From: Isabel Wünsche
Date: Dec 8, 2022
Subject: STIP: 2 PhD Positions, Research Centre for East European Studies, Bremen

Bremen, Mar 1, 2023–Feb 28, 2026
Application deadline: Jan 10, 2023

The joint research training group of the Research Centre for East European Studies at the University of Bremen (FSO) and the Russian Art & Culture Group at Jacobs University has a vacancy for

2 Doctoral Researcher Positions, part-time (65%) (f/m/d)

in the research project
From the Avant-Garde to Nonconformism: Soviet Artists and their Alternative Practices between Thaw and Stagnation, funded by the German Research Foundation, for a period of 3 years.

This is a fixed-term contract for scientific qualification as defined in section 2, paragraph 1, of the German Academic Fixed-Term Contract Act (Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz – WissZeitVG). Accordingly, only those applicants who are still eligible for qualification under these rules can be considered.

The research group focuses on the activities of alternative artists and artist couples of the Lianozovo and Uktus schools in Moscow, Sverdlovsk, and Leningrad and their roles as independent social actors in the Soviet Union from the 1960s to the mid-1970s. The goal is to analyze their diverse artistic practices and re-situate their artistic legacy in the history of Russian/Soviet art in the second half of the twentieth century.

Research Project 1 – Reference Number: 1/FSO
The historical PhD study will analyze subject constitution processes of artists’ couples such as Ry Nikonova/Sergey Sigey and Oscar Rabin/Valentina Kropivnitskaya in order to gain new insights into the lives and everyday practices of the Soviet people in the decisive transitional phase between thaw and stagnation. It will explore the ideas and discourses fundamental to their self-perception and their relationship to the state and society in the declining thaw, but also the interactions and connections of the mentioned actors within other (alternative) milieus.

Research Project 2 – Reference Number: 2/JUB
The PhD project in art history will examine artistic practices and the related reception and transfer processes during the period between the 1962 Manege and 1974 Bulldozer exhibitions. The position of the artists of the “thaw generation” between the first—the historical—Russian avant-garde and the second Russian avant-garde, which is usually used to describe Moscow conceptualism of the 1980s, will be explored further by not only considering the term “dissident modernists,” coined by Margarita Tupitsyn, but, in particular, Matthew Jesse Jackson’s thesis that before the mid-1980s only a few nonconformist artists considered themselves members of a movement to revive the historical avant-garde.

The projects are characterized by interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers in the fields of Eastern European history and art history. The doctoral students will work together under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Susanne Schattenberg, University of Bremen, and Prof. Dr. Isabel Wünsche, Jacobs University. In their research, they will draw on material from the archive of the Research Centre for East European Studies at Bremen University and the Nancy and Norton Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, as well as sources from other state and non-state archives and museums. The project start date in both cases is March 1, 2023.

As equal opportunity employers, both universities follow an equal opportunity and diversity strategy. They strive to increase the number of women in academia and strongly encourage applications from female candidates. International applications are explicitly welcome. Disabled persons with the same professional and personal qualifications will be given preference.

We invite applications from candidates with a broad academic grounding in the research field and a master’s degree (or equivalent) in history and art history. Potential candidates with a degree in related disciplines are also welcome to apply. Candidates for either project must be fluent in English and Russian and have a working knowledge of German. For institutional reasons, residency in Bremen is required for the duration of the program.

We offer: - excellent opportunities for interdisciplinary research in a lively academic environment - access to the Research Centre for East European Studies’ library and archive, specializing in the history of Soviet dissents and nonconformism
- travel grants for field work
- optional courses for acquiring advanced research skills and professional training - secure employment in academia, competitive salary, a student ticket for public transit

Your application should include the following items:
1. letter of application outlining your motivation 2. brief description of your interest in and suitability for the proposed research project (max. 2–3 pages, PDF). 3. curriculum vitae (with list of publications, if available)
4. copies of university certificates and proof of language competence
5. for project 1: a scanned copy of your master’s thesis
6. for project 2: two academic letters of reference; these should specifically discuss the applicant’s academic qualifications and suitability to conduct research on the proposed topic. Referees should send their letters directly to and cc

Please submit all your documents (with the exception of the reference letters) together in one pdf file to both and by January 10, 2023. Be sure to include the reference number of the project you are applying for.

For additional information please contact:
 Prof. Dr. Susanne Schattenberg
Forschungsstelle Osteuropa an der Universität Bremen
Klagenfurter Strasse 8
D-28359 Bremen
Tel: +49 421 218 69624
Fax: +49 421 218 69607

Prof. Dr. Isabel Wünsche
Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH
Campus Ring 1, Research IV
D-28759 Bremen
Tel. +49-421-200-3311
Fax: +49-421-200-49-3311

Reference / Quellennachweis:
STIP: 2 PhD Positions, Research Centre for East European Studies, Bremen. In:, Dec 8, 2022. <>.

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