Gepubliceerd op 23-03-2021

Postdoc Position – Universiteit Leiden – Faculty of Humanities

The Faculty of Humanities, Institute for History, has a

Postdoc Position – “Dutch Entrepreneurial Exploitation of Autochthonous Resources in the Colonies of Others”

Key responsibilities
As per September 1, 2021, the Leiden University Institute for History will be appointing a postdoc researcher within the NWO-funded VICI project Exploiting the Empire of Others: Dutch Investment in Foreign Colonial Resources, 1570-1800, supervised by Professor Cátia Antunes. The responsibilities are:

  • Conducting research on the history of scientific codes of conduct;
  • Writing 4 single authored and 2 co-authored articles for publication in peer-reviewed journals (alternatively one single authored monograph submitted to a prominent academic publisher);
  • Contribute to one co-edited volume (for submission to a prominent academic publisher);
  • Contribute to the development of the project’s datasets (jointly with the rest of the team);
  • Co-organizing workshops and organizing panels for major international conferences;
  • Contributing actively to team work (serving as a peer reviewer for other team members, contributing to the project deliverables, liaise with societal partners).

Selection criteria

  • PhD degree in History, preferably in Economic and Social History, Colonial/Imperialism History or Global History (focus on Early Modern period);
  • Demonstrable interest in (autochthonous) entrepreneurship (private firms) in a colonial setting;
  • Relevant publications (journal articles, book chapters, single authored monography);
  • Broad paleographic skills of Early Modern documents in different languages;
  • Experience of complex, splintered public and private archives;
  • Language skills: proficiency in English, knowledge of Dutch (reading), French (reading), Spanish (basic), Portuguese (basic), Italian (basic);
  • Excellent writing skills, preferably able to write proficiently in English and at least one other Western European language;
  • Proven ability to work both independently and as part of a team;
  • Proven ability to work in in a large, dynamic and ambitious international team, embedded in a highly competitive environment.

Dutch Entrepreneurial Exploitation of Autochthonous Resources in the Colonies of Others
Scholarship posits that European investment outside of Europe between 1500 and 1800 was mostly directed to the colonial world. In this literature, focus goes out to European investors depositing their capital in European firms, chartered companies, joint stocks or states (through public debt) that ambitioned to expand their colonial power. Social, economic and colonial Early Modern history has been thus far less interested and poorly equipped to analyze the investment that European firms were able to gear towards locally (in the colonial spaces) established business ventures, more often than not in joint partnership with non-Europeans.

This postdoctoral position aims at confronting current historiography with the absence of European-Non-European colonial investments, often in favor of European colonial states/companies, but nonetheless pivotal for local colonial economies, for the subsistence of the colonial state and ultimately for the cooperation of specific non-European economic elites in the construction, development and maintenance of colonial empires during the Early Modern period.

The interest in the cooperation between Europeans and non-Europeans in colonial exploitation is particularly important as these non-European elites transited to the 19th century as defrauded citizens of empire and it is often from within these groups that ideas of independence and framing of a national state (outside of European dominance) arose. The postdoc will be invited to develop his/her own approach and case studies. Preferred proposals contemplate:

  1. Dutch firms operating locally (colonial setting) outside the sovereignty of the States General; and/or
  2. Dutch firms investing in autochthonous partnerships/firms in colonial settings (including those of the States General); and/or
  3. Comparative approach to Dutch and other European firms investing in foreign empires from the point of view of the colonial space.

In case of urgent questions, please contact Professor Cátia Antunes, email c.a.p.antunes@hum.leidenuniv.nl.


More information and application

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