Research Associate in the Department of French

London (Greater) (GB)
£38,826 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
07 Jan 2022
End of advertisement period
24 Jan 2022
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate to work on the AHRC funded project, ‘Radical Translations: The Transfer of Revolutionary Culture between Britain, France and Italy (1789-1815)’. This is led by Principal Investigator Dr. Sanja Perovic (French Department, King’s College London) and Co-Investigators Dr. Rosa Mucignat (Comparative Literature, King’s College London) and Professor Erica Mannucci (University of Milan-Bicocca).

‘Radical Translations’ seeks to understand the role of translation in the circulation of revolutionary texts between Italy, France and Britain in order to recover the dynamics of resistance, opposition and insurgency generated by radical thinking. It seeks to reposition the role of translators not as passive collaborators but as active militants seeking to spread radical democratic ideas into new cultures and languages – a contested idea then as now. The project consists of a website containing a database of c. 800 translations and biographical information on c. 275 translators. See for more information.

The research assistant will assist the research team in delivering the research outputs of the projects. This includes updating the database with new translations or biographical information on translators; researching additional information to annotate and contextualise existing entries; researching and developing potential case-studies with the project team; sourcing material and updating the project website; working with the project team to identify new avenues for further research and/or funding.

Candidates will have a PhD specialising in eighteenth-century studies, revolutionary history, the history of translation and/or digital humanities. Engagement with interdisciplinary approaches and comparative methods is vital. Reading knowledge of French is essential. Ability and willingness to travel to non-UK based archives and libraries in France and Italy is highly desirable. Prior experience with archival methods, bibliographical studies, prosopographical data-models or digital humanities is also highly desirable. Applicants should also be able to demonstrate ability to work well in a team, manage their time and research efficiently and either have or be willing to acquire the appropriate digital competence.

The research assistant will be based in the French Department at King’s College London. As well as working closely with the project team, they will collaborate with King’s Digital Labs.

This post will be offered a fixed term contract for 6.5 months

This is a full-time post

Key responsibilities

  • Undertake systematic library and archival research on 18th C translators in the UK, France and Italy both in person and remotely
  • Identify new sources for finding data on little known, unknown, anonymous or pseudonymous translators and their translations
  • Find clues about networks by researching the relevant historiography
  • Acquire familiarity with the digital archives and other inventories of major libraires in England, France and/or Italy
  • Gain and implement knowledge of digital editing platforms and website design apps such as Django and wagtail
  • Develop editorial skills in annotating online bibliographical and biographical records
  • Present findings in weekly meetings and work collaboratively as part of a team
  • Identify new sources of funding/avenues for further research
  • Organise workshops/conferences/ impact activities in collaboration with the project team

The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post. 

Skills, knowledge and experience

  Essential criteria 

  1. PhD specialising in eighteenth-century studies, revolutionary history, the history of translation or a cognate field (candidates who have completed their PhD but not yet had their viva or degree conferred may be considered)
  2. Knowledge of the methods and techniques of archival research
  3. Knowledge of the methods and techniques of library research, including bibliographical studies
  4. Some basic familiarity with the aims and approaches of prosopographical data-models
  5. Evidence of ability in and/or aptitude for formulating additional research questions based on initial findings
  6. Reading knowledge of French and native or near-native command of English
  7. Ability to work without close supervision
  8. Ability to work under pressure and to deadlines

Desirable criteria 

  1. Knowledge of the methods and techniques of building a digital database
  2. Familiarity with the major archives of France and England
  3. Ability to travel and undertake at least 1 extended research trip to French archives/libraries and/or Italian archives/libraries
  4. Reading knowledge of Italian

Please note that this is a PhD level role but candidates who have submitted their thesis and are awaiting award of their PhDs will be considered. In these circumstances the appointment will be made at Grade 5, spine point 30 with the title of Research Assistant. Upon confirmation of the award of the PhD, the job title will become Research Associate and the salary will increase to Grade 6.

Please see the project website for more information