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The institute of Theater, Film and Media Studies of the Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main offers at the Research Training Group „Configurations of Film“ (GRK 2279) funded by the German Research Foundation up to 12


PhD Positions (m/f/d)

(E13 TV-G-U, 65% part time)


starting on July 1st, 2023 for three years. The salary grade is based on the job characteristics of the collective agreement applicable to Goethe-University (TV-G-U).


Conception of the Research Training Group:

Scalable across a variety of formats and standardized in view of global circulation almost from the beginning, the moving image has always been both an image of movement and an image on the move. Over the last three decades, digital production technologies, communication networks and distribution platforms have taken the scalability and mobility of film to a new level. Beyond the classical dispositive of the cinema, new forms and knowledge of cinema and film have emerged, challenging the established approaches to the study of film. The conceptual framework of index, dispositive and canon, which defined cinema as photochemical image technology with a privileged bond to reality, a site of public projection, and a set of works from auteurs from specific national origins, can no longer account for the current multitude of moving images and the trajectories of their global movements. The term “post-cinema condition,” which was first proposed by film theorists more than a decade ago to describe the new cultural and technological order of moving images, retained an almost melancholic attachment to that which the cinema no longer was. Moving beyond such attachments, the concept of “configurations of film” aims to account for moving images in terms of their operations, forms and formats, locations and infrastructures, expanding the field of cinematic knowledge beyond the arts and the aesthetic, while retaining a focus on film as a privileged site for the production of cultural meaning, for social action and for political conflict in the 21st century. The applicants’ projects should address topics related to the program’s three research areas “Formation”, “Usage” and “Localization.”


Employment requirements:

Applicants for Ph.D. scholarships must hold a master’s degree in film studies, media studies or one of the other participating or related fields and disciplines (above all English Studies, Philosophy and/or Theater Studies). Applicants should have their master’s degree in hand by the start date of the contract (July 1st, 2023). Excellent written and spoken command of English is required. Proficiency in German is advantagous to applicants whose first language is not German. Working languages are English and German.


Applicants should be capable of developing an original research question that contributes to the overall topic and concerns of the program. They should be self-motivated scholars who can conduct productive research and successfully complete a dissertation project based on their chosen topic within the three-year time frame of the contract.


“Configurations of Film” is a research collective and PhD candidates must complete their theses in residence in Frankfurt. We consider doctoral residency to be a substantial vehicle for community building and professionalisation that fosters sustained participation with peers and faculty in scholarly activities. PhD candidates take an active role in the day-to-day activities of the Kolleg. They will join committees and actively contribute to the organization of events such as conferences and workshops, reading groups and guest lectures, screening series and field trips. The residency allows PhD candidates to position themselves at the forefront of new original scholarship as well as within Frankfurt’s rich cultural scene.


Applications should include a CV, copies of degrees and diplomas, a letter of motivation, and an abstract of the proposed Ph.D. project (2 to 3 pages including a bibliography). The abstract should identify the area of research, the research question and a discussion of methodology. The abstract should include information about the current status of the project and a time frame.


We are committed to promoting the careers of underrepresented applicants. Women, individuals with disabilities, as well as applicants of underrepresented sexual orientations, minority groups and socioeconomic classes are especially encouraged to apply.


Applications should be submitted electronically (in PDF format) to by December 1st, 2022. They should be addressed to the director of the program, Prof. Dr. Vinzenz Hediger, Institute of Theater, Film and Media Studies, Goethe University.


More information on the program, application requirements and admission procedure can be found on our website: