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Curatorial Research Fellowship - Linden-Museum Stuttgart


Linden-Museum Stuttgart is offering a two-year fellowship for African curators or scholars from September 1, 2023.

The fellowship program, funded by the German Gerda Henkel Foundation, aims at supporting four German museums holding African collections – in Leipzig/Dresden/Herrnhut (Saxony), Hamburg, Cologne, and Stuttgart – in their engagement to decolonize their museum practice and to foster a new ethics of collaboration with the African continent. It offers four promising African candidates based on the continent an opportunity to pursue their own exhibition, educational or research project and to obtain a deep insight into a German museum, while at the same time building on their professional experience.

All four museums have been actively involved in the German debate about colonial heritage and restitution for many years and are in a reflexive, comprehensive process of transformation. In this process, they are looking for a responsible approach to the collections and their history, for new forms of presentation and collection practices, as well as for transdisciplinary formats in scholarship, exhibitions, and outreach. The four fellows are invited to contribute to this process of creating an ethically responsible and contemporary museum practice allowing a new negotiation of interpretive sovereignties and multifaceted museum stories to be told beyond the Eurocentric perspective. This can only be achieved with the help of participatory, collaborative, and cooperative formats in inclusive partnership with descendants of the societies and communities that created and once used the objects the museums are currently holding in their collections. Four two-year fellowships have been approved at the Staatliche Ethnographische Sammlungen Sachsen in Leipzig, the Museum am Rothenbaum – Kulturen und Künste der Welt (MARKK) in Hamburg, the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum – Cultures of the World in Cologne, and the Linden-Museum in Stuttgart.

We offer

- A monthly stipend of 2.875 € gross, for 24 months

- A travel budget of 2.000 € to cultivate exchange and collaboration with the Gerda Henkel fellows at the three other museums and their host institutions

- A budget of 6.000 € to complete research in Africa to support the project at the museum

- A project budget of 25.000 € to complete an exhibition, program, education or research project at the museum

Departmental Placement

The fellowship grants scholars/curators from Africa an opportunity to collaborate and immerse themselves in the curatorial, education, conservation, documentation or programming department at the respective museums. They can use the museum as a space for dynamic exchange, research, and to participate in the life and work at the museum.

The fellow will be paired with a supervisor or team member/primary contact in their host institution/department, who will help them to navigate the museum and facilitate access to resources. The fellow will have access to staff, library, collections, research facilities, and the time and space to complete an exhibition project, research, training, and other academic or curatorial pursuits.

The Linden-Museum is specifically looking for a scholar/curator with an intrinsic interest in the Museum’s Africa holdings (objects, photographs and document archive), with a focus on the colonial collections, their provenance, and their cultural and historical context. While the Africa collections at Linden-Museum originate from all sub-Sahara regions from early history to today, it houses major colonial collections originating from Cameroon, Tanzania, Congo, Togo, Ghana and Nigeria. An ethnographic perspective on these collections is particularly welcome.

We expect

- Advanced postgraduate or PhD qualification and experience in historical, archival and/or ethnographic research methods

- A research/project proposal that takes into consideration decolonial approaches/methods to the collections of the Linden-Museum and that is interested in research that is reflexive of potential stakeholders/participants/audiences

- Cultural expertise in and familiarity with the preferred region of research

- Fluency in English. French and/or an African language relevant for the region of research is of advantage

- Working level cognizance or willingness to learn contemporary and/or 19th century German (for archival research)

-  Commitment to publish research results in the Museums’ digital collection and other research platforms of the museum

All expenses including visa, travel costs, mandatory medical insurance, social security, accommodation and public transport must be organized and covered by the fellow. Linden-Museum is happy to support you with advice and recommendations.

Materials Required for Applications

- Motivation letter describing your background and relevant experience with collections of art and cultural objects and/or museum work

- Curriculum vitae (education, professional experience, publications)

- Official transcripts of degrees

- Two letters of recommendation (academic, professional)

- Project proposal or statement (3 pages) reflecting your research/curatorial interests in the collections of Linden-Museum and your expectations for the fellowship

How to Apply

Please send all these documents within one single pdf document to:
Application deadline: 17 February 2023, 24:00pm CET

For requests regarding the Africa collections, please contact the Africa curator Dr. Fiona Siegenthaler: or +49.711.2022 406

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Wednesday, 17 April 2024