PhD Position: “Transforming city landscapes: Human-cattle relationships and the making of urban societies“

Doctoral/postgraduate positions

Faculty of Social Sciences – Social and Cultural History – Human-Animal Studies (Prof. Dr. Mieke Roscher) – start of the programme 01.06.2017

Job-Nr. 21109734 /Doctoral/postgraduate positions (EG 13 TV-H)

Part time, with 50,00 percent of the regular weekly work time of a fully employed person, limited to three years, to collaborate in the graduate programme BangaDyn: Rural-urban Dynamics in Bangalore (P/979). Position for scientific qualification according to § 65 HHG i. V. m. § 2 Abs. 1 Satz 1 WissZeitVG; possibility to pursue a doctoral degree (PhD).

In the framework of the Graduate Programme „Rural-urban Dynamics in Bangalore“ (GP-BangaDyn) at the University of Kassel, six PhD positions are to be filled until 1. June 2017. In cooperation with scientists of FOR2432 (, an established DFG Research Unit at the Universities of Kassel and Göttingen, the PhD students of GP-BangaDyn will analyze the transformation processes that affect agriculture, ecology, economy and society in the course of a very rapidly progressing urbanization. The research thereby focuses on social-ecological systems in the city of Bangalore in southern India, which is classified as an „emerging megacity“.

The Graduate Programme BangaDyn is part of the Graduate Academy at the University of Kassel. Possibilities for advanced academic training are therefore offered though the Graduate Academy as well as through the DFG research FOR2432. The interdisciplinary exchange amongst the PhD students in GP-BangaDyn is granted through regular meetings and workshops.

General requirements for all applicants: Each of the six positions implies an obligatory contribution to teaching (2 hours per week and semester) within the courses offered by the respective section that employs the successful candidates. All candidates are expected to thrive for a doctoral degree within the framework of the Graduate Programme, and are requested to participate in project-related seminars, workshops and, if applicable, international conferences. Excellent English skills (in speaking and writing) are compulsory, basic knowledge of German language and of Kannada, the local language spoken in Bangalore, are of advantage. In addition, the candidates are obliged to intensely collaborate in interdisciplinary and intercultural teams in India and Germany, and to spend several months per year in Bangalore to conduct their field research.

Social and Cultural History: “Transforming city landscapes: Human-cattle relationships and the making of urban societies“


The aim of this project is to identify the specifics of human-cattle relationship in the aftermath of the 1947 formation of the Indian state. In a case study based on mainly archival material, focusing on the development of Bangalore city, the transformations in both discursive frameworks as well as in the lived interactions between humans and cattle are to be extracted. In a second step, in-depths oral history interviews will be conducted, making use of innovative approaches in human-animal studies such as animal biography and multi-species ethnography. Main work place is Kassel, Germany.

Specific requirements:

The successful applicant must hold a very good master’s degree in history, must be familiar with methods of oral history and must be willing to learn and apply methods and theories of human-animal studies and animal history.

For further questions please contact Prof. Dr. Mieke Roscher (

Deadline for the application is 02.05.2017