full professorship media aesthetics and media technology (W2/W3)

Competitive Salary
Jun 09, 2021
Employment Level
Tenured/Tenured Track
Employment Type
Full Time

The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Leuphana University of Lüneburg invites applications for the following full professorship: Media aesthetics and Media Technology (W2/W3)

HUMANISTIC. SUSTAINABLE. ENTREPRENEURIAL.To achieve its educational aims, Leuphana University has developed a unique program aligned with the ideas of liberal education and humanism and has founded the first public college in Germany. Based on disciplinary depth, Leuphana is rising to the challenge to increase scientific impact by means of methodological diversity and interdisciplinary cooperation.

The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Leuphana University of Lüneburg invites applications for the following full professorship:

Media aesthetics and Media Technology (W2/W3)

Your research is focused on the historical and current interrelationship of media aesthetics and media technology based on an international research profile that is genuinely rooted in the humanities, and a broad methodological and systematical expertise. Thereby you expand and enrich the existing media studies approaches at the Institute for Culture and Aesthetics of Digital Media (ICAM) with new perspectives and subject areas. This includes both the manifold manifestations of media aesthetics, its specific functions, formative and perceptual processes, as well as the specific technological conditions of media and the way in which their interactions are theoretically modeled.

Your focus of research lies in the domains of film and the moving image and/or the (digital) image. This includes, for instance, the history of film, television and photography, video and media art, documentary or scientific (moving) image, theories and philosophies of visual imagery, questions of image circulation and image economy, digital imaging and CGI processes, or video games. Your research addresses specific genres, phenomena, and artifacts, especially with regard to the interaction between aesthetic and technological as well as epistemological, organizational, and economic aspects. You are also interested in making the study of film and the (moving) image fruitful for Humanities and Social Sciences by means of theoretical, methodological and political impulses.

As a researcher with an interdisciplinary orientation and anchored in international research discourse, you contribute significantly to the development of the Humanities and Social Sciences at Leuphana with an independent, unique profile. Preferably, you already are experienced in the productive collaboration in interdisciplinary research networks. You will be expected to be involved in ongoing national and international academic discussions at a high level and to enrich these debates. You are able to document this through your extensive and high-quality national and international publication activities.

In organizational terms, the professorship is assigned to the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science, Institute for Culture and Aesthetics of Digital Media (ICAM). You have been teaching at all levels from BA to PhD and enjoy teaching in interdisciplinary programs. You will be teaching in the MA program „Media and Digital Cultures“, in the BA majors „Media and Cultural Technology“ and „Digital Media/Cultural Informatics“ as well as in the English-language BA major „Digital Media“. In addition, you will also be engaged in the electives of the other cultural studies master's programs („Critique of the Contemporary“; „Culture and Organization“; „Theory and History of Modernity“) as well as in cross-faculty programs (Cultural Studies Core Area) and in cross-university programs (Leuphana Semester and General Studies). You will also actively participate in the structured PhD program and be willing to teach courses in English at all levels of the curriculum. If you do not have German language skills, you are willing to acquire them within a reasonable time frame.

For a potential appointment at W2, you are recognized in national and international academic discussions. You illustrate this, among other things, by your publication activities in relevant national and international journals and publishing houses. You are experienced in the acquisition of external funding.

For a potential appointment at W3, you are enriching the national and international expert discussion at a high level. You illustrate this, among other things, through a broad and distinguished publication record in high profile national and international journals and publishers. You have already been successful in obtaining external funding from prestigious institutions.

You are also willing to actively participate in interdisciplinary research networks within the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences as well as other scholarly initiatives at Leuphana. It is further required that you will take part in the academic self-administration.

The requirements for employment (paygrade W2/W3) are based on § 25 of the Lower Saxony Higher Education Act (NHG), and include: a university degree; the particular ability to conduct in-depth independent scientific work, which is usually documented by an outstanding dissertation corresponding to the profile of the professorship; additional academic achievements, usually in the context of an associate professorship, a second book, or proven as achievements equivalent to a second book; pedagogical and didactical competence based on experience in using innovative teaching methods.

Upon first nomination, the appointment may be limited to five years. For applicants who are already working as a professor (W2/W3) at a university, a tenured appointment (paygrade W3) is possible. In exceptional cases, this also applies to applicants appointed for the first time.

In its personnel structure, Leuphana University of Lüneburg focuses on promoting young academics and aims to increase the number of female professors. It strongly invites qualified female scholars to apply. Handicapped applicants will be given priority in the recruitment process within the framework of legal regulations.

For further information, please contact the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Prof. Dr. Ulf Wuggenig (ulf.wuggenig@leuphana.de), or the Director of the Institute for Culture and Aesthetics of Digital Media, Prof. Dr. Claus Pias (claus.pias@leuphana.de).

 Please ensure that your application includes the following documents and merge them into two PDF files for electronic delivery: a) cover letter, curriculum vitae, copies of academic degrees, and b) three subject-relevant publications (essays, book chapters). Please submit your application by August 1, 2021, using the keyword Media Aesthetics, to beko@leuphana.de or to the Office of the President of Leuphana University Lüneburg, P.O. Box 2440, 21314 Lüneburg, Germany. Please be aware that we cannot return application documents sent physically.

By submitting your application, you consent to your data being stored and processed for the purpose of the recruitment process. Please note our Data Protection Notice for Applicants:
in English: https://www.leuphana.de/fileadmin/user_upload/newspool/stellenausschreibungen/professuren/Datenschutzhinweise_Professuren_EN.pdf
or in German): https://www.leuphana.de/fileadmin/user_upload/newspool/stellenausschreibungen/professuren/Datenschutzhinweise_Professuren.pdf

Context of the Professorship
According to the strategy paper of the Society for Media Studies, media aesthetics forms one of the „three core areas of media studies“ alongside media theory and philosophy as well as media history. Media aesthetics is therefore a well-established – albeit in itself heterogeneous – field of research, both nationally and internationally. The advertised position is therefore a necessary and complementary addition to the already existing professorships for „Media Culture and Media Philosophy“ (Erich Hörl) and „Theory and History of Media“ (Claus Pias). Its denomination as „Media Aesthetics and Media Technology“ refers to the connection between changing modes of experience and perception and aesthetic-technical standards in the course of the emergence of technical media in modernity as a whole, as well as to recent developments in digital media and the significance of the aesthetic in and for digital cultures. The specific focus on the interaction between aesthetics and technology reflects a tradition of Leuphana in research and teaching, as it is also incorporated in the corresponding study program of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (Master „Media and Digital Cultures“, Master: „Critical Studies - Arts, Theory, History“, Major „Digital Media“ (English), Minor „Digital Media / Information Technology and Culture“, as well as the upcoming B.A. „Studies in Media and Culture“).

The professorship is distinguished by a genuinely cultural-theoretical as well as international profile and a methodologically and systematically broad expertise to study the interplay of media aesthetics and media technology. The professorship is positioned in close proximity to the core areas in media and cultural theory (in the German-speaking tradition of Kulturwissenschaften) at Leuphana, above all „Digital Cultures“ and „Cultures of Critique“. It thus productively complements and expands the existing media studies approaches at ICAM.

The field of „media aesthetics“ requires a certain specification. Recent research, for example, stated not only a comprehensive „prioritization of the aesthetic“ in the 21st century (Hansen/Hörl) and a general „media-aesthetic constitution of the everyday world“ (Bidlos), but media aesthetics has even been claimed as a „new 'common core' curriculum“ across disciplines (W.J.T. Mitchell). Therefore, the subject area of media aesthetics is of enormous scope and concerns not only research in the traditional domains of the traditional written, visual and sound arts as well as individual media (such as photography, film, video, games, computer-generated imagery), but also the general „epistemological status of the aesthetic“ (Mersch) as well as its implications for research practices and methods in and on digital cultures, such as visual humanities or computer-based, image-related „cultural analytics“ (Manovich). Media aesthetics is thus a field that has begun to establish itself nationally and internationally through professorships, curricula, and research networks (e.g., the GfM's Media Aesthetics working group, the book series titled Medienästhetik (Media Aesthetics) published by transcript, the journal mediaesthetics, and most recently the establishment of the DFG Kolleg-Forschungsgruppe „Cinepoetics: Center for Advanced Film Studies“ (FU Berlin) and the DFG priority program „The Digital Image“ (LMU Munich)).

 The professorship specifies this broad field in two ways: On the one hand by focusing on concrete, artifact-related interactions between media aesthetics and media technology, and on the other hand by framing media-theoretical and culture-theoretical questions in terms of an original redescription of contemporary (digital) cultures in their genealogies, dynamics, and consequences.

On the one hand, informed investigations of concrete objects and phenomena are relevant, which encompass the technical constitution of media constellations and their theoretical modeling as well as the differentiated manifestations of media aesthetics, i.e. its specific functions and processes of formation and perception. In the framework of research and teaching at Leuphana, a special profile in the field of film and (moving) image in their aesthetic, technical, epistemological, organizational and socio-economic aspects is desired; including, for example, cinema, video and media art, documentary and scientific (moving) image, film, television and photography history, image theory and philosophy, questions of image circulation and image economy, imaging or simulative processes, games.

On the other hand, and beyond artifact- or genre-related questions, it is important to make such research on film and (moving) image productive for the diagnosis and description of historical as well as contemporary visual cultures by means of theoretical, methodological, and science-political impulses. This concerns not at least the ubiquity and changing quality of digital (moving) images and their contribution to a conceptual, historical and critical definition of digital cultures.

The professorship is a central element for the further establishment of a Lüneburg program that is dedicated to a reconstitution of cultural theory or Kulturwissenschaften (especially under conditions of digitality). It is also firmly embedded in the international research discourse. The professorship serves to further advance the academic profile of Leuphana and to create a methodologically and technically informed milieu of theory development and empirical research for students. As regards the further teaching and research environment at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences – with reference to media-aesthetic and media-technical research on the role of film and (moving) image – we expect the professorship to contribute responses to the central question of what cultural studies currently mean and what they can achieve.


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