Two postdoc positions as part of research project “The Aesthetics of Bio-Machines and the Question of the Life”

University of Southern Denmark
October 23, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Negotigation
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A
Two postdoc positions as part of research project “The Aesthetics of Bio-

Machines and the Question of the Life”

Two postdoc positions as part of research project “The Aesthetics of Bio-

Machines and the Question of the Life”

Two postdoc positions as part of research project “The Aesthetics of Bio- Machines and the Question of the Life” funded by the Velux Foundations Core Group Program.

The Department of Language, Culture, History, and Communication at the University of Southern Denmark SDU (Odense, Denmark) is offering a TWO (2) fully funded 17 months postdoc positions commencing March 1, 2024 (or as soon as possible thereafter).

We are looking for two candidates who are highly motivated to undertake post- doctoral research as part of a four-year collaborative research project funded by the Velux Foundations Core Group and headed by Professor Kathrin Maurer (SDU) and Associate Professor Kristin Veel (Copenhagen University)

Presentation of the host project “The Aesthetics of Bio-Machines and the Question of Life”: Today we are immersed in life-like digital technologies, such as virtual assistants, generative computer systems, and adaptive robots. While physicists, engineers, and biologists are speaking about a notion of “life 3.0”, which declares life status to self-learning artificial intelligence, our humanities-based core group will conceptualize life-simulating digital technologies as sensing bio-machines. We argue that their machinic life-like qualities should be understood through the ways in which they perform a techno-mimesis of the sensory capabilities of biological life. We investigate these “life-forms” from an aesthetic angle, focusing on understanding the sensory capabilities of these technologies and the way they are negotiated in literature, art and film in order to advance knowledge about what constitutes being alive.

Job description: The work to be undertaken by the postdocs is designed to understand how aesthetic works (visual art and film) represent and negotiate bio-machines in specific life-worlds and diverse aesthetic genres. While open to the candidate's proposal, we welcome projects that overlap with one or more of the following focus areas:

  • Domestic Life-Worlds: Bio-Machines and Home Assistance
  • This focus area centers on domestic bio-machines (Alexa, Siri, doorbells, thermostats and security systems) in the smart home focusing on visual art and film. The research interest is in how artistic interpretations of home- based bio-machines reconfigure our understanding of the domestic sphere of life by accepting bio-machines as assistant co-habitants.

  • Work Life-Worlds: Bio-Machines and Labor
  • This focus area explores how bio-machines change the life-worlds of the workplace by analyzing artistic works that deal with these technologies. That are for example smart technologies such as tracking devices “bossware,” automated warehouse robots, as well as care robots in hospitals. This research interest focusses on how these smart technologies become our living and sensing co-workers and employers, as well as how these bio-machines change work conditions and power dynamics at the workplace.

  • Ecological Life-Worlds: Bio-Machines and Hybrid Eco-Systems
  • This focus area examines ecological life-worlds in conjunction with life- simulating bio-machines. These are bio-machines that could sustain eco- systems, such as artificial honeybees and fish to stabilize biodiversity. Artists have taken up this topic of bioengineering. This research interest revolves around analyzing bio-machinic art, discussing the implications of these eco-hybrid systems in reference to how we understand life, reproduction and evolution.

    All the postdoc positions are housed at SDU but in close collaboration with the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies at the University of Copenhagen.


  • All candidates must have a publication record in the field of aesthetics, art, and AI
  • All candidates must have a PhD in one of these fields: visual culture, art history, literature, cultural studies, aesthetics, philosophy.
  • All candidates must demonstrate strong analytical skills and should have knowledge about contemporary discussions of AI and aesthetics as well as post-human theories.
  • Due to the collaborative design of this research project, all candidates must have excellent collaborative skills and be interested and committed to be part of an internationally oriented team.
  • All candidates must have strong communication skills in English. Candidates should present and write all research in English.
  • Once appointed the postdocs are expected to contribute to collaborative work that may include co-authoring, co-organizing conferences or seminars, teaching, and contributing the Center for Culture and Technology at SDU.
  • Appointment to this position may also include teaching obligations in regard to related degree programmes.

    Further information is available from the Head of Department Per Krogh Hansen pkh[email protected] or Kathrin Maurer [email protected] (phone: 0045-60737208).

    Application, salary and conditions of employment etc. Employment as Postdoc is temporary (max. 4 years). Employment stops automatically by the end of the period. An upgrade of pedagogical qualifications is not part of the position. Thus, employment as postdoc cannot stand alone as a qualification for later employment as associate professor/senior researcher.

    The successful applicant will be employed in accordance with the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and AC (the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations), Cirkulære om overenskomst for Akademikere i staten 2019 (the document only exists in Danish).

    To qualify for the position you must have completed a PhD-degree by the time of employment.

    An application must include:

  • Application
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Certificates/Diplomas
  • Information on previous teaching experience, please attach as Teaching portfolio
  • List of publications indicating the publications attached
  • Up to 3 of the most relevant publications. Please attach one pdf-file for each publication. For any publication with a co-author, a co-author statement must be submitted as part of the pdf-file.
  • Only material in English, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish will be assessed. Please always include a copy of original diploma/certificates.

    Please attach one pdf-file for each publication. For any collective publication or publication with a co-author, a co-author statement must be submitted as part of the pdf-file. The publications selected must be uploaded as attachments. We only accept files in pdf-format no more than 10 MB per file. In case you have more than one file per field you need to combine the pdf-files into a single file, as each field handles only one file. We do not accept zip-files, jpg or other image files. All pdf-files must be unlocked and allow binding and may not be password protected.

    Applications will be assessed by an assessment committee and the applicant will receive the part of the evaluation that concerns him/her. The assessment report will subsequently be forwarded to the Head of Department who will assemble an appointments committee. An interview may form part of the overall assessment of the applicants' qualifications. The committee may request additional information, and if so, it is the responsibility of the applicant to provide the necessary material.

    If the application does not meet the requirements mentioned above, the Faculty of Humanities may reject your application without further notice. Applications received after the deadline will neither be considered nor evaluated.

    Shortlisting and tests may be used in the assessment process. Please note that only a shortlisted applicant will receive an assessment.

    Applications should be sent electronically via the link "apply online" and the Faculty expects applicants to read the information "How to apply" before applying.

    We recommend that as an international applicant you take the time to visit Working in Denmark where you will find information and facts about moving to, working and living in Denmark, as well as the International Staff Office at SDU.

    The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

    Campus: Odense

    Application deadline: 23/10/2023

    From this employer

    Recent blogs

    Recent news