CfA: 2 funded PhD positions available in LAWHA

LAWHA – Lebanon’s Art World at Home and Abroad: Trajectories of artists and artworks in/from Lebanon since 1943

  • What: 2 funded PhD positions as part of the International PhD Programme in the History of Arts at Ca’Foscari University of Venice as part of the ERC project LAWHA:
    • PhD 1: Artists of Armenian origin in Lebanon’s Art World
    • PhD 2: Women artists in Lebanon’s Art World
  • Where: Ca’Foscari University of Venice with fieldwork mainly in Lebanon
  • When: mid-September 2021 – mid-September 2024
  • Deadline: 21 April 2021, 1pm Italian time (don’t leave it to the last minute as you need to sign up on the Ca’Foscari platform!)
  • How: Find all information on how to apply here: https://www.unive.it/pag/20822/

Two funded PhD positions are offered in the International PhD Programme in the History of Arts at Ca’Foscari University of Venice as part of the ERC Starting Grant LAWHA, hosted by the Orient-Institut Beirut (OIB). LAWHA proposes a shift of perspective in approaching Lebanon’s art world by focusing on the multi-dimensionality of artists’ individual trajectories. LAWHA aims to identify new methods on how to interrelate context and artistic production, to serve as a model for revisiting art histories in contexts where institutionalized local art histories are largely absent. The focus will be on artists in and from Lebanon mainly using the forms of painting and sculpture. The project has two main components, the research itself and the creation of a database and digital platform. For the research, other than the overarching question of how the trajectories of individuals that belong to the art world shape the field, the main research questions revolve around:

  • The forces that have shaped the emergence of a professional field of art in Lebanon within its local, regional and global context;
  • The impact of the political, social and economic environment on the art world and its protagonists;
  • Canon-building and the representation of artists in and from Lebanon.

For this, the research is divided into five clusters: three main thematic clusters (education, exhibitions and the art market), and two sub-clusters (women artists and artists of Armenian origin). The two PhD positions will address one of the two sub-clusters each, artists of Armenian origin in Lebanon’s art world (PhD 1), and women artists in Lebanon’s art world (PhD 2). Despite their striking number in Lebanon’s artistic canon, there is hardly any literature dealing with Armenian artists in Lebanon. Some of the most renowned artists generally classified as “Lebanese” have an Armenian background. The same applies to the representation of women, who have generally been much better represented in Lebanon than in much of the global art world. LAWHA seeks to explain the high number of artists of Armenian origin and of female artists in Lebanon’s art world and artistic canons within the overall discussion of the emergence of a professional art world in Lebanon. The aim is not to categorise artists as “Armenian” or “women artists”, but to understand what forces have led to the proliferation of artists from Armenian origin and women in Lebanon’s art world.

As a PhD candidate, you will be a core part of the LAWHA project team, and are expected to carry out a substantial part of your fieldwork in Lebanon. You will write your PhD thesis on a subject relating to either artists of Armenian origin in Lebanon’s art world (PhD 1) OR women artists in Lebanon’s art world (PhD 2) within the overall frame of the project, support the project team in the organization of workshops, contribute to data collection and building the content of the database and digital platform, and participate in international conferences. You are expected to publish the results of your research within LAWHA’s publication framework. You will be part of a dynamic project and team; a travel budget will be provided.

To be submitted through the online submission platform of Ca’Foscari (see Art. 5 of the Call for applications for admission to the 37th cycle of PhD programmes – please also look at Annex A-13, pp.33-34):

  • Curriculum vitae;
  • PhD research proposal (max. 1500 words) relating to one of the two themes as explained above;
  • Thesis abstract of the Master’s degree qualification (maximum 10,000 characters incl. spaces);
  • Certificate of Master’s degree exams passed with grades (please note also the regulations for International qualifications as stated in Art.4 of the Call for Applications);
  • Up to two reference letters by university professors, researchers or other experts (optional).

Requirements in addition to the usual PhD requirements at Ca’Foscari:

  • Ability to conduct research in Arabic. French desirable.
  • For the PhD 1, knowledge of Armenian is of advantage.

More information on LAWHA: https://lawha.hypotheses.org. For additional information or enquiries, please contact Dr. Nadia von Maltzahn, maltzahn@orient-institut.org (PI, LAWHA).


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