Humlab invites applicants for a position as a senoir research assistant, covering 50% for 24 months, as part of the research project ”Identities in Flux: Digital cartographies for revisiting Pausanias’ description of Greece”, financed by Stiftelsen för Marcus och Amalia Wallenbergs minnesfond.

Umeå University, Faculty of Arts

Umeå University is dedicated to providing creative environments for learning and work. Umeå University offers a wide variety of courses and programmes, world leading research, and excellent innovation and collaboration opportunities. More than 4 300 employees and 31 500 students have already chosen Umeå University.

In Humlab, students, researchers, artists, entrepreneurs and international guests come together to engage in dialogue, experiment with technology, take on challenges and move scholarship forward. This power is channelled through an open and creative studio environment, which extends across two campuses and a rich ecology of digital platforms. Humlab is a department within the Faculty of Arts with around 20 employees in research, education, technical support & development and administrative staff.

Project description

Pausanias’ Periegesis Hellados was, for a long-time, regarded as little more than a travel guide of Greece; recent scholarship has been alert to its pivotal role in shaping both Greek cultural identity, from the emergence of the Greek nation in 1821 until its later incorporation with Europe and the development of the discipline of classical archaeology itself.

The research assistant will join the project team in creating a Geographic Information System (thereon GIS) a database and a digital map of Pausanias’ representation of the Greek world. Periegesis’ digital map will facilitate new forms of analysis; specifically, it will address the following research questions:

-How does a study of movement and transformation as a dynamic, geographic visualization produce novel understandings of identity, culture and politics?

-How do literary constructions of place and space, cultural memory and present time intersect?

-How can we productively disrupt traditional cartographic representation, so that geographical knowledge can be plotted and explored through action, influence and memory rather than by topography alone?

-How do we build the literacies for reading such unfamiliar, experimental interfaces?

The project will create an entirely new, dynamic, participatory interface based on combined experience from previous projects and technologies, such as GapVis interface and construction of the DARE-project, the project Regnum Francorum online, and also the Uppåkra portal. All of these already contain plug-ins och relevant knowledge which is required for this coming project.

Working Tasks

The research assistant will contribute with expertise in the field of Digital humanities and Classical Philology/Ancient History. The work will mainly focus on semantically annotating in Greek and in English using the digital platform Recogito. The research assistant will be involved in all different phases in the project but with a primarily focus on conceptual design activities for the user interface and concept of the system. Write articles with the rest of the team on subsequent visualizations will also be part of the work.

Required competences

-A PhD in Classical Studies specializing in ancient Greek literature.

-A BA and / or MA in Classical Studies with a primary focus on ancient Greek language and literature.

-A good knowledge of the corpus of ancient Greek literature, with focus on ancient Greek historical writing, particularly Herodotus and Thucydides.

-A knowledge and use of databases for research into Classical literature, including ingesting data and analyzing results.

-A strong record of teaching ancient Greek for beginners to an advanced level at university.

-Experience of academic research after the PhD.

-Experience of studying or researching abroad.

-Ability to work on own initiative.

-Ability to work collaboratively and reliably as part of a team.

-Advanced level in reading ancient Greek.

-Excellent written and spoken communication skills in English.

-Reading knowledge of French and German.

-Well-developed academic writing, editing and presentational skills.

-Good general IT skills.

-Other desirable qualifications

-Publication of own academic work in peer-reviewed journals or books.

-Ability to deal sensitively with a variety of external stakeholders.

-Willingness and ability to create and develop networks across different sectors, including academia, museums, galleries, libraries, local government and the media.

-Experience of organize seminars, conferences or workshops.

-Knowledge of the field of Digital humanities and methodologies.

-Expertise in the main methods and tools for structuring data (digital corpus, databases).

-Knowledge of semantic annotation.


The application should include a cover letter, your Curriculum Vitae (CV), sample of writing (in English), copies of relevant degree certificates, contact details and at least two references.

The application should be submitted in the University recruitment system no later than the 20th of June, 2018.

Other information

Admission 2018-08-01 or upon agreement. Employment period will be 24 months.

For further information about the position, please contact Director Stefan Gelfgren, +46 90 786 50 87, [email protected] or Project Leader Anna Foka, [email protected]