The Traditional China Chair at the Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies
of the Uni­versity of Zurich is looking for a postdoc in East and Central
Asian archaeology, art history or palaeo­zoology/-botany. Postdoctoral work
will be carried out under the aus­pices of the Swiss Na­tional Science
Foundation (SNSF) project “Sino-Indo-Iranica rediviva – Early Eurasian
migratory terms in Chinese and their cultural im­plications” (PI: Prof.
Wolfgang Behr). The project will investigate Central Asian loan words of
Ira­nian, Indian, Tocharian and other linguistic origins in Chinese
epigraphical and transmitted texts from early antiquity to the Sui
unification (581 CE). Linguistic results will be compared to evidence from
from material culture and the natu­ral environments with the aim of gaining
deeper in­sights into the devel­opment of the flourish­ing trade routes
linking China and Cen­tral Asia since the onset of writing in China.
As part of the project, a database of Chinese terms with their (putative)
foreign equiva­lents and material culture correlates will be compiled and
published online. The successful appli­cant will conduct a thorough
investigation of material traces re­flecting contact during the time of the
investigated textual evidence in close coordina­tion with the other three
project partici­pants as well as external collaboration part­ners.

Within 3-4 years, the successful applicant will

- publish one or two peer reviewed articles in her/his field per year, and
at least two com­parative articles together with the rest of the group,
i.e. contributions qualifying for submission as a cumulative Habilitation
at the Faculty of Philoso­phy at the Uni­versity of Zurich by the end of
the project period
- actively attend relevant conferences in the field, participate in the
organization of two international workshops on the project topic at the
University of Zurich
- collaborate with the PI and two Ph.D. candidates working on Sino-Indian
and Sino-Ira­nian historical linguistics on a regular basis and participate
in the publi­cation of joint articles
- be open to teach courses related to the project theme in order to gain
teaching expe­rience

Candidates should have background in Central Asian or Early Imperial
Chinese ar­chaeology or art history with a strong focus on material
culture. Alternatively, a Ph.D. with a palaeozoo­logical/-botanical or food
historical background may also be consid­ered, if s/he is willing to engage
with archaeological and historical sources. A solid command of modern,
preferably also of Classical Chinese, and excellent English academic
writing skills are required. Since the challenge of anchoring the project
of the three philologists in the culture of real-life mate­rials and
artefacts will largely rest on the postdoc, s/he should also be willing
devote some time to project workflows and, ideally, have some experience in
organizing conferences and joint publications.

You will work in an interdisciplinary and international team in a vibrant
and research-active department under the employment conditions for SNF
postdoc positions at the University of Zurich (100% FTE, ca. 95-99k CHF
p.a. plus a modest travel al­lowance). The position is fixed term, limited
to a maximum of four years, beginning on January 1, 2019, but a later start
can be negotiated.

Applicants are requested to submit (preferably in one integral .pdf file
attached to an e-mail or as a download link)

- a cover letter
- a CV, including a transcript of records from all previous university
- a piece of writing of no more than 30 pages that best represents the
appli­cant’s re­search, e.g. a published article or book chapter
an electronic (.pdf) copy of the Ph.D. dissertation or of the book based on
- copies of all university diplomas, language certificates acquired
the names and e-mail addresses of up to three references who may be
con­tacted for letters of recommendation

by Dec. 18, 2019. 

Kindly address your correspondence and any further inquiries to Wolfgang
Behr <wolf­> with a subject line “[Postdoc Sino-Indo-
Iranica redi­viva].”

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