Gepubliceerd op 24-05-2023

PhD Position in Nineteenth-Century War-as-Entertainment Culture – Utrecht University

Do you want to research War-as-Entertainment and establish a new musicologically-informed research perspective within The Security History Network? Apply now.

Job Description

We are offering a fully-funded PhD position on the project Normalising War-as-Entertainment. In its broadest sense, the project researches the emergence of a war-as-entertainment culture in nineteenth-century Europe. While the burgeoning culture of musico-theatrical representations of war are often dismissed or neglected as nothing but commercial spectacle, their popularity and longevity suggest that they served a larger need in responding to the emotives of insecurity brought on by nineteenth-century European warfare. The project will be the first to explore the roles of these fictionalised performances of war within nineteenth-century “security cultures”. As such it will establish a new musicologically-informed research perspective within The Security History Network.

The role of the PhD candidate will be to:

  • develop a novel understanding of war-themed entertainments’ functions within their socio-political environments informed by multi-media and performance analysis;
  • interrogate the multi-media strategies of inclusion and exclusion in these war-themed representations;
  • determine the feedback mechanisms between fictionalised musico-theatrical performances of war and the political practices and discourses of “security cultures”.

The PhD candidate will have the opportunity to design or expand the research corpus within the boundaries of nineteenth-century European war-themed entertainments based on their own expertise, in consultation with the supervisors.

As a PhD candidate, you will be based at Utrecht University, at the Department of Media and Culture Studies and the Institute for Cultural Inquiry. There will also be a cross-collaboration with the Department and the Research Institute for History and Art History. The project team consists of dr. Annelies Andries (PI), prof. Beatrice de Graef, and prof. Annelien de Dijn.

This PhD position is part of the interdisciplinary UU PhD programme of the Faculty of Humanities, funded by the administrative agreement (‘bestuursakkoord’) between the Ministry of OCW and the universities.


The ideal candidate has a (Research) Master’s degree in musicology, media and culture studies, theatre studies, or another relevant discipline such as history, cultural anthropology or cultural history, with a demonstrable expertise in researching music and an interest in musico-theatrical entertainments and/or politico-cultural history.

In addition:

  • You have an active command of English, being a native speaker or having either a Cambridge Certificate or equivalent at C1 level or a degree from an English-language university.
  • You preferably have an active command of Dutch, or are willing to learn, as this will be desirable when working with historical sources.
  • You have experience with archival research.
  • You are able to work as an independent researcher, showing initiative, creativity and originality.
  • You are able to work as part of a project team, participating collaboratively in events, training programmes, and project events, and you have good interpersonal and communication skills

Conditions of employment

You will be offered a temporary position (1.0 FTE), initially for 18 months with an extension to a total of four years upon a successful assessment in the first year, and with the specific intent that it results in a doctorate within this period. The gross salary ranges between €2,541 in the first year and €3,247 in the fourth year of employment (scale P according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year.

In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including an attractive retirement scheme, (partly paid) parental leave and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). For more information, please visit working at Utrecht University.

As PhD candidate you will be member of the Institute for Cultural Inquiry (ICON). ICON is one of the four research institutes of the Faculty of Humanities. The researchers are working in six different research fields. PhD candidates are also embedded in the Graduate School of Humanities, which offers seminars and courses to improve your academic skills.


Sharing science, shaping tomorrow. A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major strategic themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.

The Faculty of Humanities has around 7,000 students and 1,100 staff members. It comprises four knowledge domains: Philosophy and Religious Studies, History and Art History, Media and Culture Studies, and Languages, Literature and Communication. With its research and education in these fields, the Faculty aims to contribute to a better understanding of the Netherlands and Europe in a rapidly changing social and cultural context. The enthusiastic and committed colleagues and the excellent amenities in the historical city centre of Utrecht, where the Faculty is located, contribute to an inspiring working environment.

Also, everyone deserves to feel at home at our faculty. We therefore welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives, regardless of race, skin color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, origin, disability or age.

The core values of the faculty for Humanities are professionalism, transparency, responsibility, connectedness and safety. The core values apply to everyone and we uphold these values in our work and in our communication with each other and with others.

The Department of Media and Culture Studies supports teaching and research in the fields of film, television, games, new media and digital culture, theatre, dance and performance, gender and ethnicity, musicology and cultural policy. Culture is a dynamic mix of artistic, creative and everyday practices with which people shape their identities and actions, and within which societal structures and institutions take shape. Media (old and new) are crucial factors in these processes.

For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Annelies Andries (Assistant Professor) at a.h.e.andries@uu.nl.

Apply here!

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