Gepubliceerd op 30-01-2023

Assistant Professor Protohistory of Human Artificial Intelligence and Machines in the Arts

In the context of the Sectorplan Investments in the Humanities, the University of Amsterdam intends to grow its teaching and research in Humane AI. We are looking for a colleague with expertise in historical experimental formations of processing in the arts, with respect to mechanical and automated implications in artistic practices. You will teach and conduct research on the protohistoric dimensions of artificial intelligence and machines in the arts. You will have ample opportunities to develop new teaching modules on these and related topics for both BA and MA students.

Your research will be part of the Amsterdam School of Historical Studies (ASH), one of the five research schools of the Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research. ASH represents and fosters the study of the human past from Antiquity to the present day. It brings together more than 200 academics from Amsterdam’s Faculty of Humanities, who participate in ca. 25 research groups. You will be based in the Arts and Culture department in the Theatre Studies, Music Studies or Art Studies group. Arts and Culture is a large academic department that connects research and teaching in Art History, Heritage and Memory Studies, Museum Studies, Cultural Studies, Book Studies, Music Studies, and Theatre Studies. As a department we appreciate and stimulate interdisciplinary collaborations. You will especially contribute to the new Bachelor Programme Global Arts, Culture and Politics, which includes four majors, of which AI and Art and Media are of special interest for you. You can also contribute to Theatre Studies, Music Studies and Art History, as well as to the interdisciplinary Research Master Art and Performance Research Studies, depending on your specific expertise.

Tasks and responsibilities

You will contribute to ASH with research activities related to the protohistoric dimensions of artificial intelligence and machines related to the arts. The long tradition of the interconnectedness between technique, art and media demonstrated in spectacular events across disciplinary and geographic borders, forms an important part of the protohistory of digital artificial intelligence. (Public) experiments with pre-digital techniques of automatization and mechanisation in the arts reach back far into the early modern period and challenge the clearcut divisions of disciplinary historiographies established since the 19th century. Located at the crossroads of the history of science and technology, art history, history of ideas, performance studies, and media history, research into the history of Artificial Intelligence and Machines preceding the digital turn requires a genuine interdisciplinary approach, and includes topics such as the long history of automatons and robots in their relation with performance; the translation and interfaces between techno-institutional and artistic communities; the creation (and education) of new audiences and the affectation of mass-audiences through experimental public demonstrations in the conjunction of arts and (new) technologies; the modelling of arts through concepts of automatization; the history of global data transmissions (telematics).

You will independently conduct research in the field of protohistory of artificial intelligence and machines in the arts resulting in academic publications in peer-reviewed international journals and/or books. You are expected to actively pursue external funding for research, notably from national as well as European research councils, and to develop new terrains of research and envisioning an inspiring and relevant future research agenda. Moreover, you will be actively involved in inter- and transdisciplinary historical research at the UvA, establishing and seeking out co-operations with scholars in the history of science, art history, media history, theatre studies, history of technology, musicology and cultural studies. You will join one of the research groups of the Amsterdam School of Historical Studies in which you will play an active role. You will collaborate with research and artistic institutions in The Netherlands and abroad, with a special focus on active participation in the Vossius Center for the History of Humanities and Sciences and the Humanities Labs as well as in the Research Priority Area Human(e) AI.

Your teaching will mainly contribute to the interdisciplinary Bachelor program Global Arts, Culture and Politics, with a special focus on the majors Human and Artificial Intelligence and Art, Media and Visual Culture. Depending on your specific expertise, you will also teach in one or more MA programs of the department. You will moreover contribute to the interdisciplinary Research Master program Art and Performance Research Studies. Preferably, you will also develop interdisciplinary teaching activities together with staff members from other groups in or beyond the department of Art and Culture. You will supervise bachelor and master theses, and act as a co-supervisor of PhD students. You are committed to fostering an inclusive classroom.

Finally, the candidate will be expected to take up administrative and managerial duties within or beyond the department.


You are a researcher in the field of the history of the arts with a proven interest in the relationship between the arts, technologies and /or machines. Your publications show broad knowledge of the protohistory of human artificial intelligence and machines in the arts, familiarity with interdisciplinary research on the historical conjunctions between arts and technologies, and a strong affinity with developing new methods to conduct research with a protohistoriographic approach. You have a proven flair for collaborative projects with colleagues in the arts and beyond.Your research matches the profile of the Amsterdam School of Historical Studies.

You are able to develop and provide modules connected to the expected expertise. Important is proven flexibility in teaching on topics beyond your own research focus, a willingness to work in interdisciplinary teams of teachers and the ability to offer inspiring lectures and tutorials in the BA, MA and minor programmes that aspire to a wide range of students.

Your experience and profile:

  • a PhD in Art History, Theatre History, Cultural History or Music History with a research focus on the relation between arts and technologies and/or machines;
  • you either have or show clear potential for developing a strong publication record commensurate with the stage of your academic career;
  • an international academic network in the research area concerned, or a willingness to develop one;
  • demonstrable ability and ambition to obtain external research grants;
  • experience with research-led teaching in a higher education context and a strong commitment to personal development in teaching
  • good command of Dutch and English. If you do not speak Dutch, an active and passive command must be acquired within the first two years of the employment contract and the state examination for Dutch as a Second Language programme II must be passed;
  • experience with digital and audiovisual teaching facilities and affinity with IT in university teaching;
  • experienced in valorisation and practice-based education and/or research;
  • good team player and versatile at all levels, capable of multidisciplinary co-operation;
  • a University Teaching Qualification (UTQ), or willing to acquire this within the first two years of the employment contract.

We are committed to a culturally and intellectually diverse academic community and are especially interested in candidates who can contribute, through their research, teaching and/or service, to this mission.


We offer permanent employment upon a satisfactory evaluation following a temporary employment contract of a maximum of 18 months with a probationary period of two months. If you already have an employment contract with the UvA, we offer permanent employment upon a satisfactory evaluation following a temporary employment contract of a maximum of 12 months. The employment is for 38 hours per week. Preferred starting date is 01 September 2023.

The gross monthly salary, based on 38 hours per week, ranges between € 3,974 (scale 11) to € 6,181 (scale 12) dependent on relevant experience. This sum does not include the 8% holiday allowance and the 8,3% year-end allowance. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

We additionally offer:

  • the opportunity to collaborate in interdisciplinary teams;
  • excellent opportunities for study and personal development;
  • an inspiring academic and international working environment in the heart of Amsterdam.


Faculty of Humanities

The University of Amsterdam is the Netherlands’ largest university, offering the widest range of academic programmes. At the UvA, 30,000 students, 6,000 staff members and 3,000 PhD candidates study and work in a diverse range of fields, connected by a culture of curiosity.

The Faculty of Humanities provides education and conducts research with a strong international profile in a large number of disciplines in de field of language and culture. Located in the heart of Amsterdam, the faculty maintains close ties with many cultural institutes in the capital city. Research and teaching staff focus on interdisciplinary collaboration and are active in several teaching programmes.

Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.

Any questions?
Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact: Kati Röttger

Het KNHG is de grootste organisatie van professionele historici in Nederland. Het biedt een platform aan de ruim 1100 leden en aan de historische gemeenschap als geheel. Word lid van het KNHG.
Het Huygens Instituut beoogt de Nederlandse geschiedenis en cultuur inclusiever maken. Het ontsluit historische bronnen en literaire teksten en ontwikkelt innovatieve methoden, tools en duurzame digitale infrastructuur.