Call for Applications – Postdoctoral Fellowship
“The Sociability of Sleep: Careful Design for Collective Conditions”
Université de Montréal and McGill University, Montreal, Canada
DEADLINE: June 15, 2021
We are seeking a postdoctoral fellow for a 10-month position to work on the new interdisciplinary research-creation project “The Sociability of Sleep.” The candidate will work directly with Professors Aleksandra Kaminska (Director of the Bricolab, Université de Montréal, Communications) and Alanna Thain (Director of the Moving Image Research Lab, McGill University, English) and have the opportunity to work with project collaborators. These include researchers and practitioners from communication and media studies, media arts, cinema and performance, psychiatry, psychology, and clinical medicine across Montreal’s universities.
The Sociability of Sleep is funded through the Exploration program of the New Frontiers in Research Fund, a special initiative to support interdisciplinary, experimental, and intensive projects considered to be “high risk, high reward.” We explore exceptional and everyday experiences of sleep and its problems to generate new knowledge and empathies for sleep conditions, defined as a disordered and debilitating relation between sleep and wakefulness (including, but not limited to somnambulism, insomnia, narcolepsy, parasomnias, dreams and nightmares, sleep apnea, chronodiversity, etc.). Through collaboration between artists, scientists, and media studies scholars, we aim to generate novel sleep situations that make perceptible, and thus actionable, our key intuition: that sleep is much more social than it might seem. In sleep, we become radically vulnerable in a way that requires social forms of care: individuals are experts of their somatic experience, and yet access to the sleeping self relies on the perception of human and technological others. How might exploring a sleeper subjectivity—the quotidian ways we navigate time, space, ourselves, and others—help us rethink and reanimate the sociability of sleep itself?
We engage these questions by working on 1) developing interdisciplinary approaches to sleep research taking advantage of the tools, methods, and insights of arts, humanities and social sciences; 2) thinking critically and historically about technologies of sleep, including biometrics and sleep tracking apps; and 3) identifying, analysing, and producing artistic interventions into sleep in design, media, and performance, to see how they might enrich normative treatment of sleep conditions. Our approach is rooted in art-science experimentation, collaboration, prototyping, and various forms of “critical making” that integrate and engage with qualitative or quantitative research data. Over the two years of the project, we have planned a series of experimental events, including Sleep Salons, maker labs and prototyping workshops, artist residencies, pedagogical videos, a summer school, and a final exhibition.
We are looking for a critical and engaged researcher with an established interest and expertise in sleep. We are open to a variety of (inter)disciplinary backgrounds, including: media studies, communications, cinema studies, performance studies, science and technology studies, media arts, visual and sound arts, disability studies, design, urban planning, architecture, Indigenous studies, gender, feminist and sexuality studies, critical race studies, visual and material culture, information science, history of science, neuroscience, psychology, psychiatry, sociology, research-creation, curation, critical making, etc.
The fellow’s primary responsibilities will be to facilitate the collaborative activities across the team, while also developing their own research within the project. They will have the opportunity to be implicated in all aspects of the project with specific responsibilities to be determined according to their particular interests and profile. These may include curation, programming, medical or public outreach, publishing collaborations, workshop design, prototyping, exhibition design, etc. The position is best suited for someone with strong organizational and communication skills, experience working collaboratively, and an enthusiastic approach to interdisciplinary teams and research.
The fellow will have a workspace and access to equipment, mentoring, and support through the project headquarters at the Bricolab and the MIRL, as well as the opportunity to access partner resources and expertise, including the Topological Media Lab (Concordia), the Visualisation Laboratory and Screen (UdeM), Artefact Lab (UdeM), Hexagram, GRAFIM, the Dream & Nightmare Laboratory within the Center for Advanced Research in Sleep Medicine (UdeM, Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur), and the Sleep Lab (McGill Health University Centre), among others.
Eligibility: Candidates must have received a PhD within the past 5 years, or have a doctoral defence scheduled prior to Sept. 15, 2021. Regardless of field or discpline, they must have demonstrated expertise in a relevant area of sleep-related research. The fellowship is open to both national and international scholars. Fluency in English is essential; working knowledge of French is an asset.
We welcome and encourage applications from racialized persons/visible minorities, women, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, ethnic minorities, and persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities, as well as from all qualified candidates with the skills and knowledge to engage productively with diverse communities.
Start date and duration: The position is from Sept. 1, 2021 to June 2022, with the possibility of a renewal for a second 10-month term (July 2023-April 2023).
Salary: The salary is $35,000 CAD for 10 months, plus 17% in benefits. The fellow will also have access to a research stipend for materials and research dissemination.
Documents required: 1) a current CV, 2) a cover letter describing your training, relevant research interests and a brief description of the work you would like to pursue in relation to the project including, if relevant, any anticipated material needs (max 2 pages), and 3) contact information for 2 referees.
Deadline: June 15, 2021