Friday, September 28, 2012

PhD Position in American Studies at Groningen, Netherlands

Job description

Specialty areas: Early American Culture, Colonial & Imperial Identities

Applications are invited for one PhD-student position at the Graduate School for the Humanities, Literary and Cultural Studies.

Applicants are encouraged to develop their own research plans and should submit a 500-1000 word proposal dealing with early American literature and history. Candidates should plan to study the processes of colonization in North and/or South America, as well as the representation of those processes and their byproducts -- captivity, conversion, and war -- in texts from before 1800. Appropriate case studies could include Barlaeus's praise of Johan Maurits in Brasil, poetic accounts from the Arauco War, and reworkings of the myth of Pocahontas first propagated by John Smith. Research questions might be how New World knowledge changed the ideological justifications for empire; how intercultural contact shaped emerging ideas of race; and whether the Christianization of Indians came to condone (cultural) violence.

The above case studies and questions are merely examples: candidates should come up with their own ideas. Projects should aim to answer such large questions through smaller, specific case studies. Interdisciplinary and comparative proposals, combining, for example, literary, historical, and ethnographical methods, as well as those considering two or more languages are especially encouraged. The PhD student should be highly self-motivated, but will be supervised by and collaborate with more senior scholars.


The Faculty of Arts is a large, dynamic faculty in the heart of the city of Groningen. It has more than 5000 students and 700 staff members, who are working at the frontiers of knowledge every day. The Faculty offers a wide range of degree programmes: 19 Bachelor's programmes and over 35 Master's programmes. Our research, which is internationally widely acclaimed, covers the following fields: Archaeology, Cultural Studies, History, International Relations, Journalism, Language and Literary Studies, and Linguistics.


  • MA degree in a relevant area (English, Spanish, History, American Studies)
  • a good knowledge of early American literature and history
  • preferably one or more of the following skills: reading competence in early modern English, Dutch, French, and/or Spanish
  • publication skills and desire to publish
  • academic ambition

Conditions of employment

The University of Groningen offers a salary of € 2,042 gross per month in the first year to € 2,612 gross per month in the fourth year (figures based on full employment). The 0.9 fte appointment is temporary for a specified period of four years. You will first be appointed for 18 months. After the first year there will be an assessment of the candidate's results and the progress of the project to decide whether the employment will be continued.

Appointments will be effective from 1 January 2013.


The PhD candidates will be enrolled in the Graduate School for the Humanities and affiliated with the Institute for the Study of Culture Groningen (ICOG).


Applications should be in English and will contain the following:

  • a letter of application
  • a 500-1000 word research proposal
  • curriculum vitae
  • a copy of your diploma with a list of grades
  • your MA thesis or MA dissertation
  • the names and email addresses of two (academic) referees

The interviews will probably take place in between 7 and 21 November 2012.

You may apply for this position until 15 October 2012 via

For information you can contact: Ms. Dr Joanne van der Woude

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