Two post-doc positions in smart energy, inclusive societies and environmental challenges

The post-doctoral scholarships below might be of interest to anthropologists studying “Smart energy solutions”. The two Full Time positions (36 months each) are based in Italy. The knowledge of Italian is therefore compulsory.

L’Universita’ di Catania ha appena bandito due posti di Ricercatore a Tempo Determinato di tipo A  in M-DEA/01 con candidature  in scadenza l’11 aprile 2019. Le due posizioni di ricercatore rientrano nell’ambito del Programma AIM “Attrazione e mobilita’ ricercatori” e afferiscono alla linea Smart, Secure and Inclusive Communities. 

La prima posizione afferisce alla “Linea 1 (Mobilità dei ricercatori): sostegno alla contrattualizzazione come ricercatori a tempo determinato di cui all’art. 24, comma 3 lett. a) della legge 240, di soggetti in possesso del titolo di dottore di ricerca conseguito da non più di quattro anni alla data dell’Avviso “AIM – Attrazione e Mobilità Internazionale” (27.2.2018). Il contratto della durata triennale prevede lo svolgimento di un periodo obbligatorio di lavoro in uno o più Atenei/Enti di Ricerca al di fuori del territorio nazionale.

La seconda posizione afferisce alla “Linea 2 (Attrazione dei ricercatori): sostegno alla contrattualizzazione come ricercatori a tempo determinato di cui all’art. 24, comma 3 lett. a) della legge 240, di soggetti in possesso del titolo di dottore di ricerca conseguito da non più di otto anni alla data dell’Avviso “AIM – Attrazione e Mobilità Internazionale” (27.2.2018), operanti presso atenei/enti di ricerca/imprese fuori dalle Regioni obiettivo del PON R&I 2014-2020 o anche all’estero, con esperienza almeno biennale presso tali strutture, riferibile (2.1) sia alla partecipazione o alla conduzione tecnicoscientifica di programmi e/o di progetti di ricerca.


Il piano di ricerca ha l’obiettivo di indagare la traduzione in pratica delle recenti politiche di pianificazione urbana che promuovono l’agenda smart a livello internazionale (in particolare gli assi applicativi smart environment / smart economy / smart people) nel contesto siciliano. In sostanza si esaminerà come le finalità del risparmio energetico, dell’ inclusività e della sostenibilità siano effettivamente realizzate e fino a che punto i protagonisti di questo nuovo indirizzo di governance territoriale si facciano carico delle problematicità socio- economiche ed ambientali presenti in aree, come quella gelese e siracusana, intensivamente toccate dallo sviluppo monosettoriale del comparto petrolchimico. A questo scopo i ricercatori contrattualizzati saranno coinvolti in un’indagine etnografica sul campo tesa a esaminare come il modello smart stia riconfigurando i regimi discorsivi, gli immaginari, gli arrangiamenti della politica territoriale nei due contesti di indagine in funzione della creazione di ambienti di vita più sicuri e inclusivi.


a) Sono ammessi a partecipare alla selezione i soggetti in possesso del titolo di dottore di ricerca in M-DEA/01 o di titolo equivalente, conseguito in Italia o all’estero nel periodo dal 27.2.2014 al 27.2.2018.  


a) essere in possesso del titolo di dottore di ricerca in M-DEA/01 o titolo equivalente conseguito, in Italia o all’estero, nel periodo dal 27.2.2010 al 27.2.2018. 

b) essere operativo, con contratto giuridicamente valido, presso atenei/enti di ricerca/imprese fuori dalle Regioni obiettivo del PON R&I 2014-2020 (Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Puglia, Sicilia, Abruzzo, Molise e Sardegna) o anche all’estero, con esperienza almeno biennale presso tali strutture riferibile alla partecipazione o alla conduzione tecnico-scientifica di programmi e/o di progetti di ricerca. Tale esperienza deve essere stata svolta, sempre presso atenei/enti di ricerca/imprese fuori dalle stesse Regioni obiettivo del PON, successivamente al conseguimento del titolo di dottore di ricerca e dovrà essere comprovata mediante uno o più contratti giuridicamente validi, stipulati con una o più strutture non necessariamente coincidenti con la struttura presso la quale il candidato è operativo alla data di pubblicazione del bando. 




Visiting Assistant Professor of Geography (Energy Geography)

Position Details: Gustavus Adolphus College invites applications for a full-time one-year position of Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography to begin September 1, 2019.

Institution Information: Gustavus Adolphus College is a coeducational, private, Lutheran (ELCA), residential, national liberal arts college of 2200 students. We are committed to fostering a community that embodies the value of a liberal arts education rooted in heritage and boldly open to insight. The Gustavus Acts strategic plan renews our commitment to equipping students to lead purposeful lives and to act on the great challenges of our time by diversifying and expanding the Gustavus community and delivering a distinctive and integrated liberal arts education. We seek employees who are committed to and will actively contribute to our efforts to celebrate cultural and intellectual richness and be resolute in advancing inclusion and equity.

The Department of Geography at Gustavus Adolphus College is a community nurturing knowledge, skills, and values to guide us in an increasingly complex and interdependent world. Through innovative teaching and scholarship, we cultivate in our students a critical awareness of human-environment relationships, an understanding of the varied dimensions of global change, and respect for the world’s diversity of places and people. We are committed to applying geographic knowledge to build an economically, socially, and environmentally just world.

Major/Essential Functions: The annual teaching assignment will be six or seven courses, one of which may be a one-month January Term experiential course determined by the candidate and appropriate to the candidate’s expertise. Primary teaching responsibilities will include Energy Geography, Human Geography, and contributions to general education.

Application Procedures: To apply, visit and complete the online application.

The Social Lives of Batteries and New Energy Materials: PhD opportunity

Lancaster University

3 year, fully funded PhD opportunity for UK and EU Citizens, based in the Leverhulme Material Social Futures Doctoral Training Centre, and Sociology Department at Lancaster University, UK.

Enquiries to: Dr Nicola Spurling,

Closing date: 30th April 2019


One of the most profound changes to society over the next 20 years will be the replacement of conventional fossil-fuelled vehicles with electric vehicles (EVs) for public and personal transport. The key enabling technology for EVs is the rechargeable battery, which is one of the great success stories of materials science, and continues to be intensively developed and optimised for future EV applications. However, many assumptions framing current materials research for EV batteries are based around the notion that present travel demand will be undisrupted, with new technologies providing the same services as private fossil-fuelled cars, but in less carbon intensive ways. This is problematic. Despite the advances that have been made in battery materials, it is doubtful that EVs will ever match conventional vehicles in terms of vehicle range and ease of refuelling. Additionally, many materials used in current battery technology are either toxic, difficult to recycle, or increasingly scarce. And in any case, the demand for travel is changing, and in some cases private car is declining as new forms of mobility and ways of life emerge.


Specifically focused on new energy materials, battery technologies and electric vehicles, the PhD will follow batteries through the laboratory and into the possible forms of mobility and everyday futures which they might be part of. To achieve this aim, the successful candidate will i) conduct empirical research on how ‘the battery’ exists in the discourse and practices of material scientists that are working on new energy materials; ii) analyse how such assumptions have implications for the development of new materials and battery technologies; and, iii) creatively develop ‘everyday futures’ drawing on resources from the social sciences and design, mobilities research and debates on futures of travel. The ultimate aim is to explore some of the alternative socio-technical lives of future batteries through focussing on futures of travel in different countries, in transformed vehicle ecologies, and in relation to changed end use practices (e.g. online shopping and third space working). Through the Material Social Futures doctoral training centre, there will be many opportunities to engage in dialogue with material scientists (both staff and students), for example, through the MSF training programme, and with a thematically linked PhD in Chemistry on sustainable battery materials.


The position will suit a candidate with a background in Sociology, Anthropology, Material Culture or Science and Technology Studies. Experience of qualitative and ethnographic methods, and an interest in fields such as mobilities, science and technology studies, social practice theory, sociology of the future, and design anthropology are desirable.


Informal enquiries prior to submitting an application are encouraged and can be made directly to Dr Nicola Spurling ( Applications should be made via Lancaster University’s online application system (


Further details available at:

ENERGISE FINAL CONFERENCE – October 15th (Barcelona)

Social and cultural change is a key ingredient in successful energy transitions. Societal norms and routines with regard to work, education, family life, consumption and recreation greatly determine our patterns of energy use as well as our ability and willingness to change those patterns. Without a comprehensive understanding of these practice cultures, efforts to reduce energy use and carbon emissions at the individual or household levels are unlikely to deliver the long-term impacts necessary for a sustainable transformation.

At the final conference of the ENERGISE project, researchers will share new insights into social and cultural influences on energy use across different levels of society. Speakers will draw on almost three-years of cutting edge research that uses a ‘Living Labs’ approach to directly observe existing practice cultures related to energy use in a real-world setting, and to test both household and community-level initiatives to reduce energy use. Participants in the conference will discuss the impact of European energy consumption reduction initiatives, and explore the use of Living Lab approaches for researching and transforming patterns of sustainable consumption. Attention will also be given to new theoretical approaches to evaluate energy initiatives, with a particular focus on social practices and cultures. Lessons and insights for policy will be presented in relation to the advancement of the European Energy Union.

The ENERGISE final conference is open to all interested parties, and will actively encourage positive interaction between actors from society, academia, the policy arena and industry. ENERGISE is funded under the EU H2020 programme (Grant No 727647).

The event will be held in conjunction with the European Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption and Production ERSCP 2019 conference, which takes place from 15-18 October 2019.

Anthropology in a time of climate change: theoretical questions, productive problems

Call for Papers: AAA/CASCA Annual Meeting 2019

Organizers: Julianne Yip, Adam Fleischmann


Climate change produces problems for anthropology. Like other global phenomena, its scale is both difficult to comprehend and challenging for the immediate methods of anthropology. Insofar as climate change is anthropogenic (human-made), humans–or, rather, certain forms of human existence–have become a geological force at the planetary level. How can humans, as anthropology ethave claimed, be both cultural beings (more-than-mere-nature) bound to place, yet a global geological force of “nature”? Anthropologists have begun to consider the demands climate change makes with regard to our grounding concepts, politics, methodologies, and how we understand ourselves and our discipline. This panel gathers these conversations to reflect on the theoretical questions climate change poses for anthropology.

Climate change is a productive problem. We cannot experience global climate change in itself, only its effects, mediated. Further, global anthropogenic climate change is only knowable through a vast assemblage of people, practices, processes, things and institutions. How does this shape the sites and methods of anthropological research? To what extent does climate change render visible the organizing principles of our discipline? How does it provoke us to question the epistemic figures of culture (nature), society, the subject, agency, the human/Man, time, history, etc.? These questions are also relevant in light of the unequally and inequitably distributed causes and effects of climate change across time and space. How do theoretical problems raised by climate change situate anthropologists vis-a-vis their relationships with interlocutors, other ethical or political commitments, or anthropology’s historical, colonial origins?

We encourage submissions that explore how climate change challenges (or not) the discipline’s theoretical assumptions in your research.


Please send 250-word abstracts and titles to the organizers, and, by 27 March 2019.


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