Gepubliceerd op 18-07-2022

Postdoctoral researcher Perpetrators’ Heritage, Material Cultures and Imaginaries


The Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture (AHM) currently has a vacant Postdoc researcher position as part of the broader field Cultural Heritage and Identity. Within this field the focus is on material and immaterial heritage, including digital Humanities and on Cultural Heritage and societal changes. The Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture (AHM) is one of the five Research Schools within the Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research. AHM is the research base for a broad spread of disciplines from Heritage and Memory Studies, to Media and Museum Studies, Archaeology and Material Culture, Conservation and Restoration and Art History. AHM researchers share an interest in the ways in which material and immaterial traces of past events and experiences influence the formation of present-day identities.

What are you going to do?

The postdoc project investigates how sites connected to World War II perpetrators (party leaders, army commanders, etc.) are preserved and memorialized as well as how they narrate the lives and actions of perpetrators. Over the last years, the fields of heritage and memory studies have focused increasingly on perpetrators as the protagonists of trauma narratives, investigating their legacy and responsibility. The project contributes to these debates by enlarging the theoretical and epistemological reflections on victimhood and perpetration by considering testimonials, narratives and the implicated role of spaces from a comparative, transnational and transmedia approaches in diverse heritage domains (trauma sites and (digital) museums, memorials, birthplaces, bunkers, housing around sites of genocides, villas and homes and in documentary images and photographic and audiovisual archives) to understand how perpetrators’ heritage and environments become sites of memory practice that galvanize ethical reflection on the past in Europe and beyond (The Netherlands, Italy, Germany and Japan).

The postdoc project will be part of the Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture (AHM). AHM researchers collaborate in and across several research groups, including ‘Post Memories: Intergenerational Narratives of Conflict’, ‘Conflict Archaeology’, ‘Postcolonial Heritages and Diasporic Memories’, ‘Oral History and Transitional Justice’, ‘Intangible Culture: The Heritage Dynamics and Politics of Everyday Life’, and ‘Dynamics of Memory: WWII Heritage and Memory’.

The postdoc project will deepen knowledge of conflicted heritages and difficult pasts through reference to crises of endangerment to proximities, and to experiment with new approaches to ethical memory practice aimed at providing citizens with sustainable tools for transnational, intercultural and intergenerational knowledge exchange and dialogue that will build resilience to unknown future dangers to our affective proximities to the past. As such the projects respond to the research theme ‘Cultural Heritage and Identity’ relating to both heritage contestation and conflict based on the hypotheses that times of transition and crisis enable us to gain special insights into the social significance of material and immaterial heritage and memory practices for inclusion and exclusion; the ways in which social change, sustainable strategies and practices and resilient institutions can be built through partnership working; and how can heritage and memory places continue to advocate for human rights and a better world.

Your tasks and responsibilities:

  • conducting research, presenting intermediate research results at workshops and conferences and publishing two single-authored, peer reviewed articles;
  • participating in meetings of the project research group and developing a shared database;
  • co-organising knowledge dissemination activities;
  • actively contributing to the research activities of AHM and developing national and international research networks and other forms of cooperation.


Your experience and profile:

  • a PhD in the Humanities with a research focus on Heritage and memory studies, semiotics, archaeology and material Culture, cultural studies, museum studies, Holocaust and genocide studies, or related fields;
  • excellent research skills demonstrated by a track record of publishing in high-ranking journals and/or with leading presses or a demonstrable capacity to develop such a record;
  • a strong cooperative attitude and willingness to engage in collaborative research;
  • enthusiasm for communicating academic research to non-academic audiences;
  • excellent command English.


The Postdoc researcher will be appointed at the ACASA Amsterdam Centre for Ancient Studies and Archaeology of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Amsterdam and will conduct the research in The Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture (AHM). The employment contract will be for one year. Contingent on a positive performance evaluation the contract will be extended with one year. The employment contract is for 30,4-38 hours a week. Preferred starting date is 1 October 2022.

The gross monthly salary, based on 38 hours per week and relevant experience, ranges between € 3,974 to € 5,439. 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.

What else do we offer

  • excellent possibilities for further professional development and education, including participation in a dedicated Research Training group;
  • an enthusiastic, inspiring and international working environment in the heart of Amsterdam;
  • the opportunity to collaborate with leading researchers at research institutes that – partly as a result of their interdisciplinary approach – are world renowned.


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.


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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.