University Bloomington
March 10–11, 2017
Crossing Borders, Breaking Walls:
Movement in the French and Italian Speaking Worlds
For as long as our ancestors have populated the earth, human beings have been in constant movement. In movement, the fortunes of peoples rise and fall, old cultures are transformed and new cultures are born. In movement, our ideas collide, our thoughts intertwine and our languages become our sword and shield, but also the harbinger and sculptor of our identities. But there is also another movement, the crossing of not only physical but also metaphysical boundaries: writers who aspire to music in their verses, filmmakers who capture social changes within their frames, women and other minority writers who break the shackles of traditional images—all souls that are not deterred by the conventional limits of their arts. Borders could be affirmative, stressful and violent, but also fluid, productive and revolutionary. There are walls—even today—that are unbreakable and borders uncrossed, be they geographical, social or creative. It is in the upholding of borders that we confront with the limits of our existence; it is in the breaking of walls that we evolve as a species and reinvent our identities as human beings.
Possible areas of reflection:
o   Activism in literature/art/music/cinema and documentary
o   African studies
o   Bilingualism
o   Colonialism/Post-colonialism/Neo-colonialism
o   Crossovers between genres and medias
o   Exoticism/Orientalism
o   Expatriate writer/artists/musicians/filmmakers
o   Folklore/Folk art/Folk music or ethnomusicology
o   Transgendered identity
o   Immigration/refugee issues today and in history
o   Language varieties and contact
o   Migration and estrangement
o   National identity
o   Religious/ethnical contact and conflicts
o   Translation
o   Transnational cinema and literature
o   Travel literature
o   Women and other minority writers/artists/musicians/filmmakers
We welcome submissions from graduate students. Presentations may be in English, French or Italian and should not exceed 20 minutes. Please send abstracts (200/300 words) to by January 20, 2017. Let us know if you have any requests for technology or special arrangements, and we will do our best to accommodate them. In addition to your abstract, please include your presentation title, name, contact information, institutional/departmental affiliation and research interests.

The Social Aspects of Death, Dying and Disposal 13: Ritual, Religion and Magic


The Social Aspects of Death, Dying and Disposal 13

Ritual, Religion and Magic

06-10 September 2017

University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK

In popular western culture the number 13 is often unlucky, evoking superstition, or witches. Yet there were 13 members of the last supper, Friday the 13th is lucky in Italy and in Judaism it is the age for rites of passage. The theme for this DDD is Ritual, Religion and Magic; its perception, interpretation and role in healthcare, death, dying, and burial.

Individual papers might include, but are not restricted to: death technology and magic, liminality, religion and spirituality in end of life care, ethics and culture at the deathbed, dying inside (and outside) of modern health care, spirituality and the death of animals, rites of passage in dying, superstition and funerals, ritual application in preparing the corpse and burring the dead. Emergent religious and cultural practices in the disposal of the dead, ancestors online, death, dying and grief in public and on the internet. Talking with the dead, the dead in popular horror, the dead in witchcraft execution or haunting or social rituals associated with the dead body, spirituality or lifeways and deathways.

Please submit your abstract via the online form by 28 February 2017. Abstracts should be no more than 250 words.

Abstract submission:

Contact or Elizabeth J Roberts for enquiries.

Tweet #DDD13 to start a trend, @DuncanSayer.

Tenure Track Position in French and Italian Contemporary Mediterranean Studies- University of Oregon


Tenure Track Position in French and Italian Contemporary Mediterranean
Department of Romance Languages
University of Oregon

The Department of Romance Languages at the University of Oregon invites
applications for a tenure track position at the rank of Assistant
Professor with a specialization in Contemporary Mediterranean Studies in
French and Italian, beginning in September 2017. Research specialization
is open, though fields of particular interest to us include Migration
Studies, Europe and the Maghreb, the Global South, Film and other visual
media, Decolonial Studies, or Translation Studies. We prefer candidates
whose research program addresses both French/Francophone and
Italian/Italophone contexts.

The successful candidate will teach courses at the upper-division
undergraduate and graduate level, in French or Italian, as well as a
general education course in English, and have the ability to work
effectively with faculty, staff, and students from a variety of diverse
backgrounds.  We are a creative department in the process of enhancing
our curricula in Romance Languages and seek candidates with a strong
publication record, demonstrated excellence in teaching, commitment to
mentoring undergraduates and graduates, and professional proficiency in
English and French or Italian. Ph.D. must be in hand by the time of the

Submit application online at  Interested applicants
should submit a letter of application, CV, writing sample (e.g. article,
book chapter, dissertation chapter), evidence of successful teaching
(e.g. class evaluations, supervisor’s report, or teaching portfolio),
and three letters of recommendation to: Mediterranean Studies Search
committee c/o Professor Amalia Gladhart, Head, Department of Romance
Languages, 1233 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR  97403-1233.  To ensure
full consideration, application material must be submitted by November
15, 2016.  Position will remain open until filled.

Ecstasies of Darkness at Wynd Museum, London

Ecstasies of Darkness, the history of Witches Ointment
Raymond Salvatore Harmon
Oct 25th 2016 7pm

The shapeshifting narrative of the use of medical ointments in the history of Europe stands as a parable for today’s war on drugs and the societal suppression of women’s rights. Raymond Salvatore Harmon explores the history of ointments and unguents used in folk medicine from the late Greco-Roman period to the modern day via the historic documentation surrounding this ancient form of drug use. From its early shamanistic role in Europe, through its common use in post Roman times, to its survival in contemporary witchcraft practices Harmon traces the outline of ointments intended to transform, to transfix, and to transport the user.

From wild drug orgies to common medical treatments the witches ointment is a little understood and yet fascinating barometer of the cultural acceptance and disapproval of the use of certain drugs throughout history. Harmon outlines the specific herbs used, their active chemical components, and the forms of preparation required, cutting through the superstition to the marrow of actual practical use throughout the past two millennia.

University of New Hampshire Tenure-Track Assistant Professor of Italian Studies

Chiseled in Granite

The Department of Classics, Humanities, and Italian Studies invites applications for the position of tenure-track Assistant Professor to start in August 2017. Specialization is open to any field of pre-18th-century Italian Studies with expertise in at least two of the following areas: Digital Humanities, Material Culture, Mediterranean Studies, Textual Studies, and Visual Studies. UNH and the Department actively create an educational environment that fosters diversity, inclusion and quality engagement for all.

The successful candidate will have a PhD in an appropriate Italian Studies discipline by July 1, 2017, be fluent in Italian, and have a strong commitment to scholarly research, to teaching excellence, to engaged advising, and to interdisciplinary studies. The candidate must be able to teach courses across a broad intellectual and historical range, be willing to engage actively in program development, and have demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with diverse communities. The teaching load is four courses per academic year.

To apply, visit Please submit online a cover letter, CV, graduate transcript, and three letters of reference. Once your application is complete and submitted, your list of references will be notified automatically to submit letters via the portal. Applications will be accepted through 24 October 2016. Candidates selected for further consideration will be notified mid-November and asked to send a writing sample, evidence of teaching effectiveness, and a statement on teaching and research philosophy.

The University of New Hampshire is the state’s public research university, providing comprehensive, high-quality undergraduate programs and graduate programs of distinction. Its primary purpose is learning: students collaborating with faculty in teaching, research, creative expression, and service. The University of New Hampshire has a national and international agenda and holds land-grant, sea-grant and space-grant charters. From its main Durham campus and its college in Manchester, the University serves New Hampshire and the region through continuing education, cooperative extension, cultural outreach, economic development activities, and applied research.

The University seeks excellence through diversity among its administrators, faculty, staff, and students. The university prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, veteran status, or marital status. Application by members of all underrepresented groups is encouraged.