Fully Funded Doctoral Fellow (PhD Scholarship) in Music and Human Rights – Germany

Applications are invited from candidates for a fully funded PhD position  for the development of a dissertation on the history of music and human rights in the United States since 1945 in the context of a larger research project titled “The Quest for Harmony: Classical Music, Emotion, and the Discourse of Human Rights in the United States since World War Two.”

Duration: 1 November 2018 to 31 October 2021.

The project “The Quest for Harmony: Classical Music, Emotion, and the Discourse on Human Rights in the United States since World War II” examines the political impact of classical music in discourses on humanity, human rights and morals by means of soloists, symphony orchestras, their composers, conductors and musicians in the USA. The project asks whether and how classical music has functioned as a carrier of emotion and political content since the 1940s and what role American cultural diplomacy plays in this context. The long-term study began in the mid-1940s and continues right up to the present day. The project specifically seeks to delimit the common periodization of the Cold War and thus to examine fractures and (dis)continuities of U. S. American cultural diplomacy after its end until the 2000s. Thus, the events of 9/11 and their influence on U. S. cultural policy will be included in the project. All in all, the research project intends to generate new insights into informal, less visible and so far scarcely investigated practices, relationships and influences in the debate on music and human rights, considering emotion as a central category.


  • Academic degree (MA) in history or musicology, preferably with a focus on the North American region or international history/relationships (MA thesis at the latest at the time of the interview)
  • Very good language skills in English and the languages relevant for the research project
  • Familiarity with current scholarly debates and approaches in the field of North American history
Publish Date:
Institute Name: Freie Universität Berlin • Berlin
Degree/Course: PhD
Deadline: June 04, 2018
Country: Germany
Course Start:
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