University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
Call for Applications: Enslavement, Marriage and Conflict in Africa
Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Two Year Position)

The Department of Political Studies is seeking to appoint a postdoctoral research fellow to join an international team of academic researchers and civil society activists focusing upon Conjugal Slavery in War (CSiW). This is a two-year position based in Johannesburg, with renewal after one year based on performance and progress. Additional funding support to enable travel and fieldwork within sub-Saharan Africa and to participate in project events will also be provided.

The main goal of the CSiW project is to both better understand and effectively address patterns of sexual violence and ‘forced marriage’ in conflict situations in Africa. This involves conducting research into patterns and experiences of ‘forced marriage’, placing this research in historical context, and seeking to inform both international prosecutions and local reparations programs for survivors of violence. This specific position falls under the rubric of the ‘history working group’, which is tasked with coming to terms with the underlying relationship between historical practices – pre-colonial, colonial and/or post-colonial – and contemporary problems in relation to points of intersection and comparison between enslavement, marriage and/or conflict.

In support of this overall goal, we are seeking applications from suitably qualified candidates to undertake research – archival, ethnographic and/or legal – into various aspects of the historical relationship between enslavement and marriage in Africa. This research will be formally overseen by Prof Joel Quirk, but with the understanding that there remains scope to develop a research plan that would allow sufficient space to pursue individual research interests within the overall research project. Researchers who focus upon one of a number of countries which are the primary focus of the project – Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mali, South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria and the DRC – would be preferred, but applicants conducting relevant research into other African countries will also be considered. Further information regarding the remit of the post is available upon request.

The successful candidate will be expected to publish peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, to participate in project meetings and events, and to undertake archival, ethnographic and/or legal research in order to help advance the goals of the overall project.

How to apply:

For more information on the specific position, please email Prof Joel Quirk at joel.quirk@wits.ac.za. Completed applications should also follow this route. For further information regarding the larger project, please consult: http://csiw-ectg.org.

The closing date for applications is the 15th of May.

Applicants should have Ph.D obtained within the last five years any area within the Humanities or Social Sciences. Disciplinary expertise could include Political Science, Anthropology, Sociology, History, Development Studies or International Relations.

Completed applications should include

  1. a cover letter which speaks to the research agenda of the CSiW project in general, and the agenda of the history working group in particular,
  2. a comprehensive curriculum vitae, and
  3. the contact details of at least three academic referees.

Call for Applications: Enslavement, Marriage and Conflict in Africa (Download PDF version)