Postdoctoral Position: Southeast Asian Music Research


The postdoc will be part of the international and interdisciplinary project team and is supposed to:

• develop and maintain contacts with South-East Asian academic and non-academic partners
• participate in the inventory of South-East Asian archives and sound corpus preserved in France
• participate in the development of OnLine Digital Humanity Project Songs from the Thrice-blooded Land : Ritual music of the Toraja from Sulawesi (deposit of data on the platform Didomena at EHESS, computer input, working with IT specialists for the website). Develop a structure and description of archived data corresponding to the needs of the communities.
• assisting the project leaders with various tasks, such as the organization of workshops, the taking of minutes and the communication among the consortium partners.

1 position of 12 months (renewable) is open in the framework of the European project DeCoSEAS, Decolonizing South East Asian Sound Archives (2021-2024)

A Dutch-French-British research consortium, led by Barbara Titus and meLê yamomo (University of Amsterdam), has received a grant for a three-year project (2021-2024) entitled Decolonizing Southeast Asian Sound Archives (DeCoSEAS). The project renegotiates established understandings of heritage curation by disclosing three unique sound collections, located in Europe, with extremely rare music and sound from Southeast Asia (SEA). These collections have worldwide fame in terms of their quality, quantity and diversity, but are barely accessible. The project responds to the European Call “Cultural Heritage, Identities and Perspectives: Responding to Changing Societies” (CHIP).

The multidisciplinary and transnational research team encompasses expertise in ethnomusicology, sound studies, anthropology, linguistics, digital humanities (audio-visual production, digital data preservation) and theatre studies. The project’s management structure and procedures are network-based, working with partners in archives, museums, media and festivals in The Philippines, Laos, Indonesia, The Netherlands, France, the UK and Germany.

The project partners carry out four work packages (WP). They facilitate physical access to the collections for Southeast Asian stakeholders (WP1), online access for scholars, artists and stakeholders worldwide (WP2), publication channels about heritage curation for Southeast Asian stakeholders (WP3) and outreach projects for culture consumers worldwide (WP4). The WPs have been devised to interrogate the colonial patrimony of archives, to conceive a new digital curational framework, to transfer publishing and editing agencies about heritage curation to heritage stakeholders, and to democratize curatorial practices.

The postdoc will be based at the Centre Asie du Sud-Est (CASE), Aubervilliers (Campus Condorcet). He/she may conduct his/her own research parttime, research that is aligned to the DeCoSEAS aims. The intersections of the postdoc research and the project’s aims will be discussed with postdoc, project leaders and/or principal investigator in consultation. The fixed-term contract will be signed for 12 months initially (part time), renewable for 6 months.

Eligibility criteria

Applicants must hold a PhD in ethnomusicology. Proficiency in at least one vernacular language of a Southeast Asian country will be appreciated. A perfect command of French and English is required.

A successful applicant is expected to

• be able to motivate and valorise research findings,
• be a team player adapting to various professional, cultural and linguistic contexts,
• be well versed into the digital humanities environment

Particular skills encompass:
• expertise in documentary practices, online databases, common metadata formats and audio and video files, and tools for disseminating multimedia heritage on the web,
• Proficiency in the handling of data tables (Excel or Libre Office) and in employment of computer tools related to the handling and documentation of multimedia archives (images, sound, video, text, video and audio software),
• knowledge of organology of the South East Asian region and of European colonial history.

Additional comments

The application file must be in PDF format and include:
• A curriculum vitae with a list of publications
• A copy of the PhD diploma or equivalent certificate
• The “rapport de thèse” (report on the PhD defense), or, only in the case of doctorates obtained from universities that do not release such rapports de thesis itself, three letters of reference.
• A project describing postdoctoral research and activities fitting in precisely with the Decoseas project program (2 pages maximum) – in French or English.
Shortlisted candidates may be requested to provide additional materials.

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