Researcher (m/f/d) Black Narratives of Transcultural Appropriation

Leibniz Centre for Literary and Cultural Research (ZfL)

At the LEIBNIZ-CENTER FOR LITERARY AND CULTURAL RESEARCH (ZfL) in Berlin, a three-year position as a researcher (m/f/d), salary group 13 TVöD (federal), 65%, is available from October 1, 2024 in the project “Black Narratives of Transcultural Appropriation: Constructing Afropean Worlds, Questioning European Foundations” (PI: Gianna Zocco).

The five-year research project is funded by the Horizon Europe programme with an ERC Starting Grant (AFROPEA, Grant Agreement 101075842). It explores literary texts by African-European authors that relate to Europe. The project studies these texts from a comparative perspective by making use of the concept of transcultural appropriation. The project specifically focuses on African-European texts written in other languages than English and French—both primary languages of the African diaspora—; texts depicting middle, eastern, and provincial parts of Europe; as well as on certain literary genres such as the anthology, the travelogue, and the periodical. For further information about the project, please visit: https://www.zfl-berlin.org/project/black-narratives-of-transcultural-appropriation.html

Your tasks:

  • You will write a doctoral thesis on a sub-topic of the overall ERC project
  • As part of your doctoral project, you will contribute to some of the particular interests of the ERC project, for example by focusing on one of the genres mentioned above and/or by working on literature written in a corresponding language or depicting a corresponding region
  • You will contribute to the conception and organization of academic conferences and participate in academic conferences within the ERC project
  • You will participate in joint research and publication/editing activities of the project and the ZfL


  • A completed academic degree (Masters) in the field of literary studies (or with a focus on literary studies)
  • A doctoral research project in the field of African-European literatures with a comparative focus and with a clear thematic connection to the ERC project
  • Very good knowledge of German and English as well as very good knowledge of at least one other, ideally Central Eastern, Eastern, or Northern European language
  • The ability to work independently as well as in a team on the topic of the project
  • Willingness to contribute to the activities of the ZfL in addition to project-related work

The position at the ZfL offers:

  • Work in a small, team-oriented, diversity-sensitive research group with flat hierarchies
  • An interdisciplinary and international research environment
  • Integration into the research activities of the ZfL
  • Regular feedback and advise and opportunities to present your project
  • Room for personal initiative
  • Family-friendly working conditions
  • Established cooperations with universities of the Berlin region to accomplish the doctoral qualification process
  • Possibility to teach at a university

Applications are only accepted in electronic form. Please send your application in a single PDF document to Dr. Gianna Zocco (bewerbungen@zfl-berlin.org), ID: AFROPEA2024. The job interviews are expected to take place at the beginning of July in Berlin or via video call.

The ZfL is an equal opportunities employer committed to inclusion and diversity. We strongly encourage qualified women to apply as we strive for a balanced gender ratio among our employees. We also strongly encourage BPOC, people with a migration history, and non-EU citizens to apply. In the case of identical aptitude and qualification, people with severe disabilities will be prioritized.

The application deadline is June 15, 2024.

The ZfL promotes the compatibility of work and family and has been awarded the audit workandfamily (berufundfamilie) certificate for this.

Applying for the position requires consent to the specific storage/processing of personal data (Art. 13 GDPR) for applicant selection.