Postdoc opportunity: two PhD studentships at ZZF Potsdam

The Leibniz Centre for Contemporary History (ZZF) Potsdam, Department I (Communism and Society), seeks to employ 2 Doctoral Students (f/m/d) for the ERC-funded project ‘Perestroika from Below: Participation, Subjectivities, and Emotional Communities across ‘the End of History’, 1980-2000, under the supervision of PD (Humboldt-st Universität zu Berlin) Dr. Juliane Fürst. The employment period is previewed as November 1st, 2022 – October 31 , 2026; the starting date can be negotiated. The positions are part-time (65%). The salary is paid according to the collective bargaining agreement for public employees in Germany (TV-L 13).

The project ‘Perestroika from Below’ intends to research and write a new history of a well-known, yet under-researched, moment in Soviet history, countering the dominant perception of perestroika as primarily reforms from above. It wants to redirect the scholarly gaze towards the large number of Soviet citizens who participated in and sponsored the ambitious attempt to redefine Soviet life, history and future in the 1980s and 90s. With the help of oral history interviews and other ego-documents as well as archival and published sources, the project aims to reconstruct individuals’ path into their perestroika experience and follow their trajectories into the 1990s. For more information please visit

Description and Tasks
The successful applicants will be an integral part of the five-year project “Perestroika from Below’, contributing to and benefitting from being part of a strong team of international researchers and a wide network of scholars worldwide. The project language is English. Applicants are expected to have knowledge of one of the languages of the post-Soviet space. Proposals dealing with non- Russian themes are actively encouraged. We are looking for dissertation ideas that take a wider and innovative perspective on Perestroika, which does not necessarily have to be political or economic. We are deeply committed to a view both from below and from the periphery. We are open to any kind of methodological approach but encourage oral history as a tool, especially since the project is also designed to interrogate authorial subjectivities. The doctoral students commit to contribute to the project through active participation in workshop and conferences, dissemination of their work through academic and non-academic channels and small organisational support.

Applicants must have a Masters’ degree in history or cultural studies or in a related field. Fluent English language skills (min. C1 level) and competency in one or more of the languages of the post-Soviet space are prerequisite.The ZZF is a research institute for German and European contemporary history in the 20th century and a member of the Leibniz Association. The ZZF offers an exciting research environment and a motivated and cooperative working atmosphere as well as flexible working hours. We attach great importance to optimal scientific advancement and support our staff in their personal and academic development.The ZZF is an equal opportunities employer and particularly welcomes applications from women and minorities. These will, in cases of equal merit, receive preferential consideration. This also applies to severely disabled applicants.Please send the usual documentation (CV, motivational letter, academic certificates) as well as a project proposal (not more than 2000 words) using the reference number WM 06-2022 by September 19st, 2022 only via email as ONE PDF to: Interviews will be held shortly thereafter.

For further questions concerning tasks, requirements and the dissertation please contact PD Dr. Juliane Fürst:

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