PhD-Anthropology, Archaeology and History of Eurasia

The International Max Planck Research School for the Anthropology, Archaeology and History of Eurasia (IMPRS ANARCHIE), a cooperation between the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology and the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, offers:

Openings for PhD students :starting 1st of October 2017

The projects of the fourth cohort of the IMPRS ANARCHIE will be devoted to the topic of

Representing Domination

Doctoral students shall investigate how various modes and processes of communication and contestation with regard to (legitimate) domination are determined by practices of representation and by the (usually heterogeneous and often conflictual) dynamics that have shaped these practices of representation through space and time. Students will tackle varying forms of representation, approached as a basic form of human social interaction, by examining and comparing their spatio-temporal variability in past and present Eurasia. We especially invite projects which are dealing with the following topics and their relation to the issue of domination:

  • Representation of power
  • Representation of space and collective identities
  • Representation of status, rank, prestige
  • Representation through roles
  • Representing the past
  • Representing the dead

The aim of ANARCHIE is to renew transdisciplinary agendas in fields where social and cultural anthropologists, archaeologists, and historians have much to gain from cross-fertilisation. For the purposes of ANARCHIE, Eurasia is defined as the super-continent which comprises the whole of Asia and the whole of Europe and the Mediterranean. Previous projects have ranged from Britain and Spain to Mongolia and Vietnam. The IMPRS ANARCHIE is open to students from all countries and offers an international three-year (with the possibility of extension) PhD program in a stimulating research environment. Highly motivated students possessing a Masters degree in Socio-Cultural Anthropology, Archaeology, History or a related discipline are encouraged to apply.

Partner Institutions

The Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology is one of the leading centres for research in social anthropology. Common to all research projects at the Max Planck Institute is the comparative analysis of social change; it is primarily in this domain that its researchers contribute to anthropological theory, though many projects also have applied significance and political topicality. The Department “Resilience and Transformation in Eurasia” has particular expertise in economic and social transformations in the former socialist world as well as in East and South-East Asia.

The Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) – for more than 500 years a place of scientific enlightenment, academic development and future-oriented research – is the largest university in the state of Saxony-Anhalt. Among the wide-ranging thematic and regional foci of the Institute of Cultural and Social Anthropology of the MLU, the connectivity of the Indian Ocean World has been of special significance in recent years. The historical departments of the MLU specialize in the study of transnational spaces and the analysis of social, political and cultural transformation processes in a longue durée perspective. Staffs are active in systematic comparative research in both European and extra-European contexts. Archaeologists at the MLU investigate Europe and the Mediterranean region in its Eurasian context. Of particular interest are large-scale communication systems which facilitate the movement of knowledge, persons and goods.

The Programme
Students work towards their doctorate in one of the three disciplines, but participate in a common programme organised jointly by social anthropologists (Department “Resilience and Transformation in Eurasia” of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology together with the Institute of Cultural and Social Anthropology of the MLU), historians (the Institutes for History and for the Study of the Ancient World of the MLU), and archaeologists (Institute for Art History and European Archaeology of the MLU). ANARCHIE is also embedded in other institutions of the MLU, notably the University’s International Graduate Academy.
The IMPRS is in certain circumstances ready to consider joint supervision of PhD projects with colleagues based at institutions outside Halle, and also a formal Cotutelle agreement with another university.
Except when undertaking field or archival research elsewhere (the costs of which will be covered), students are expected to work in Halle and participate in the life of their respective institutions, especially during the academic terms.

Your Profile
See Appendix below for a list of the IMPRS ANARCHIE Principal Faculty in each discipline. Applicants should make their primary discipline clear in their proposal. If shortlisted, they may be invited to revise the proposal to fit in better with the overall profile of ANARCHIE and the expertise available to provide supervision.

Financial Support
The PhD positions are generally awarded for 3 years, with the possibility of two six-month extensions.

Application documents
Applicants should send the following documentation:

1) Signed cover letter listing your aims and reasons for pursuing your doctorate at the IMPRS ANARCHIE
2) Curriculum vitae in the European Curriculum Vitae format (, including list of publications
3) Short summary (no more than two pages) of the research proposed, which should demonstrate clear links both to the applicant’s previous work and qualifications as well as to the IMPRS ANARCHIE
4) Copies of all relevant degree certificates and official transcripts of all academic records (B.A. and M.A.). If issued in a language other than English or German, please include translations
5) Names and contact details of two referees, whom we may contact.

Deadline for Applications
Please submit your application electronically by April 30th, 2017 following the link for vacancies on our homepage (

All enquiries should be directed initially to the Coordinator Sascha Roth (

The Max Planck Society strives to employ more persons with disabilities and explicitly encourages applications. Furthermore, the Max Planck Society is committed to raising the proportion of women in underrepresented fields; we thus explicitly encourage applications by women.



The Principal Faculty (i.e. the colleagues who will teach and supervise members of this cohort) have the following particular fields of specialisation:


  • Christoph Brumann (politics of heritage conservation, the public display of culture, including in the UN and other international organisations, as well as local politics and citizen activism in urban contexts)
  • Kirsten Endres (everyday experiences of/encounters with state bureaucracy, politics of commemoration or religious practices)
  • Chris Hann (historical economic anthropology, socialist and postsocialist transformations)
  • Burkhard Schnepel (port cities and transregional connectivity in the Indian Ocean, tourism, cultural heritage, kingship and ritual performance)
  • Lale Yalçın-Heckmann (informal economy and practices, kinship and gender, migration, entrepreneurship and rural economies)


  • François Bertemes (cultural history of 3rd and 2nd millennia BCE in the Aegean, Southeast and Central Europe, early complex societies, cults and rituals, long distance communication networks)
  • Felix Blocher (Mesopotamian glyptics and astral symbolism of the 2nd and 1st millennia B.C., ancestral cults, urban culture)
  • Helga Bumke (topography and history of Didyma and Milet, ancient sanctuaries and ancient votive practices, Greek sculpture and iconography)
  • Tobias Gärtner (rural and urban settlements in the Middle Ages and in Modern Times, cultural history of ceramics, medieval castles, Merovingian period)


  • Georg Fertig (Economic History and Historical Demography in transnational contexts, 18th to 20th centuries)
  • Dietlind Hüchtker (History of East Central Europe, History of Political Movements, History of Gender)
  • Yvonne Kleinmann (East European History, Transconfessional Relations, Migration, Legal History)
  • Michael G. Müller (East European History, Political and Constitutional History, History of German-Polish Relations)
  • Andreas Pečar (Early Modern European History, Intellectual History and the History of Political Culture)
  • Stefan Pfeiffer (Ancient History, with special emphasis on the Hellenistic World and Greco-Roman Egypt)

For further information please visit the IMPRS ANARCHIE website

We look forward to receiving your completed online application.

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