Gepubliceerd op 16-07-2015

Vacancies: Two PhD Candidates in Renaissance and Golden Age Literature, University of Amsterdam

National characterizations can endure for centuries. In Early Modern Europe, the Spaniards were the most hated nation. Their reputation was tainted by a Black Legend of Spanish cruelty and lust for power. This anti-hispanism is considered central to the process of European proto-national identity formation. It shaped the cultural and political self-definition of both the Netherlands and England, two nations with overlapping histories regarding Spain. However, this hispanophobia did not exclude an undeniable fascination with Golden Age Spanish culture, most visible within the field of literature. This project problematizes the European paradigm shift around 1800, when after centuries of predominant hispanophobia, a discourse of romantic hispanophilia materialized. This project will demonstrate how the two narratives of literary hispanophobia and hispanophilia co-existed in the Early Modern period and re-emerged in the nineteenth century, when national identities and literary canons consolidated the Golden Age as the key period in the national-historical consciousness.

The research project consists of three interrelated subprojects: PhD’s 1 and 2 will chart this literary ambivalence towards Spain for the Early Modern Period (1550-1700). How this ambivalence was adapted and negotiated in the nineteenth century will be explored in subproject 3 (to be conducted by the project leader). The project methodologically bridges the fields of Imagology, Translation Studies and Cultural Transfer. PhD -1 (ca. 1555 – ca. 1620) will analyze how Spanish images and materials are used and negotiated in different literary genres (theatre and prose) in an historical period which has always been deemed one of prevailing anti-hispanism in both countries. PhD-2 (ca. 1620- 1700) will investigate how the narratives of hispanophobia and hispanophilia further take shape and display patterns of continuity and/or discontinuity in the changing historical circumstances.

Tasks of the two PhD candidates will include:

  • completion and defence of a PhD thesis within four years;
  • regular presentations of intermediate research results at workshops and conferences;
  • publication of at least one peer-reviewed article;
  • co-organisation of expert meetings and an international conference;
  • participation in the training program of the Graduate School / research school.


  • a completed (R)MA or MPhil degree in a relevant field, preferably Renaissance or Golden Age Literature Studies, English Renaissance /Golden Age Studies, Dutch Renaissance/ Golden Age Studies;
  • a thorough command of Dutch and English. Reading competence in Spanish and an interest in Spanish culture is a plus;
  • excellent research skills;
  • excellent academic writing and presentation skills in English

Further information.

You can apply for this job until 1 October 2015.

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