Position: funded PhD position
Application deadline: 2 May 2022
Institution: Ca’Foscari University of Venice, Venice, Italy
One funded PhD position is offered in the International PhD Programme in the History of Arts at Ca’Foscari University of Venice as part of the ERC Starting Grant LAWHA, hosted by the Orient-Institut Beirut (OIB). LAWHA proposes a shift of perspective in approaching Lebanon’s art world by focusing on the multi-dimensionality of artists’ individual trajectories. LAWHA aims to identify new methods on how to interrelate context and artistic production, to serve as a model for revisiting art histories in contexts where institutionalized local art histories have largely been absent. The focus will be on artists in and from Lebanon mainly using the forms of painting and sculpture. LAWHA is concerned in particular with the time period between Lebanon’s independence from France in 1943 and the official end of its civil war in 1990.
The project has two main components, the research itself and the creation of a database and digital platform. For the research, other than the overarching question of how the trajectories of individuals that belong to the art world shape the field, the main research questions revolve around:
- the forces that have shaped the emergence of a professional field of art in Lebanon within its local, regional and global context;
- the impact of the political, social and economic environment on the art world and its protagonists;
- canon-building and the representation of artists in and from Lebanon.
For this, the research is divided into five clusters: three main thematic clusters (education, exhibitions and the art market), and two sub-clusters (women artists and artists of Armenian origin). The PhD position will ideally address one of the two sub-clusters, that is artists of Armenian origin in Lebanon’s art world or women artists in Lebanon’s art world. Despite their striking number in Lebanon’s artistic canon, there is hardly any literature dealing with Armenian artists in Lebanon. Some of the most renowned artists generally classified as “Lebanese” have an Armenian background. The same applies to the representation of women, who have generally been much better represented in Lebanon than in much of the global art world. LAWHA seeks to explain the high number of artists of Armenian origin and of women artists in Lebanon’s art world and artistic canons within the overall discussion of the emergence of a professional art world in Lebanon. The aim is not to categorise artists as “Armenian” or “women artists”, but to understand what forces have led to the proliferation of artists from Armenian origin and women in Lebanon’s art world. While preference will be given to qualified candidates wishing to explore one of these two sub-clusters, other research proposals within the overall framework of LAWHA’s research questions will also be considered.
The PhD candidate will be a core part of the LAWHA project team, and is expected to carry out a substantial part of the fieldwork in Lebanon. The candidate will assist in the organization of workshops, contribute to data collection and building the content of the database and digital platform, and have the opportunity to participate in international conferences. The 3-year PhD is fully funded (standard PhD scholarship at Ca’Foscari University of Venice as laid out in Art. 9 of the Call 2022/2023).
Requirements in addition to the usual PhD requirements at Ca’Foscari: Ability to conduct research in Arabic; French desirable. (Prior knowledge of Italian is not mandatory despite what is laid out in the Call.)
Please submit the following documents through Ca’Foscari’s online application platform:
- Curriculum vitae;
- PhD research proposal (max. 1500 words) relating to LAWHA;
- Thesis abstract of the Master’s degree qualification (maximum 10,000 characters incl. spaces);
- Certificate of Master’s degree exams passed with grades (please note also the regulations for International qualifications as stated in Art.4 of the Call for Applications);
- Up to two reference letters by university professors, researchers or other experts.
Where: Enrolled at Ca’Foscari University of Venice but based mainly in Lebanon for research
When: mid-September 2022 – mid-September 2025
Deadline for application: 2 May 2022, 1pm (Italian time)
How to apply: Find all information here:
For additional information, please contact Dr. Nadia von Maltzahn (Principal Investigator, LAWHA), firstname.lastname@example.org. It would be great if you can send a copy of your application documents to this Email address when you apply (this is in addition to submitting your application through the formal online platform of Ca’Foscari University of Venice, which is mandatory).