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Fachbereich Politik- und Sozialwissenschaften - Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology

Research Assistant (praedoc) (m/f/d) with 65%-part-time job limited to 3 years Entgeltgruppe 13 TV-L FU Reference code: WM-Praedoc-Schafl2020

Bewerbungsende: 13.04.2020

VW Freigeist project “The Populism of the Precarious: Marginalization, Mobilization, and Mediatization of South Asia’s Religious Minorities” – Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, Freie Universität Berlin . 

How do religiously discriminated communities in India and Pakistan become political actors in the 21st century? How does the role of the digital in everyday life change the establishment and sustainability of religious minorities’ social movements in transnational and local publics and, in fact, their attempts to emerge as ‘the people’? And what can case-studies of politically active religious minorities in South Asia contribute to recent discussions on the global rise of populism—whose analysis, so far, has been dominated by European and American examples? On the basis of these and other key questions, this project aims to extend studies on the current life-worlds of religious minorities in India and Pakistan, social media’s influence on today’s South Asian political landscapes, and, crucially, the nexus of populism and religion in its effort to produce concepts of ‘citizenship’ and ‘the people.’

The position provides an opportunity for independent research towards a dissertation project.

In this context, the project searches for a Ph.D. student (m/f; 65%-part-time-limited to 3 years) who will study the political activism of women from religious minorities in Pakistan. This research will build on extensive fieldwork in Pakistan as well as on the study of textual sources (online and offline). 

Research Assistants are simultaneously doctoral students at the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, Berlin. Aside from the project activities, the doctoral student will also have access to the institute’s mentoring programs.

Job description 

–         Extensive field research in Pakistan

–         Study of literary sources as well as social media in English/Urdu/ Hindi

–         Close cooperation regarding the research program (sorting literature, production of bibliographies, etc.)

–         Regular participation in the project activities

–         Organization of international conferences

–         Presentation of research at international conferences


–         University Degree (M.A./Magister) in Cultural Anthropology and/or South Asian Studies or similar


–         Regular participation in the colloquia organized by the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology

–         Excellent knowledge of English and Urdu as well as good knowledge of an additional South Asian language

–         Good German skills

–         Knowledge of theories of culture and anthropological theories (with regard to South Asia) as well as theories of populism

–         Fieldwork experience in South Asia

–         Interest in the relationship of (global) concepts/theories and local practices

–         Capacity for teamwork, ability to work independently, flexibility

Weitere Informationen

Applications with the usual documents (CV, motivation letter, possible publication list), mentioning the reference code, can be sent in English or German language as a pdf file (combined into one document) to Dr. Jürgen Schaflechner: Juergen.schaflechner@uni-heidelberg.de or postal to

Freie Universität Berlin

Fachbereich Politik- und Sozialwissenschaften

Institut für Sozial- und Kulturanthropologie

Herrn Dr. Jürgen Schaflechner

Landoltweg 9-11

14195 Berlin (Dahlem)

Stellenauschreibung vom: 01.03.2020