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Institution Faculty of History and the Arts - School of Arts (Art History)
Remuneration group TV-L E13
Full-time / Part-time Part-time (25-50%)
Start date 2024-11-1 (limited to 2027-09-30)
Application deadline 2024-08-15

We are looking for you:

Doctoral/Post-Doctoral Position for research on Ming-period decorated paper (m/f/x)

in Munich

Your tasks and responsibilities:

The successful candidate will conduct research in the ERC project “GLOBAL DECO PAPER: Decorated Paper in the Early-Modern Islamicate World: Aesthetics, Techniques and Meaning in Global Contexts”, led by Prof. Dr. Ilse Sturkenboom. This EU-funded project aims at re-evaluating the early-modern history of the Islamicate arts of the book from a so-far little considered perspective: the border and background decoration of manuscripts. It brings together scholars in an interdisciplinary approach to aesthetics, materials, techniques and meaning of decorated paper produced and used in early-modern China, Central Asia, Iran, India and the Ottoman Empire. Favouring objects in the historical centres over well-known materials from collections in the West, this research is designed to further collections in the Middle East and Asia and to bring their understudied artworks under broader scholarly attention through publications and an interactive database. The project has the potential to significantly re-shape the existing construct of Art History by shifting the attention to high-standard yet systematically ignored artistic production of decorated papers; meticulously investigating local traditions through innovative combinations of material analyses, the study of written sources and hardly applied comparisons with contemporary paper-decoration practices; and focusing on networks of trade, diplomacy and artistic exchange in Asia and the Middle East that paved the way for greatly varied and technically advanced forms of augmented paper decoration.

Your qualifications:

MA or PhD in a relevant field is required. The successful candidate will pursue research on Chinese decorated paper from the Ming period (e.g. coloured, gold-sprinkled, marbled, printed) and be in close exchange with fellow researchers working on decorated papers from Central Asia, Iran, India and the Ottoman empire within the project. Relevant tasks include, but are not limited to, the following: investigating works on paper in international collections, analysing and interpreting written sources, feedings findings into a database, comparing findings with contemporary practices and formulating research questions for scientific analyses. For these purposes, experience in the analysis of Ming-Chinese art works, ideally, decorated paper, in academic or museal contexts is required for this position. The successful candidate is required to be fluent in Chinese (written and spoken) and English, preferably also in Japanese.

The researcher will work as part of a team based at LMU Munich, publish their research according to the project programme, present their research at academic conferences and join the research group in activities such as project meetings and workshops.

Residency in Germany is required in order to conclude the contract. Please contact us should you have any questions regarding this requirement.


Your office is located in the centre of Munich and easily accessible by public transport. Equipment and a travel budget will be provided. As a team, we offer a dynamic, international and academically stimulating environment. This position provides an exciting opportunity to carry out original and collaborative research, organising one’s time largely individually while also creating positive working relationships with internal and external contacts. Frequent travels to museums and collections will allow the successful candidate to make significant discoveries as well as gain invaluable experience. The position also offers chances to develop or extend skills and knowledge such as in the field of codicology, in the technical analysis of manuscripts as well as well as in working with a digital database.

LMU Munich is an equal opportunity employer and committed to enhancing the diversity of its faculty.

People with disabilities who are equally as qualified as other applicants will receive preferential treatment.


Please send the following application materials as a single PDF to and specify “GLOBAL DECO PAPER” in the subject line:

1. a letter of motivation
2. an academic CV including all qualifications
3. a writing sample or publication
4. name and contact details of at least one referee

Applications received by 2024-08-15 will receive full consideration. Review of the applications will continue until suitable candidates are found. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for online interviews. The interviews are expected to take place in the last week of August.

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