Three PhD positions on Greek festival networks at Groningen

A great opportunity for those of you looking for PhD funding, or who know someone fit for this. The PhD projects will involve the application of network science and agent-based modelling to a fantastic dataset on Greek festivals of the connected contests project. And you’ll be working with great academics in an inspiring university environment.

More info below.

Informal announcement: Three PhD positions in the field of Greek Athletics and festivals

The Department of Ancient History at the University of Groningen will offer three PhD positions as of January 2019 in the field of Greek Athletics and festivals. These salaried positions will be full-time for a period of four-years, or 80% for a period of five years. The formal advertisement will become available in the course of the summer, but prospective candidates are invited to contact the project directors informally: Prof. Onno van Nijf (o.m.van.nijf@rug.nl) and dr. Christina Williamson (c.g.williamson@rug.nl).

1: Applications are invited for 2 PhD positions (AIO) in the research project ‘Connecting the Greeks: Multi-scalar festivals in the Hellenistic world’ funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

The goal of this project is to investigate Hellenistic festival networks and their dynamics at different scales. Sport is commonly understood as an engine of global political and cultural change. This was also the case the Hellenistic and Roman periods. A strong increase in the number of festivals with athletic and other competitions promoted cultural and political communication and helped to raise awareness of an increased sense of common Greek identity. This growing web of agonistic festivals helped to create the Hellenistic world at different scales. This project aims to subject this multi-scalar festival culture to a rigorous analysis with innovative tools, theories and methods derived from social sciences and digital humanities, including network analysis and agent-based modelling.

A central feature of the project will be the further development of an on-line database of festivals and festival agents (athletes, performers, theoroi) that will make it easy to plot individual mobility and festival connectivities over time and place. A fully operative database is already available on http://www.connectedcontests.org, where also more information on the project may be found.

Two PhD projects will focus on festival networks at different scales. One PhD project addresses festivals in the representation of Hellenistic rulers and ruler cult. The second PhD project addresses festival network dynamics at a regional level. Both projects will use network analysis and agent-based modelling to interpret the role of festivals in creating Hellenistic connectivity.

2. A third PhD position will be offered in the framework of the Anchoring Innovation Research Initiative of the Dutch National Research School in Classical Studies, OIKOS http://www.ru.nl/oikos/anchoringinnovation .

Rome oriented cults and festivals in the Greek world: When Rome became the dominant power in the Eastern Mediterranean it anchored its power also in the cultural and religious traditions that connected the Hellenistic world. Agonistic festivals with athletic and musical competitions, continued to play an important role in this process of connectivity. The Roman conquerors found themselves entangled in this web of connections, starting with Titus Flamininus who famously used the Isthmian games to declare Greek freedom. This project will investigate the history and forms of this entanglement that would culminate in the Roman imperial cult. This project will be conducted in close connection with the NWO-funded project Connecting the Greeks: multi-scalar festivals in the Hellenistic world.

Candidates will be asked to develop a research proposal for one of these projects (1000-1500 words, excluding bibliography. Prospective candidates are invited to contact in advance Prof van Nijf (o.m.van.nijf@rug.nl ) or Dr Williamson (c.g.williamson@rug.nl).

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