Gepubliceerd op 20 november 2019
Gezocht: Postdoctoral researcher ‘The Muslim Individual in Imperial and Soviet Russia’ (1-12, A’dam)
The Amsterdam School for Regional and Transnational and European Studies, one of the six research schools of the Faculty of Humanities, currently has a vacancy for a postdoctoral researcher as part of the ERC-funded project MIND: The Muslim Individual in Imperial and Soviet Russia, led by dr Alfrid Bustanov (University of Amsterdam). Applications are now invited from excellent candidates who wish to conduct research on the history of Muslim subjectivity in the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union.
For European historiography, it is self-evident that diaries, correspondences, and other personal documents provide crucial insights not only into how individuals reflected upon certain issues, but also into how the authors expressed their individuality, and how they saw their active role in history. In the historiography of Muslim societies, expressions of individuality are rarely ever problematized; the individual is often seen merely as part of a faith community, and the writings of individuals are more often than not just treated as a source for factual information on Islam, politics, or broader social phenomena, not as an effort of personal self-reflection. By analyzing practices of individualization in the personal archives of Muslims in Russia, the ERC program “The Muslim Individual in Imperial and Soviet Russia” places the Muslim subject at the center. How does a person engage with the Islamic tradition, with the demands of the state and of non-Muslim majority society, but also with other individuals, to design his or her conception of the self (Ar., shakhsiyya)?
Against changing social and political backgrounds, how did Muslims perceive themselves, which religious and cultural repertoires did they embrace? Which role models did they develop, and how do standardized expressions of the self relate to a quest for individuality? Which languages were chosen for such purposes? How did self-expressions circulate, and how were they received? This post-doc project is based on archival sources preserved in state and private collections across the Russian Federation, with genres such as individual and collective biographies, private letters, poetry, and photographs. Candidates for this position are invited to propose their own approaches, and to explain their methodological toolkits.
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