Humanist Discussion Group

Humanist Archives: April 5, 2021, 7:25 a.m. Humanist 34.313 - position for analysis of dissident & inquisitorial texts (Brno)

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 34, No. 313.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
                      Hosted by DH-Cologne
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        Date: 2021-04-04 17:02:59+00:00
        From: David Zbíral <david.zbiral@POST.CZ>
        Subject: Job opening: NLP / computational linguistics (esp. Latin) in an ERC project on heresy and inquisition

Dear list members,

Perhaps some of you or your contacts might be interested in the
following job opening in the ERC Consolidator Grant-funded Dissident
Networks Project (DISSINET,,
where we use computational methods to shed new light on medieval
religious dissidence and inquisition. I am now searching for a
computational linguist or NLP specialist to join the adventure - please
see below.

All the best,

David Zbíral.


Number of open positions: 1

Expected start: 1 September 2021 (negotiable)

Duration: 31 August 2022 (first contract), 31 August 2026 (very probable
extension based on performance review)

Deadline for applications: 30 April 2021 23:59 CEST (UTC+2)

Full call and submission:

The Dissident Networks Project(DISSINET, - an 
ERC Consolidator Grant-fundedresearch initiative based at Masaryk 
University (Brno, Czech Republic) - offers a full-time postdoctoral or 
senior research fellowship in computational text analysis. The 
research of the successful applicant will focus on discursive patterns 
in medieval inquisitorial records,with the aim of shining a new light on 
the textual practices of inquisition notaries, the interaction at trial, the 
discourse of inquisition texts, and religious dissidence.

We are searching for a research fellow with one of the following types
of profile:

(a) computational linguist, NLP specialist or text mining specialist,
with a strong interest in history and ancient languages;

(b) digital humanist,with a strong competence in Latin and experienced in
historical research, programming, and the analysis of textual corpora; or

(c) another kind of mixed/interdisciplinary profile,with some of the
previously mentioned competencies and strong interest in working on a
historical research project.

The successful candidate will develop their own research direction in
consultation with the Principal Investigator (Dr David Zbíral), focusing
on the computational text processing and analysis of medieval
inquisitorial records, e.g. building and maintaining NLP pipeline,
stylometric and semantic analysis (word frequency and word
co-occurrence, word embeddings, lexical dispersion, measures of lexical
richness, measures of distance of texts, text reuse analysis, semantic
distribution models) etc. DISSINET at large also works extensively on
the manual coding of inquisitorial material, offering a close-reading
layer to be compared and contrasted with the distant-reading analysis of
the textual corpus provided by NLP techniques.

DISSINET focuses on various computational approaches to Christian
dissent and inquisition, also including social network analysis,
geographic information science, and other techniques: the successful
candidate will have the opportunity to produce mixed-methodology work in
this collaborative context. The ERC-funded position thus represents a
unique opportunity for building a truly cutting-edge research profile.

The position is residential (although with reasonable flexibility for
the duration of the pandemic). We are open to applications from those
who have already completed their doctorates, and those who have
submitted their thesis and are only awaiting the award of their degree.
The candidate’s Ph.D. degree does not need to be recent for this
position. Applications from female candidates are particularly encouraged.

Please see
for more information.

Dr. David Zbíral
Associate Professor
Principal Investigator of the ERC-funded Dissident Networks Project

*Masaryk University, Faculty of Arts*
Department for the Study of Religions, Centre for the Digital Research
of Religion
A: Arna Nováka 1, 602 00 Brno, Czech Republic
T: +420 549 495 372
W: <> 

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