Post-doctoral Position

Université Paris Lumières & Labex Les passés dans le présent

Spring 2022

The University of Paris Lumières and the labex Les passés dans le présent are hiring a postdoctoral researcher specialised in deep learning tools in computer vision for the Franco-British EYCON project.

THE EyCon PROJECT

Conducted under the direction of Daniel Foliard, Lise Jaillant and Julien Schuh, within the Labex Les passés dans le présent, the Eycon project (Visual AI and Early Conflict Photography) brings together researchers in the humanities, technical experts and archivists to produce innovative research at the junction of computer science, archival studies and history. The primary objective of EyCon is to evaluate the utility of computer technology to visualise, navigate and analyse large visual corpora, consisting of photographs of colonial, imperial and international armed conflicts up to 1918.

In this context, one of the main objectives of the project is to analyse the reproduction and circulation of images between archives, albums and periodicals, in different forms (negatives, photographs, photogravures, woodcuts). The post-doctoral fellow will be asked to develop a solution for identifying similarities and duplicates between the images in the corpus and for the interactive visualisation of the results. This tool will also have to take into account the captions of the images.

HOST STRUCTURE OF THE POSTDOCTORAL FELLOW

The partners of the EyCon project are the University of Paris Nanterre (CSLF EA 1586, Centre des Sciences des Littératures en langue Française, MoDyCo UMR 7114 Models, Dynamics, Corpus), Loughborough University (United Kingdom), the Musée du Quai Branly, La Contemporaine and TGIR Huma-NumUniversité Paris Cité, the Service Historique de la Défense, the Imperial War Museum, the National Library of Scotland and the Wellcome Collection.

MISSION

Within the Eycon project team, under the responsibility of Julien Schuh, the candidate will be in charge of developing tools, processing, analysing and archiving data, monitoring seminars and maintaining dialogue with the Labex teams.

Within the framework of their duties, the candidate will carry out the following tasks

– Development and implementation of deep learning tools:

– Vectorisation of images and texts (captions) ;

– Comparison and search for similarities and duplicates between images (tensorflow similarity, CNN, SIFT, SURF) ;

– Visualisation and classification (D3.js, UMAP) ;

– Participation in the animation of the project’s research seminar and scientific events;

– Drafting of project documentation and research notes on the project notebook;

– Putting data online (tools, models, exploration platforms) ;

  • Relationship between teams, partners, service providers;

OBLIGATION OF SERVICES

In addition to the mission for which the candidate has been selected, the postdoctoral researcher will take part in the general activities of the Labex (workshops, seminars). In relation with the project’s scientific management, the candidate will contribute in particular to the organisation and implementation of promotion activities (workshops, study days, seminars, enrichment of communication materials).

ADMISSION REQUIREMENT

The candidate must hold a PhD in the fields of computer engineering, digital engineering or digital humanities. 

SKILLS REQUIRED

The candidate shall have the following knowledge, skills and abilities

– mastery of deep learning software (Python, R, TensorFlow, Keras);

– mastery of JupyterLab type interfaces;

– practice of heritage standards (XML, METS, IIIF);

– mastery of project tracking and versioning (Git-Hub, Zenodo) ;

– autonomy, interpersonal skills.

And ideally

– mastery of web development software in the heritage field (relational databases, API, wordpress).

HIRING PROCESS

– Publication of the call for applications: Wednesday 20 April 2022

– Deadline for applications: Monday 16 May 2022 at 17:00 (Paris time)

– Interviews: between 19 and 24 May 2022

– Results: immediate

  • Starting date: if possible, 1er June 2022

APPLICATION FORM

The complete application must be sent in digital format in a single PDF file by 16 May 2022 at 17:00 to the following address: pasp-posdoc-EYCON@passes-present.eu

The file includes :

– a curriculum vitae and a list of works/publications

– the doctoral degree;

– the thesis report (if applicable);

  • a letter of motivation.

DURATION OF RECRUITMENT AND STARTING DATE

The contract is for a period of 12 months

REMUNERATION

Recruitment will be in the form of a fixed-term contract. The candidate will receive a gross monthly salary, exclusive of any additional remuneration, on a full-time basis, fixed according to their level of study.

The minimum gross salary corresponding to the status of post-doctoral researcher is fixed by decree (4 November 2021): €2,271 gross. It may be re-evaluated according to professional experience.

GENERAL PRESENTATION

The ComUE Université Paris Lumières was created in 2014 (decree n°2014-1677 of 29 December 2014). It works in all humanities and social sciences disciplines and is also interested in other fields in the exact or life sciences (biology, computer science, mathematics, etc., particularly in relation to artificial intelligence). The ComUE Université Paris Lumières has a clear interest in digital humanities and is part of the “open science” dynamic.

The ComUE Université Paris Lumières is composed of three founding members: the University of Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis, the University of Paris Nanterre and the CNRS. In addition to these members, there are statutory “associated” institutions that have joined the Université Paris Lumières through partnership agreements: the Académie Fratellini, the Archives Nationales, the Bibliothèque nationale deFrance, the Centre d’études, de documentation et d’information d’action sociale – CEDIAS-Musée Social, the Centre des Arts d’Enghien-les-Bains, the Centre national d’art et de culture Georges Pompidou, the École Nationale Supérieure Louis-Lumière, and the ETSUP school of social work, the Institut National Supérieur de Formation et de Recherche pour l’Education des Jeunes Handicapés et les Enseignements Adaptés (INSHEA), the Institut National de l’Audiovisuel (INA), the Musée d’Archéologie Nationale (Saint-Germain-en-Laye), the Musée du Louvre, the Musée National de l’Histoire de l’Immigration – Palais de la Porte Dorée, the Maison des Cultures du Monde (World Cultures Centre), the Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac, and the Pôle Sup’93 (artists’ training school).

Through its composition, the Université Paris Lumières addresses the museum, heritage and archival dimensions of society and its productions, a unique feature in France. It is also involved in reflection on social work and its implications. For more information: www.u-plum.fr

The labex Les passés dans le présent is a long-term collaborative scientific programme. Led by the University of Paris Nanterre with the University of Paris 8, the CNRS, the University of Paris Lumières (COMUE) and the University of Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, the labex Les passés dans le présent is based on an international, inter-institutional and collaborative practice. It makes the professionalization of students in the cultural sector (digital innovation, heritage, foresight) and the support of young researchers a priority.

How can we forge new ways of looking at the past and the future that would enable us to face the challenges of our time? This question stems from the work of the labex Les passés dans le présent, which has evolved, since 2012, into a scientific expertise linking the past, the present and the future. Its approach, rooted in the human and social sciences and the digital humanities, is also rooted in the exceptional collections and documentary resources of the major partner cultural institutions: BnF, National Archives, INA, Musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac and Musée d’Archéologie nationale. 

Taking a retrospective and prospective look at the relations of societies to their past and future, the labex Les passés dans le présent is a truly interdisciplinary centre, which looks at all periods, from the most ancient to the most contemporary, from prehistory to the present, and all geographical areas from a comparative and multilingual perspective. To discover the labex Les passés dans le présent: http://passes-present.eu

“Photosensible” – Workshops and Conference at the Musée du Quai Branly Jacques Chirac (Paris), 9-10 June 2022

A growing number of archives are now openly available to the public thanks, in particular, to the mass digitization of cultural heritage. Recirculations and resignifications of cultural heritage are accelerating as a consequence. Discussions on how to address sensitive visual material is particularly challenging in such a context. A wide range of images, from graphic photographs to digital surrogates of sacred objects whose circulation may hurt indigenous values, can be potentially offensive to spectators.

The EyCon project organizes a symposium on sensitive photographs, their histories, curation and recirculations at the Musée du Quai Branly Jacques Chirac. The event is divided between workshops for professionals and a public conference (10 June 2022, 14-17h30, salle de cinéma, free admission until the venue is full).

This scientific event aims at sharing experiences and perspectives on how different image-carriers and audiences should influence the historical and archival uses of violent imagery offers a solution to reflect on the best possible practices in a very fluid and uncertain field of exploration.

Conference Program (10 June 2022, 14h-17h30)

Open and free to the public, an interpreter will translate the presentations from English to French

Nancy Rushohora (Lecturer in the Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies of the University of Dar es Salaam)

Demanding images and the memories of colonial violence in Tanzania

Kim A. Wagner (Professor, Queen Mary, University of London)

‘The most illuminating thing I have ever seen’: The Photographic evidence of the Bud Dajo Massacre 1906

Susie Protschky (Associate Professor of History at Deakin University,Melbourne, Australia)

Late starters: The post-colonial afterlives of war photographs from Indonesia and neglected histories of colonial violence

Carine Peltier-Caroff (Head of the picture library, Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac, Paris)

The Meillassou album, the politics of naming and the ethics of showing

Helen Mavin (Head of Photographs, Imperial War Museum, London)

Provisional Semantics: Challenging the imperial gaze in IWM’s Second World War photographs