PhD position: Ecocriticism and storytelling in the Icelandic Westfjord

The German Research Association is funding a project on “Storytelling at the Edge of Civilisation: Mapping, Contextualisation, and Analysis of Landscape-related Storytelling Traditions in the Icelandic Westfjords” ( that I have applied for together with Jón Jónsson of the Folklore Institute of the University of Iceland in Strandir. This project will be conducted as a collaboration between the Institute for Scandinavian Studies of LMU Munich, the Folklore Institute of the University of Iceland in Hólmavík and the LMU Center for Digital Humanities in Munich. We invite applications for a fully funded 3-year PhD position based at LMU Munich in Germany. About 3 months of fieldwork per year will be conducted in Strandir in the Icelandic Westfjords. For the official call for applications see here:

The main aim of the project is to map, contextualize and analyze storytelling traditions in the northern part of the Strandir district of the Icelandic Westfjords before the ongoing demographic collapse of the region leads to the irrevocable loss of this heritage. This also entails conducting interviews, the on-site documentation of storytelling places and the digital archiving of the collected data. For this, the candidate will work with an international team (among others the Rannsóknasetur Háskóla Íslands á Ströndum – Þjóðfræðistofa and the LMU Center for Digital Humanities in Munich) as well as the local population.

The tasks of the job holder include:
– The independent organisation and realisation of on-site visits, also on remote Icelandic farmsteads with no connection to public transport;
– Conducting and transcribing interviews in Icelandic;
– On-site visits and documentation of places (among others through photography, GPS, sketch plans) in sometimes difficult terrain;
– The active and independent participation in the documentation and archiving of the collected data by means of a digital database; this requires a close collaboration with the LMU Center for Digital Humanities in Munich, especially in designing the data scheme and user interface/web surface for the georeferenced representation of the data (“digital map”);
– Completing a PhD thesis within the framework of the project and under supervision of its PI, in which the documented storytelling tradition is analysed with recourse to approaches of the research paradigm of ecocriticism (including postcolonial ecocriticism and ecofeminism) and the environmental humanities more generally;
– Work on a number of research articles regarding aspects of the analysis of the empirical data and fundamental questions of methodology;
– Participation in events within the framework of the project;
– Participation in measures for the communication of research results to a broader public.

Required for the position is a university degree in a relevant discipline that qualifies the applicant to pursue a doctoral degree as well as excellent knowledge of the modern Icelandic language in both its spoken and its written form. The work entails c. 3 months of fieldwork in Strandir per year. The position is limited to a duration of 3 years, starting 1 April 2023.

Application materials (including a CV, diplomas and an email address) in the form of a single PDF with the file name following the pattern family name_first name should be sent by 30 September 2022 at the latest by email to:

PD Dr. Matthias Egeler
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Institut für Nordische Philologie
Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1
80539 München

Please note that the official German call for applications is the authoritative one in all aspects. See there for further information, including information concerning issues of data protection etc.

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