Uppsala University, Department of History of Science and Ideas

1 Postdoc in History of Science and Ideas, focus on British 20th century History of Medicine

The Department of History of Science and Ideas is a dynamic research environment with strong profiles in history of science, intellectual history and history of medicine. It is Sweden’s largest centre for study within this field and is internationally renowned for its research. There are currently over forty academics, researchers and visiting scholars attached to the Department, including 15 doctoral students. For more information visit: Department of History of Science and Ideas. 

The Department invites applications for 1 postdoctoral position within the research project Acting Out Disease: How Patient Organizations Shaped Modern Medicine (ActDisease)

Description of the research project: ActDisease is a five-year research project funded by the European Research Council (ERC) with a Starting Grant (ERC-2021-STG 101040999) and led by Ylva Söderfeldt. The project studies the history of 20th century medicine and the role of lay involvement in science through analysis of so far largely neglected, but central actors in medical history: patient organizations. These groups first emerged in the late 19th century, and worked towards increased attention to particular illnesses, shared information on disease management, promoted treatments, and developed healthcare resources.

This project is the first historical analysis of these early patient organizations’ role in shaping ideas about illness and medical practices, and the first systematic account of how disease became an object of civic organization. It pursues the hypothesis that modern medicine was to a significant degree shaped by organized patients, who helped establish disease concepts and associated practices – and that this deep involvement of patients in medicine facilitated an extended reach of medical power which resonates in contemporary society. It will also investigate how patients, in acting out medical knowledge, assumed notions of selfhood that overlapped and interacted with those of medical scientists.

The ActDisease project gathers an interdisciplinary research team to analyse the publications and archives of selected patient organizations from four European nations – Sweden, Germany, United Kingdom and France – using a combination of traditional and computer based historiographic methods. Besides the PI, the team consists of a research engineer and a research assistant supporting the digital infrastructure and analysis, one history postdoc focusing on France and one history postdoc focusing on the UK (this position), and one Digital Humanities postdoc working on methodological development for text mining in the history of science and medicine and fragmented and multilingual source materials. ActDisease is based at the Department of History of Science and Ideas and affiliated with the Centre for Medical Humanities and Centre for Digital Humanities at Uppsala University.

For more information visit: actdisease.org.

This employment as postdoctoral researcher involves a two year full-time post with the possibility of one further year extension provided sufficient funds. The work consists of pursuing research on the history of patient organizations in the United Kingdom, using a combination of qualitative and computer-based analysis methods. There is the opportunity to run seminars, workshops and conference events related to the project. The postdoctoral researcher is expected to work on site and be an active participant in the research environment at Uppsala University, but will have the opportunity to conduct archival and other sourcework abroad.

Requirements                                                                                                                                      PhD degree or a foreign degree equivalent to a PhD degree in the humanities or social sciences. The degree needs to be obtained by the time of the decision of the employment. Those who have obtained a PhD degree three years prior to the application deadline are primarily considered for the employment. The starting point of the three-year frame period is the application deadline. The three year period can be extended due to circumstances such as sick leave, parental leave, duties in labour unions, etc. Excellent language skills in English is a requirement. Research experience in modern British history is a requirement.

Applications may be submitted in either Swedish or English and should include:

  • Curriculum Vitae, with a complete list of publications.
  • A statement (2–4 pages) of your intended research direction and why you consider yourself well-suited to this particular position.
  • Certified copies of your degree certificates and grades.
  • A maximum of 5 publications.
  • Additional documents to support your application, including the names and contact details of two referees.

Additional qualifications
Emphasis will primarily be placed upon academic merits in selecting candidates. Ranking will take place on the basis of the quality of the academic merits. Particular weight will be given to research completed within the field of history of medicine and science, history of social movements, history of voluntary associations and/or transnational European history. Experience with digital methods for historical research and additional European language skills are an advantage. Great importance will also be placed on the ability to work independently and personal suitability.

About the employment
The employment is a temporary position of two years according to central collective agreement.  Full time position. Starting date 15-01-2024 or as agreed. Placement: Uppsala

For further information about the position, please contact: Principal investigator, Associate Professor Ylva Söderfeldt, tel. +46 (0)18-471 1569, ylva.soderfeldt@idehist.uu.se; Head of Department Thomas Karlsohn, tel. +46 (0)18-471 7287, thomas karlsohn@idehist.uu.se.

Please submit your application by 18 October 2023, UFV-PA 2023/3318.

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Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment 2024-01-15
Salary Individual salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100%
City Uppsala
County Uppsala län
Country Sweden
Reference number UFV-PA 2023/3318
Union representative
  • Seko Universitetsklubben, seko@uadm.uu.se
  • ST/TCO, tco@fackorg.uu.se
  • Saco-rådet, saco@uadm.uu.se
Published 20.Sep.2023
Last application date 18.Oct.2023 11:59 PM CEST

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