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Job Opportunity: EU-Postgraduate student in Curating the city

News: Jan 04, 2017

 Job assignments

The theme ”Curating the city” focuses on how museums and heritage institutions in different European cities ”curate” the city’s past, present and future, in terms of defining, preserving and mediating urban heritage in a broad sense. This entails negotiation in conflicts over aesthetic regimes, dealing with issues of decolonization, post-war immigration, ”wounded cities” and the ”city without Jews”, intervention in planning, as well as proactive measures in order to understand, develop and conceptualize the urban heritage landscape, also in relation to the constraints due to the tourism industry. It also entails promoting dialogue and participation, navigating the threshold between multiple institutional and non-institutional actors, such as grassroots movements, NGOs, private entrepreneurs and various official bodies. In this context there is a growing demand for curatorial perspectives and skills enabling experts to integrate traditional urban heritage perspectives with the new dilemmas propelled by the growing significance of heritage in contemporary urbanism and by increasing demands for participation. Read the full text here.


This overarching theme will explore existing and new possibilities offered by an understanding of the museum as key ”curatorial” actor in the urban landscape. The theme has three key objectives: 1) Training researchers in curatorial methods and techniques, and in analysing, negotiating, prototyping and disseminating urban heritage. 2) Training researchers to critically engage with participation through addressing, engaging and working with the public (individuals as well as groups). 3) Training researchers in ”publishing” urban heritage within and in extension of museal and institutional spaces through design-curatorial approaches.


One of the four research trajectories in the theme Curating the City is placed at the Department of conservation, University of Gothenburg. The research of this trajectory is framed to meet one major challenge for official heritage institutions, such as City Museums: to account for a dynamic notion of heritage, i.e. one that sees and goes beyond established hegemonic understandings and that can address heritages that are neglected or that dispute common sense modes of understanding. Here various contestations emerge, often framed in terms of who is recognized and included. Resting upon the assumption that different understandings and recognitions of heritage also by effect produce different heritages - i.e they in and of themselves make up a performative heritage practice - this ESR frames another core aspect: the constitutive role of methodologies for mapping and identification, and the concomitant need for creative development of new mapping strategies. When regarded as a performative heritage practice (poesis), mapping can be understood as a key activity for working at the nexus of various overlapping fields of politics and aesthetics, official bodies and various groups and individuals in civil society (the arenas for the new curatorial role of the heritage expert). A development of more integrative models for heritage mapping - that forges historical, material, socio-cultural, visionary and creative aspects of heritage with planning policies and public participation - has been requested over the years, and has also been put on the agenda within heritage charters. This research trajectory both explores in depth the possibilities and constraints given by different existing models for urban heritage mapping, and aims at developing new models that are in line with current forward-looking international heritage policies and charters.


The objectives of the research trajectory at the Department of conservation, University of Gothenburg are:
a) to train researchers in evaluating, using and developing integrated analytical models for urban heritage;
b) to explore the notion of ”heritage analysis” through a participatory practice approach;
c) to make proposals grounded in different models;
d) to do an internship at the Gothenburg City Museum, engaging in its urban heritage work in relation to local case-studies


The aim of this research trajectory is to develop the knowledge and skills needed for accomplishing independant research in Conservation, and to contribute to the development of new knowledge within the discipline through the thesis. The positions is attached to the research strand Curating the City at the Department of Conservation and Centre for Critical Heritage Studies, and the PhD will be developed in collaboration with the group of researchers. 

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Page Manager: Linda Fröberg|Last update: 5/16/2016
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