VIEWS is a collaborative research project, and over the next year or so (2022-23) you will find adverts for any research roles being recruited here. Please remember that you cannot apply through this website – you need to follow the link given under ‘How to apply’ for each vacancy.

Two Research Associates, closing date 9th December

Applications are sought for two Research Associates to join the VIEWS project, led by the Principal Investigator Dr Pippa Steele. The successful applicants will conduct research on pre-determined case studies: (1) cuneiform writing; (2) Egyptian and Mayan writing. The successful candidates will have prior expertise in at least one of the writing systems on which their case study focuses, and training opportunities will be provided to develop knowledge of others.

The successful candidates will contribute to excellence in research as members of the VIEWS research team, carrying out research at a similar level to that undertaken by lecturing staff, with substantial scope for academic judgement, originality, interpretation and presentation of results. They will each undertake to publish a monograph on their project research by the end of their term of employment, as well as pursuing short-term dissemination goals such as working on peer reviewed journal articles and contributing to conferences in their area of specialism.

They will also be expected to play a full role in regular VIEWS project team meetings and to take on extra project-related activities such as conference and seminar organisation, collaborative publications with other team members, participation in outreach activities and contributions to the project website. There will be opportunities to contribute to teaching undergraduate students and to participate in the Faculty’s programme of research seminars for senior members and graduate students.

Research Associate 1: Cuneiform writing

Cuneiform is a term used not for a single writing system or its method of language encoding but for the visual aspect of written signs composed of wedge-shaped strokes. The word therefore encompasses a number of writing systems that would belong, on a linguistic basis, to different typological groups (logosyllabic, alphabetic, alphasyllabic) despite their visual similarities. The successful candidate for this post will look at a range of inscribed material attested in a number of cuneiform writing systems, investigating their visual properties and their relationship with visual culture. Inscribed objects and the act of creating them can be considered in their wider context of art and craft production, but also as part of the visual landscape(s) in which they exist. There has been no comprehensive study of the impact of a move from writing in the context of clay document archives to writing in contexts geared towards display, in particular the growing use of cuneiform in monumental stone sculptural carving. This raises a number of issues surrounding sign shapes and palaeography, issues of scale and the cognitive effect on writing and reading practices.

The successful candidate will have prior expertise in at least one form of cuneiform writing, and the willingness and ability to develop expertise in others; the length of this post (four years) is intended to allow training opportunities to develop expertise in others where needed. Some scope will be given to the holder of this post to design their own research programme based on their specific area of starting expertise. It is expected that the research will include at least one form of Mesopotamian cuneiform and Old Persian cuneiform at a minimum, but there is also scope to incorporate other systems such as Hittite or Ugaritic cuneiform.

Research Associate 2: Egyptian and Mayan writing

According to traditional linguistic-based typologies of writing, Egyptian hieroglyphs and Mayan glyphs are completely different types of writing system because they encode language in different ways. However, they share a striking range of visual features that are obscured by categorising them differently. Some similarities are related to the wider visual context, for example use in monumental display and appropriation by elites as a basis for consolidation and presentation of power, as well as incorporation into the decoration of objects and buildings. They also both feature a high degree of visible orthographic variability, involving different ways of spelling the same word or of combining signs, and comparable
principles in text layout. Such comparisons make it clear that we are dealing with more than superficial similarities in the social context or even the visual-cultural context of writing, and indeed some of these similarities are embedded in the functional structure of the writing system, despite and transcending differences between the two systems in the way language is encoded.

The successful candidate for this post will conduct comparative research on Egyptian and Mayan writing, undertaking to publish a monograph on their research as a key output of the project. They will have prior expertise in at least one of these writing systems, and the willingness and ability to develop expertise in the other; the length of this post (four years) is intended to allow training opportunities to develop expertise in the other system where needed. Some scope will be given to the holder of this post to design their own research programme based on their specific area of starting expertise.

Timeline:

Closing date for applications: midnight, Friday 9th December 2022

Interviews: planned for the week of Monday 9th January, subject to change

Start date: 1st April 2023, or as soon as possible thereafter

NB These are full-time posts, but applications for part-time or flexible working are welcome.

How to apply

1) Visit the university’s main page for this advert, HERE.

2) Download the Further Particulars from the page linked to in point 1, which give full information on the posts and how to apply.

3) Use the Web Recruitment system to submit your application.

Queries

Informal enquiries are welcomed and should be directed to Dr Pippa Steele, pms45@cam.ac.uk

If you have any queries regarding the application process please contact Ms Sarah Lewis,
views@classics.cam.ac.uk