I have recently been granted an FWF project entitled Language Diversity and Dynamic Interdependencies between Roman Catholic Church Dioceses and Dualist Austrian State Institutions (Grant-DOI 10.55776/PAT1679824).

Research Post Doc Position (50 percent of a full time contract, starting from January 1, 2025 to December 31, 2028)


In dualistic Austria, Francis Joseph possessed a number of prerogatives and rights of intervention that gave him the final say over the tasks of the Roman Catholic Church. How he administered these rights through his ministerial and provincial bureaucrats and how the institutions of the Roman Catholic Church were involved has rarely been addressed in historiography. This project focuses on one aspect of the complex process of negotiation between Austrian state's and the Roman Catholic church's institutions that can be described as the most striking and unavoidable for contemporaries between 1867 and 1914: the use of language in places where the population spoke more than one language. The project's starts by focusing on the following hypothesis: First, that the dynamic interdependencies in the way church and state authorities dealt with linguistic diversity were not uniform; second, that in some cases church and state authorities cooperated situationally in decisions about language use, thus circumventing their institutional counterparts; third, that the place of origin of an acting authority and the role that languages played there influenced decisions about its use. The focus of the analysis will be on five Austrian provinces, all of which recognized more than one language: Carinthia, Carniola, Littoral-Gorizia, Istria and Trieste, Styria and Tyrol.

The project grant includes a postdoctoral position and I aim to appoint this researcher in early autumn 2024 so that the contract can start at the beginning of the project (January 1, 2025). This is a post-doc position, but you can also apply if you have submitted your thesis and it has been positively evaluated by your supervisors (in which case you must submit the reviews together with your CV). In any case, you must complete your doctorate before November 30, 2024, otherwise the job offer will be passed on the second ranked candidate.

You should not necessarily already be familiar with the complex organisational and legal structures of the Roman Catholic Church, but you should at least have worked with primary sources on dualistic Austria. You are free to choose the focus of your research as long as it fits within the thematic framework, but it should address the suggestions made by the reviewers of the project proposal to give more weight to the following aspects, none of which I am an expert on: a. Gender aspects ("looking at the interactions between the exclusively male clergy and the female parishioners"), b. education ("the Catholic Church ran schools and entire education systems that produced future citizens"), and/or c. the role of Catholic religious orders. The second thing I expect from you is to divide the overall archival research fairly and share the results and support each other with interpretations throughout the project. In this case, it is inevitable that you will fill in my linguistic gaps in terms of Slovene (which I don't speak) and Roman-Latin (which I could be much better at). As the archive research is to be divided fairly, it would be necessary to speak at least one other necessary language (either German with the ability to read Kurrent script or Italian). In addition, you should speak English very well. You do not necessarily need to be a trained historian, but you should be familiar with historical methods, especially working with and analysing unpublished primary sources. I expect you to participate in the scholarly discussion throughout the research work, whether by accepting invitations to lectures, workshops and conferences (academic or for a wider audience), giving interviews, writing blogs, publishing at least two peer-reviewed articles and co-editing the final volume with me.

The project will be institutionally based at the University of Innsbruck, Department of Biblical Studies and Historical Theology, which means that you will receive an employment contract from this institution. However, as this is only a part-time position, I do not expect you to live in Innsbruck. However, in order to enable permanent access to the necessary sources (archives, libraries, collections) that have not (yet) been digitised, you should definitely live in the project region (as indicated above). As this is a part-time position, it is fine if you work on another project at the same time, but you will need to convince me that your weekly working hours do not conflict with this project. The salary is not negotiable and is based on the FWF salary for a postdoc: https://www.fwf.ac.at/foerdern/schritte-zur-erfolgreichen-foerderung/weitere-informationen/personalkosten

The appointment procedure takes place in two stages: FIRST ROUND: Send your CV by mail by August 15, 2024, together with a publication in pdf format (can also be the MA thesis) in which you show that your previous research has already been based on unprinted primary sources. In a maximum one-page synopsis in English, please indicate how you would contribute thematically to the three topics listed above (gender, schooling or Catholic orders). I will notify you if you make it to the interview round, no later than the end of August 2024. SECOND ROUND: The second round consists of a Zoom interview in English. The interviews will take place in September and the decision will be announced by the end of September 2024 at the latest.

If anything is unclear or you have a question, please do not hesitate to ask. All questions and documents must be sent to my email address (important note: I do not accept documents or questions on the various social media platforms, including academia.edu and whatsapp): tamara.scheer(at)univie.ac.at



Priv.-Doz. Dr. Tamara Scheer: tamara.scheer(at)univie.ac.at





University of Innsbruck


University of Innsbruck




01. Jänner 2025


15. August 2024


Dr. Tamara Scheer

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