The University of Manchester is seeking to appoint a full time Postdoctoral Research Associate for two years to work on the AHRC-funded research project ‘Everything Is Connected: Conspiracy Theories in the Age of the Internet’. The project is a collaboration between the University of Manchester, King’s College London (KCL), KU Leuven and the University of Amsterdam. The aim of the project is to analyse the difference that the internet has made to the production, aesthetics and consumption of conspiracy theories (with a focus on the English-language datasphere). We are seeking a postdoctoral researcher with expertise in cultural studies and digital methods to help analyse the changing meaning and function of conspiracy theories in the digital age. You will be employed by the University of Manchester in the first year, and by KCL in the second year; and you will also spend a month embedded in one of our partner organisations in London (either Demos or Sense about Science). You will be mentored by Prof. Peter Knight, the Principal Investigator of the project at the University of Manchester, and Dr Clare Birchall at KCL.
Main duties include:
- Conducting a literature review on the changing modes of conspiracy theory transmission, and maintain the project’s reference database
- Assisting in the creation of datasets to identify the most important sites, platforms and influencers of online conspiracy culture
- Analysing and interpreting data through a combination of qualitative methodologies and digital techniques
- Researching the history of conspiracy theories in earlier moments of the development of the internet
- Collating policy documents and news accounts concerning platform providers’ engagement with conspiracy theories, and conducting interviews with the platforms, regulators, and fact-checking organisations
- Disseminating research findings in publications and conference presentations
- Co-organizing and assisting with knowledge exchange and public engagement events associated with the project
- Managing the project website
You must hold a doctorate in cultural studies/cultural history, digital methods/digital humanities, American Studies or a closely related discipline. You should have experience of conducting research in popular culture, ideally with a focus on digital culture and society, and familiarity with digital methods/data analytics.
You are invited to submit a 2-page statement outlining how you meet the requirements of this position, and a CV that includes the names and contact details of two academic referees who have agreed to write on your behalf.
This will need to be uploaded as one PDF document.
Shortlisted candidates will be contacted and interviews arranged via Zoom in late January 2022.
As an equal opportunities employer we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of age, sex, gender (or gender identity), ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status. All appointments are made on merit.
Our University is positive about flexible working – you can find out more here
Blended working arrangements may be considered
Please note that we are unable to respond to enquiries, accept CVs or applications from Recruitment Agencies.
Enquiries about the vacancy, shortlisting and interviews:
This vacancy will close for applications at midnight on the closing date.
Please see the link below for the Further Particulars document which contains the person specification criteria.