Postdoctoral and doctorate

Erika Larsson about her post-doctoral research

As a postdoc, I participate in the research project Interwar Lens Cultures, which is a collaboration between Valand Academy (GU), Institute for cultural Sciences (GU) and Hasselblad Foundation. The aim of this project is to revisit and rethink the practices and meanings of lens based visual cultures in the Interwar years through a focus on hitherto under-researched connections between photography and film in Sweden and beyond.


Photo: Cecilia Sandblom / Hasselblad Foundation


In my part of this research project I approach this period in history through contemporary works that relate in different ways to this history as well as through my own engagements with material from this time. The working title for my part of the project is Feeling the Past as my focus lies on affective, emotional, and embodied engagements with historical material. Through such a perspective, I look at the research of racial biology through works by Katarina Pirak Sikku and Marjo Levlin, as well as through my own visits to the archive of racial biology in Uppsala. Through works by Lina Selander as well as archival material of private albums I also look at how notions connected to National Socialism relates to everyday life. Additionally, I engage with material from the archive of Natural History in relation to works by contemporary artists that in one way or another bring out the interconnection between natural history and political and cultural attitudes.


In all cases, the affective, emotional, and embodied engagements with historical material is seen as a way in to approaching aspects of this time in history that are otherwise unavailable, as wells as to make cultural parallels between the interwar period and the present.



Doctoral student in in digital photographic art and culture

The University of Gothenburg in collaboration with Hasselblad Foundation invite applications for a PhD student position at the Department of Cultural Sciences.


We are looking for a PhD student who is motivated to perform independent and creative thesis work on the importance of digital, network-based image cultures for the aesthetic, the formal and the discursive development of the photographic medium.


When images become data the understanding of photographic realism and temporality is changed. How do we perceive automated images, which archives does the visual flow of data require, and how is the history of photography written? Internet and networked cultures influence the relationship to the photographic image in a radical way. What artistic and documentary potential exists in the image networks, what new power positions are generated and how is the curatorial work affected?


Suggested focus of the thesis: postcolonial digital practices, automated photography, the post-photographic, Internet art, ’machinic image’, ’digital seeing’, network activism, hacking, post-truth, everyday surveillance, digital scenographic cultures, novel exhibition practices, and also, with experience of the corona crisis: visual quarantine culture. Other focuses are also welcome. 

Subject area
Art History and Visual Studies

Research environment
The Department of Cultural Sciences is a transdisciplinary environment and offers third-cycle studies in several disciplines: art history and visual studies, musicology, film studies, gender studies, ethnology, and cultural studies.


Parallel research projects regarding digital photographic and artistic practices will be carried out at our collaborative partners in Gothenburg, which together will form a dynamic research network of which the PhD student will be a part. The PhD student will also have the possibility to communicate part of the project in collaboration with the Hasselblad Foundation.

Job assignments
The successful candidate’s main responsibilities will be to write a doctoral dissertation, and to complete obligatory course work. He or she may also undertake a limited amount of teaching, administration, or research not directly connected to her or his dissertation topic. Such duties extend the position accordingly.  The successful candidate is expected to spend his or her time primarily in Gothenburg and to regularly participate in departmental activities, especially the research seminars.

To be eligible for the position, the applicant must meet both general and specific entry requirements. The general entry requirements for third-cycle (doctoral) programs are:

  1. a second-cycle (advanced level) qualification/degree, or
  2. at least 240 higher education (HE) credits for courses of which at least 60 HE credits are awarded in the second-cycle, or
  3. equivalent training either in Sweden or abroad.

Admission to the third-cycle program in Art History and Visual Studies also requires:

  1. 30 higher education credits in Art History and Visual Studies as a second-cycle subject, at least 15 of which must be from a degree project or equivalent knowledge, 
  2. the type(s) of language skills (Swedish or English) needed to be able to benefit from compulsory parts of the course and to be able to actively participate in seminars and similar activities.

In selecting between applicants, their ability to benefit from the course- and study program shall be taken into account in accordance with Higher Education Ordinance SFS 1993:100.


The applicant must have documented knowledge of scientific theory and methodology in the field of art history and visual culture. Knowledge and experience in one or more of the following fields is regarded as an advantage: photography, art, media, curatorship.


The written projects (including the project draft) that are included with the application are evaluated based on the following quality criteria:

  • Suitable subject demarcation, relevant research question(s)
  • Suitable command of the subject and structuring of the thesis
  • Suitable use of language, formalities
  • Academic quality
  • Independence.


In addition to the above, the project draft is also evaluated based on: 

  • Feasibility within the scope of a doctoral studentship. 


Admission may also include an interview in addition to a review of qualifications submitted. The final decision is made by the head of department.

Only PhD students who can be offered supervision and otherwise acceptable conditions for study as well as proper financing according to the Higher Education Ordinance SFS 1993:100 may be admitted to doctoral studies. In addition to the doctoral education the doctoral student may be required to fulfil duties relating to education, research and administrative work (max 20%).


The university applies a local agreement on the salary of PhD students.

Recruitment process
The applications will be assessed by a recruitment committee.

For further information please contact:
For questions about our third-cycle studies please contact Associate Head of Depart. for Doctoral Studies, Astrid von Rosen, +4631-786 2784, For questions about art history and visual studies, please contact Professor Karin Wagner, +4631-786 4190, For questions about the employment procedure, contact Human resources officer Gunilla Zachau, +4631-786 6160, 

Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg:

Information for International Applicants
Choosing a career in a foreign country is a big step. Thus, to give you a general idea of what we and Gothenburg have to offer in terms of benefits and life in general for you and your family/spouse/partner please visit:

How to apply
In order to apply for a doctoral position at the University of Gothenburg, you have to register an account in our online recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline. The selection of candidates is made on the basis of the qualifications registered in the application.


Complementary documents, such as publications/books, that cannot be submitted electronically, should be sent in two copies to the following address and marked with reference number PAR 2021/12. University of Gothenburg, Att: Gunilla Zachau, KUV, Box 200, SE-405 30 Göteborg, Sweden.


For the application to be considered complete it must include:

  1. An introductory letter of 1.000 words maximum (approx. 2 pages), preferably shorter. The letter should consist of four paragraphs in the following order: a) a short presentation of yourself, b) a short presentation of your merits, c) a short presentation of the intended research project.
  2. A CV, including a list of publications (if applicable).
  3. Two theses. Normally, this would be a master’s thesis and a bachelor’s thesis, but it could also be a revised version of a thesis, or another paper, article or book chapter for example, or equivalent work. The texts must be submitted in Swedish or English. Any translated versions must be accompanied by the original text.
  4. A description of the intended research project of at most 3000 words (excluding bibliography), indicating the applicant’s research interests and planned focus area of his/her thesis and research.
  5. Verified copies of academic transcripts and possibly evidence of other relevant qualifications, if applicable.
  6. Name and contact information for two academic references. References will be contacted and asked to submit reference letters if the candidate is shortlisted.

Closing date: 2021-02-28

The University of Gothenburg promotes equal opportunities, equality and diversity.


Applications will be destroyed or returned (upon request) two years after the decision of employment has become final. Applications from the employed and from those who appeal the decision will not be returned.