The research group “Foraging at the Edge of Capitalism,” based at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, LMU Munich, is inviting applications for the position of a PhD student or a postdoctoral fellow, with a deadline of 17 October 2022. We are looking for a candidate to join our team, with an aim to combine socio-environmental research with documentary media and collaborative sensory ethnography.
Foraging is as a global phenomenon of our times. Broadly understood as practices of collecting, scavenging, and gleaning, it includes all things that can be collected and sold—from fresh mushrooms and berries to scrap metal, vintage cloths, and whatever consumer capitalism leaves behind. In this moment of economic strain and environmental breakdown, foraging practices are on the rise. Where the dream of a middle-class life based on a stable, salaried job no longer seems viable, and in places where the welfare state is under pressure, has never existed, or has vanished, foraging is often the only avenue to upward social mobility. At the same time, environmental and social concerns are raising the urgency for conservation, management, and intervention. To understand the evolving frictions at this interface and the unexpected niches that emerge is highly relevant at this historical moment—both in academia and beyond. We seek to approach this field in a visual and sensory way, leading not only to publications but also to several films and an exhibition. The project is being led by anthropologist and filmmaker Martin Saxer.
Prospective team members need a degree (MA/PhD) in anthropology, geography, critical media studies, or a similar discipline. They will be based in Munich and are invited to pursue a foraging topic of their own choice without regional limitations. At the same time, we also expect a willingness to contribute to the team’s common efforts and participate in the other members’ projects. Sufficient funds for long-term fieldwork are provided.
The working language at the RCC is English; German is helpful but not a precondition. Other language skills are an asset, as is experience in filmmaking, sound, photography, visual arts, or curation. We welcome candidates with experience outside of academia and encourage applicants from outside Europe.
To apply, please send your cover letter, CV, and the contact information of two references in a single PDF document to firstname.lastname@example.org by 17 October 2022. Interviews will take place in November 2022.