JOB Nov 28, 2022

2 Doctoral Positions, ISA, Academy of Architecture, USI, Mendrisio

Institute for the History and Theory of Art and Architecture (ISA), Academy of Architecture, Mendrisio (Università della Svizzera italiana), Feb 01, 2023
Application deadline: Dec 20, 2022

Prof. Dr. Carla Mazzarelli

The Institute for the History and Theory of Art and Architecture (ISA), at the Academy of Architecture in Mendrisio announces a call for two Doctoral Assistant positions in History and Theory of Art and Architecture as part of the Project: “Visibility Reclaimed. Experiencing Rome’s First Public Museums (1733-1870). An Analysis of Public Audiences in a Transnational Perspective” (Subsidy n.100016_212922 of the Swiss National Fund) directed by Prof. Dr. Carla Mazzarelli from 1 February 2023, or date to be agreed (100% four years).

The Research Project
The research starts from three main questions: How was the public museum defined and perceived at its origins, in terms of its ever greater significance as architectural space and shared experience? Which and how many publics accessed the first public museums? Which and how many publics were excluded?
The research questions place the "embodied encounter" at the centre of historical and critical reflection on the museum, which invites us to go beyond the visual dimension that the exhibition space presupposes. This also involves the momentum of direct observation and appreciation, of the architectural space and the display of artworks, both physically as well as materially.
Since the museum is "open" to the public it necessarily requires a progressive system of disciplining the public itself: distancing devices, prohibitions and compulsory routes for visitors had a decisive influence on the architectural models and on the display of art during the course of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, up to the contemporary age.
Starting from the assumption that the dialogue between museums and the public begins in Rome with the foundation of the Capitoline Museum in 1733 and continues with the renewal and expansion of museums in the Napoleonic era and during the nineteenth century, the research intends to conceptually study the evolution of the first public museums in Rome in relation to the different geographical origins and categories (social, cultural, gender) of the international and cosmopolitan public who directly accessed their collections.
Rome is here proposed as a laboratory for the constitutive dialogue (sometimes conflictual) between cultural institutions, museums and the visiting public during the early modern age. Studying Rome from this perspective urges us to see its collections of antiquities, palatial galleries, patrician villas, ancient and modern monuments as a
dynamic network of urban places, itineraries and circuits of visits on the city’s map.
There is still considerable work to be done on the evolution of public museums in Rome from this relational vantage point, and one of the main goals of this project is to focus precisely on the coexistence in Rome of various cultural spaces accessed by visitors through different modalities and degrees of freedom. The project places a corpus of primary sources, mostly unpublished, at the centre of the research, including the requests formulated and the permissions granted to access museums, requests for visiting, copying and studying museums and ancient monuments.
The research will be conducted according to an interdisciplinary method that includes, in addition to the history of architecture and art, the history of cultural institutions, social sciences, the history of literature, anthropology and material culture, the history of economics and of cultural consumption.
The comparison with critical methodologies that have stressed the importance of mobility over “national” paradigms, and provided a dynamic artistic geography of Rome in the 18th and 19th centuries is the foundation of the reflections on the project and lends itself to a transnational and comparative approach to other geographies in Europe
and the world. Relevant cruxes for the development of the project will be case studies, the object of the two PhDs. They are intended to explore the research questions in relation to thematic and temporal focuses identified within the long-term examination proposed by the research.

Required Tasks
The two PhD candidates will be required to participate organically in the project by developing their respective fields of study with original and personal contributions, around which the two doctoral researches will gravitate.
- Preparation and completion of a PhD thesis within the four years of the project
- Writing of scientific contributions over the four-year period of the project on topics related to the doctoral thesis
- Collaboration in the organisation of study days, conferences included in the project and the planned activities of the research group
- Cooperation to scientifically increase and update the data of the database of primary sources, one of the outputs of the Project
- Participation in activities organized by the Institute of History and Theory of Art and Architecture with particular reference to those in the field of doctoral training
- Possible assistance in the courses held by the head of the project

The workplace
Research and team work will mainly take place at the Institute of History and Theory of Art and Architecture in Mendrisio, Academy of Architecture (Canton Ticino, Switzerland) with the coordination of Prof. Dr. Carla Mazzarelli

Requirements for participation
- Master / Master's degree or equivalent qualification in Architecture and / or History of Architecture, History of Art and / or Literature and the Visual Arts. Interdisciplinary profiles are privileged.
- Excellent spoken and written knowledge of Italian and more than good knowledge of at least the English language
- Capacity for coordinated team work
- Willingness to travel to other parts of Switzerland and abroad (for purposes of collaboration and research) is required.
- Knowledge of at least one third language will be considered preferential

The following will also be considered as preferential requirements in the selection:
- Experiences in the field of Museology and / or Museography
- Experience in the field of Digital Humanities and / or familiarity with the use of the main cataloguing software (Excel / Access etc.)
- Having completed the master's thesis on topics related to the project and / or the publication in scientific journals of essays or articles on topics related to the project is a preferential title

Admission to the Doctorate
The doctoral students will be enrolled in the doctorate at the Academy of Architecture in the manner provided and will be affiliated with the Institute of History and Theory of Art and Architecture and part of Doctor of Philosophy in Human Sciences (Dr. Phil).

The two full-time positions are financed for four years by the Swiss National Fund according to the rules defined in point 12.1 of the following provisions: pdf

Documentation and deadline
Application will include:
- motivation letter
- curriculum vitae
- the form duly completed and with the required attachments
- the Master's degree certificate with the indication of the Master's degree thesis
- Copy of the Master's (master's degree) or licence thesis and / or any research, papers, publications that testify the candidate's research skills (pdf in electronic format)
- A letter of introduction from the supervisor / supervisor of the Master's thesis (master's degree), or from another scholar illustrating the references of the candidate.
The complete documentation must be sent by 20 December 2022 exclusively in electronic format to the following address and to the attention of

Applications will be selected and communicated by January 10th. Selected candidates will be admitted to an interview which will take place by the end of January.

As an institution that promotes diversity, USI particularly encourages applications from women and all individuals from the under-represented groups

For specific requests for information, please contact:
Prof. Dr. Carla Mazzarelli

JOB: 2 Doctoral Positions, ISA, Academy of Architecture, USI, Mendrisio. In:, Nov 28, 2022 (accessed Jan 29, 2023), <>.