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Research Associate to the ERC-funded project, The Dissolution of the Japanese Empire and the Struggle for Legitimacy in Postwar East Asia, 1945-1965 (fixed term)

Faculty of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies

Salary range: £31,604-£38,833 per annum

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available until 28th February, 2019 in the first instance.

Applicants are invited to apply for a fixed-term full-time post as Research Associate to the ERC-funded project, The Dissolution of the Japanese Empire and the Struggle for Legitimacy in Postwar East Asia, 1945-1965.

Details about the Project: This six-year ERC funded project which began in March 2013 aims to understand how political rule and legal authority were redrafted in postwar East Asia after the Japanese surrender in 1945. The research sheds light on the social and political transformations that continue to have resonance in our world in the form of East Asia's regional alliances and Japan's relations with its closest neighbours: China, North and South Korea, and Taiwan. The renovation of East Asia after the fall of the Japanese empire has mainly been written from a western perspective, owing to the preponderance of postwar American scholarship and its political dominance. Even with the economic rise and growing importance of modern China, the region's understanding of its own past and its internal dynamics remain deeply rooted in the manner in which World War II ended. The legal restructuring of East Asia and Japan's relations with its neighbours played a vital function in redressing former imperial relations in the early Cold War. The legal investigations and trials were the definition of international law, a relatively new concept itself, especially in East Asia. The legacy of these issues weighs heavily even today because it provided a new vocabulary to East Asian polities to consider the manner in which Japanese imperialism would be replaced and adjudicated in the postwar.

The researcher will mainly focus on collecting, organizing and analyzing Chinese, Japanese or Korean related archives dealing with this topic. S/he will also examine relevant published texts and secondary research in related languages and appropriate bibliographical references. S/he will be expected to work toward producing his/her own monograph within their contract time and perhaps an additional peer-reviewed article. The researcher will also be required to assist in the administration of the project (including various symposia), especially organization of an international workshop. Light teaching of up to one class and/or one-on-one supervisions.

Requirements: The applicant should have completed his/her PhD, submitted their thesis and had their viva (if necessary) by the time he or she arrives at Cambridge for the start of the position. A demonstrable commitment to the aims of the project and genuine enthusiasm in such research will also be essential, as will the ability to work effectively as part of a team and on individual initiative. A thorough knowledge of at least one East Asian language is expected. Candidates need not necessarily have knowledge of the Japanese language but their research must be related to the end of the Japanese empire and early Cold War.

Applicants are encouraged to look at the project website ( and contact the project director, Dr Barak Kushner, , ahead of time

Details of the post.

Applications must be made using the University’s online application system. Candidates are required to submit a covering letter together with a curriculum vitae and a publications list, along with the details of two referees.

Informal enquiries about the post can be directed to Dr Barak Kushner (e-mail: ).

The closing date for applications is 5pm (GMT) on Thursday, 15th February, 2018.

It is anticipated that interviews will take place in Cambridge in the week commencing Sunday, 18th February, 2018. They may be conducted via Skype.

Please quote reference GU14466 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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