Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


JOB OPPORTUNITY: IAS Quirk Postdoctoral Fellowships: Languages of the Future

11 March 2024

The Institute of Advanced Studies is seeking to appoint two one-year Postdoctoral Fellows to work on interdisciplinary projects relevant to the theme Languages of the Future on an appointment of 12 months to begin on 1 October 2024. Apply by 14 April 2024.

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The IAS is seeking to appoint two one-year Quirk Postdoctoral Fellows to work on cross-disciplinary projects relevant to the theme Languages of the Future, starting on 1 October 2024. The two successful candidates will design, research and write up their own cross-disciplinary project to explore how questions of language shape human conceptions of the future, especially in times of radical uncertainty. The two fellows will also act as co-convenors of a UCL research cluster to develop further cross-disciplinary collaboration on this topic.

The theme of Languages of the Future arises from the work of the first two Quirk IAS Fellows (2023-24), who focus on the theme Languages of the Anthropocene. Their research on the literary, philosophical and social histories of discourses of environmental crisis provides ample evidence that the study of language in all its aspects is fundamental to understanding the current human predicament. In building on their work, the 2024-5 cluster relates to questions of hierarchy and translation, especially in relation to the politics of language. The proposed research cluster also corresponds to recent moves in both philosophy and the history of political thought away from concepts towards languages, a direction of travel that leads them to revive the practice of making connections between philosophy, linguistics and philology that characterised Quirk’s oeuvre. More information about the theme can be found in the job description.

These Fellowships are open to candidates with a completed PhD in a relevant field of humanistic scholarship, awarded no more than 24 months before 1 October 2024. These posts are intended for recently viva-ed PhD students.

At the Institute of Advanced Studies, you will become a vital part of the IAS community, which comprises research staff as well as a vibrant group of visiting scholars from all over the world and academics from across UCL, who participate in our large number of multi-disciplinary research centres, reading groups and other initiatives. The Quirk Postdoctoral Fellows will be provided with mentoring and training by IAS academic staff both to develop their Languages of the Future project and to help them to prepare publications from their PhD, and to make a successful transition from PhD to postdoctoral research. Each Fellow will carry out an individual project, but they will benefit from working together and the IAS Directors will arrange for reading groups and other joint activities as appropriate.

The IAS Quirk Postdoctoral Fellowships are funded from the generous bequest of Professor the Lord Charles Randolph Quirk, 1920-2017, linguist and life peer, who began his academic career as a lecturer at UCL and was Professor here from 1960 to 1981. Professor Quirk was renowned for his pioneering Survey of English Usage, which resulted in a series of publications that became standard works of reference, both on the English language itself and on how to approach the study of linguistic form and usage. Professor Quirk’s endowment is to support ‘humanistic scholarship’ in the fields of language and literature, broadly conceived.

Find out more, download the job description and apply hereClosing Date: 14 April 2024.