Universita della Svizzera Italiana



    March 26, 2024
    May 31, 2024

Assistant Professor in Business Anthropology on the Technological Transformation of Consumption and Markets (Tenure Track)

The Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) is a young and lively university, a hub of opportunities open to the world where students are offered a quality interdisciplinary education in which they can be fully engaged and take centre stage, and where our researchers can count on having the space to freely pursue their own initiatives. Established in 1996, USI is in constant transformation, always taking on new challenges while remaining true to its three guiding principles: quality, openness, and responsibility.

The Faculty

The Faculty of Communication, Culture, and Society is committed to research and teaching excellence in innovative communication and media areas, with strong societal and cultural relevance. We consider communication as a foundational process of the organising of social endeavours, which we approach from multiple disciplines both within the social sciences and humanities. The Faculty is embedded within a diverse, dynamic, and highly international university, fostering collaborations across faculties (Architecture, Biomedical Sciences, Economics, Informatics, and Theology).

The Institute

The Institute of Marketing and Communication Management (IMCA) specialises in a communication-centric, cultural approach to marketing and management with an expertise in qualitative methodologies and in relational, processual, cultural, and socio-material research of organisations, business networks, communities of stakeholders, and consumers. In Marketing, it conducts research within branding, consumer culture theory, and market studies focusing on topics such as sustainability, ethical consumption, financialisation of life, cultural branding and storytelling, consumer responsibilisation and vulnerability.

Candidate Profile

The successful candidate has demonstrated research excellence in anthropology-informed studies of the technological transformation of markets, marketing practices, and consumer cultures. She/he has an active research agenda that deals with current and emerging transformations of technology in both their digital and material dimensions, and how they alter the relationships between marketing practice, consumption, and society, including, but not limited to, topics such as algorithmic control, artificial intelligence, automation, datafication, platform economics, and robotics.

We prefer a profile which shares the cultural and qualitative/ethnographic focus of the Institute. We expect the successful candidate to challenge hitherto held assumptions and explanations of “digital marketing and the technoscape”, critically reflecting on issues such as the tensions between technologies and the “human”, dematerialisation and hybridisation, ideologisation of technologies, and datafication in its ontological, epistemological, and methodological implications. We are also interested in questions of social and ecological sustainability related to technological transformation, such as digital vulnerabilities or digital ownership.

The ideal candidate should satisfy the following requirements:

  • a PhD in Business Anthropology, Cultural Marketing, Consumer Culture Theory, or related disciplines. Interdisciplinary backgrounds are particularly appreciated;
  • research excellence reflected in a promising track record and a high-quality pipeline in internationally well recognized marketing journals;
  • some successful teaching experience and an interest for teaching and tutoring students;
  • excellent command of English, both written and spoken. Knowledge of the Italian language is not required initially, but is required within three years of taking up the post;
  • availability to promote “good citizenship” in the Institute and the Faculty by providing service to the University and to the profession. Readiness to collaborate with colleagues (engage in scientific dialogue, listen, and think critically) is required.

Job Description

This post offers the opportunity and resources for a young scholar of excellence to become an important member of a vibrant research group and be involved in the Institute’s research and teaching programmes.

The successful candidate will be expected to:

  • promote research internationally and locally in her/his field of competence, secure competitive research funding, co-ordinate assistants’ activities, and act in an advisory capacity for PhD candidates. Switzerland provides the opportunity of accessing relevant research funds provided by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and similar institutions;
  • teach and run courses at all levels (Bachelor, Master, PhD) on marketing and the technological transformation of marketing and business-related communication (e.g. Advertising and Consumer Representations, Business Markets, Customer Experience, Digital Corporate Communication, Service Design Marketing). Teaching load equals 12
  • ECTS per year on an Assistant Professor level and 18 ECTS from an Associate level onwards;
  • take part in the Faculty organization (Faculty Board, Professors’ Board, committees and other related tasks).
  • contribute to the development of the USI Library in her/his field of competence.

General terms

Workplace is USI, Università della Svizzera italiana, located in Lugano, Switzerland.

Availability to travel to other parts of Switzerland and abroad (for purposes of collaboration and research) is required.

The employment package is competitive according to international standards, including also one fully funded PhD position and travel funds. Salary will be defined according to terms and conditions as in the University Statutes.

The activity is scheduled to start in the Spring term 2025.

USI, Università della Svizzera italiana, is aware of the various and different backgrounds of its employees and, as an institution that promotes diversity and inclusion, it particularly encourages applications by female candidates and by other under-represented groups.


Professors are expected to reside in Ticino, which is part of the Italian-speaking area of Switzerland. The new professor is expected to provide consistent participation in the academic activities of the university.

The Application

The application should contain:

  • an application letter addressed to the Dean of the Faculty;
  • a detailed CV and publication list, together with copies of any relevant diploma, and teaching and professional experience records;
  • a copy of the most representative publications;
  • three letters of recommendation.

Please send your application in electronic form to:

Prof. Luca M. Visconti
Facoltà di comunicazione, cultura e società
Università della Svizzera italiana
Via Giuseppe Buffi 13

using the online platform at the following link:
https://form.usi.ch/form/view.php?id=293306″ title=”Faculty of Communication, Culture and

Society – IMCA

Applications received before 31 May 2024, will be given priority.

However, applications will be received until the position is filled.

More information on the Institute of Marketing and Communication Management (IMCA) canbe found at www.imca.usi.ch.

For further information, please contact:

Prof. Jeanne Mengis
Director of the Institute of Marketing and Communication Management (IMCA)
Email: jeanne.mengis@usi.ch
Lugano, 7 March 2024