The ICI Berlin announces twelve post-doctoral fellowships for the ICI Focus ‘Scale’ of the Core Project ‘Reduction’ for the academic years 2024–26
Scales are used to quantify properties such as length and temperature, or also popularity and affect, but as Alice discovers in Wonderland, a change of scale can also have dramatic qualitative consequences. It disrupts customary ways of perceiving, acting, and being — to the point of feeling as ‘queer’ to her as a caterpillar’s metamorphoses. Helped by the arguably inextricable intertwinement of different meanings and aspects of ‘scale’, Alice’s experiences continue to provide apt metaphors for the disorienting importance and effects of scale and scaling at the time of hyperglobalization and the so-called anthropocene.
Scale is indeed a highly ambiguous notion that combines and helps mediate quantity and quality, as well as subjective perception, objective material properties, and contingent construction. Part of the core project ‘Reduction’, the upcoming ICI Focus ‘Scale’ highlights that scaling — working with, at, or between any particular scale(s) — necessarily implies reduction and asks: What does such reduction enable and what does it impede? What may be gained by shifting or jumping between scales even if this enacts further reductions? How can binaries such as the local and the global, the particular and the general, the private and the public, be made more fluid and entangled by situating them on a continuous spectrum of scales or within a multiscalar patchwork that involves mutually inconsistent and irreducible descriptions, theories, and models? How can one mediate between materialist and idealist, ontological and epistemological understandings of scale?
To explore the critical potential of notions and practices of scale within and across disciplines, the ICI Berlin calls for applications from all fields, including — but not limited to — literary, film, and media studies, critical coding and AI, the history and theory of art and architecture, musicology, law and critical race theory, sociology, economics, philosophy, queer and gender studies, environmental and medical humanities, and history and philosophy of science and technology. We especially welcome applications from individuals who will contribute to diversity and equal opportunity in research.
The committed exchange between fellows is a central aim of the Institute. Applicants should be interested in a theoretical reflection on the conceptual and intellectual basis of their projects and in discussing it with fellows from other disciplines. In particular, fellows will be expected to participate in the weekly colloquia, bi-weekly informal meetings, and other activities of the Institute, to contribute to a common publication, and to be resident in Berlin for the duration of the fellowship.
The fellowships announced are for the academic years 2024–26 (16 September 2024 – 17 July 2026). There is no age limit, but applicants should have obtained their PhD within ten years of the date of appointment. The stipend is 2400 EUR per month.