Funding and scholarships Jobs

eikones Graduate School (Basel): Invitation to apply for 5 PhD Scholarships

eikones Graduate School (Basel): Invitation to apply for 5 PhD Scholarships
Submission deadline July 30, 2014

Invitation to apply for 5 PhD scholarships, including one from the Hans und Renée Müller-Meylan Foundation Basel for the period October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2017 in the fields of art history, music studies, German literature, philosophy, media studies, English or American literature.


eikones, the NCCR Iconic Criticism at the University of Basel, has pursued the question of the power and meaning invested in images through interdisciplinary research since 2005. eikones accordingly brings together 40 scientists from different disciplines whose PhDtheses and Post-doctoral projects are grouped in modules following specific questions. In addition, the Graduate School forms an integral part of the NCCR Iconic Criticism and offers PhD students numerous opportunities to participate on an interdisciplinary level.

The new Graduate School will commence in October 2014, awarding a total of 5 PhD scholarships. Supported projects will examine images from a systematic standpoint that relates to a key concept of the NCCR Iconic Criticism: the “singularity of images.”

This notion describes the NCCR’s object of study well: the image and the images, their genesis and history, and their role in praxis and theory. For heuristic purposes, three interrelated dimensions of singularity have been identified:

a) The singularity of an individual image in relation to a plurality of images
For much of its history, the study of images has focused on the individual image and thereby privileged those that are artistically or historically distinctive. In contrast, research at the NCCR, since its inception, has profited from a fruitful friction between the image in the singular and images in the plural. The project is built upon the conviction that the effective potential and meaning of an individual or distinctive image can only be analyzed in its relation to a plurality of images meaning that neither the singular nor plural need be privileged. Instead, the “singularity of images” encompasses both the individual image singled out and the image imbedded in particular relations.

b) The singularity of constellations of images
From a second perspective, the constellations in which individual images stand in relation to one another can themselves be understood as singular. An analysis of images in constellations should not presuppose a “system of images,” according to which images would be merely determined through internal differentiation, as in a structuralist system of signs. Rather, such an analysis has to consider the singularity of constellations and the plurality of images both in their own historicity and in their image-specific form. Constellations of images include a diverse spectrum of objects such as human artifacts, visual manifestations, products of psychic, cognitive, or instrumental processes, linguistic or semantic, scenic or performative phenomena, and, not least, works of art.

c) The singularity of images in practices
Finally, images and related phenomena should be considered in relation to artistic, social, epistemic, religious, economic, and scriptural practices, in which contexts they evince singularity in a third manner. They contribute to the ways in which these practices become perceptible, arrested, formatted, and, to different degrees, condensed, made concrete. In doing so, images do not only function as representa-tions of practices. Rather, their singularity consists in acquiring their own, irreducible meaning and agency, that enables social, esthetic and epistemological continuities, prompts change, and grounds new practices that only become conceivable thanks to the images’ specific capacities to format and condense.

Supported PhD projects are expected to relate to the notion of “the singularity of images,” whose con-tours are outlined here, making use of it in the context of their respective methodological approaches and their empirical or historical lines of inquiry.

For further information on how to apply, please see here.