Curatorial Research Fellowship at MARKK, Museum am Rothenbaum World Cultures and Arts. Applications due September 30th 2018

The Museum am Rothenbaum (formerly Museum für Völkerkunde Hamburg), one of the premier ethnographic museums in Germany, is in the course of a major repositioning and decolonization process that includes a renovation of the museum building, the new conceptualization of the permanent display and a reconfiguration of the program.  Funded within the framework of a major grant awarded by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation) for the repositioning of ethnographic museums, the fellowship is designed for international emerging scholars, preferably originating in and/or descending from the research area in question, to study a collection of the prominent Oceania holdings of the Museum am Rothenbaum.

The fellowship program is awarded to a promising and exceptional curator/scholar specialized in social anthropology, art or history of Oceania, particularly Melanesia or Micronesia, for one year (12 months). The fellowship should start in January 2019.

Important parts of the collection derive from the Hamburg South Seas Expedition (1908—1910), which was initiated by museum director Georg Thilenius and focused on some of the major areas of German colonial interest in the Pacific. A large number of objects from the former Museum Godeffroy and acquisitions from oversea merchants and colonial agents, missionaries, and art dealers are further central to the collection. The research focus should ideally be placed on segments of the museum collections from the Bismarck Archipelago, including the northeastern shores of Papua New Guinea (Morobe Province, Madang Province, East Sepik Province) and/or specialize in the islands of the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau.

The Research Fellow will be expected to

 contribute to the development of the permanent display with a creative and well researched curatorial input, ideally in collaboration or exchange with members of the originating society. 

 work with the curatorial team of the museum, particularly the curator of the Oceania collections, while implementing their own research project.

 give at least one public lecture and to participate in dialogues with the audience and internal planning workshops.

 contribute a chapter/essay to the accompanying publication.


 PhD candidate or doctorate degree in anthropology, art history, global history with specialization in Oceania and a specific focus/interest on material culture studies.

 Demonstrated accomplishments in the field of research, education and/or exhibition practice at a museum, research institute, university or art college.

 Fluent written and spoken English is essential, German language skills are desirable and necessary for use of the documentation at the museum.


The fellow receives a stipend of 50.000 Euros for the entire year and is responsible for taxation and health care coverage.

The museum provides a fully equipped workspace, access to the object, photo and archival collections, and to the museum library network. An additional travel budget is allocated for trips to the research region to connect and exchange with the members of the originating society.

The Museum am Rothenbaum will support the fellow with all required administrative paperwork. Responsibility for accommodation and transportation costs to Hamburg lie with the successful candidate.

Interested scholars are invited to send their application via email to Gabriel Schimmeroth no later than September 30, 2018.

How To Apply

The application materials should be written in English and sent in a single pdf file. They should include a research proposal specifying the thematic focus (max. 3000 words), a bibliography, a curriculum vitae, 3 references, and a cover letter explaining the motivation for the application.

Please address inquiries to Johanna Wild Museum am Rothenbaum

Phone: +49 (40) 428 879 -635