Jobs for Medievalists

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Doctoral student, Historical future expectations in the Late Medieval and Early Modern Period

The Faculty of Arts is seeking to fill a full-time (100%) vacancy in the Department of History for a

Doctoral student in an ERC-funded project on historical future expectations in the Late Medieval and Early Modern Period.

The fully-funded PhD-student will be affiliated with the Centre for Urban History. The Centre for Urban History is an international acknowledged research centre focusing on urban societies, structures and processes in historical perspective. The candidate will contribute to the ERC Starting Grant Project “Back to the Future: Future expectations and actions in late medieval and early modern Europe, c.1400-c.1830” funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement no. 851053, and supervised by prof. dr. Jeroen Puttevils.

To gain more insight in how people in the past thought about the future and how this affected their actions, this project draws on a combination of close and distant reading methods of more than 15,000 letters written in (varieties of) Italian, German, French, Dutch and English by and to European merchants in the period 1400-1830.

The doctoral student will carry out the analysis of long-term developments in the linguistic expression and rhetoric of future statements on the basis of German and Dutch merchant letters from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Central in this PhD-project will be the impact of crises on future-thinking.


Job description

  • You prepare a doctoral thesis in the field of  early modern history.
  • You contribute to research in the field of the late medieval and early modern future expectations in general and to the research goals of the project.
  • You publish scientific articles related to the research project of the assignment. These publications can be co-authored with other project members and external researchers.
  • You co-manage the project website and the project’s presence on social media.
  • You have a limited teaching responsibility in the History Department related to your own field of expertise and you contribute to research in the History Department and the Faculty of Arts.

Profile and requirements

  • You hold a master degree  in history and/or German or Dutch (historical) literature or linguistics.
  • Profound knowledge of German and preferably Dutch and their historical variants is absolutely required.
  • You are fluent in academic English (speaking and writing).
  • You have experience in managing large amounts of historical sources and texts.
  • You can submit outstanding academic results.
  • Also students in the final year of their degree can apply.
  • Your academic qualities comply with the requirements stipulated in the university’s policy.
  • The focus in your teaching corresponds to the educational vision of the university.
  • You are quality-oriented, conscientious, creative and cooperative.
  • You have strong communication skills.
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