Gepubliceerd op 18-04-2017

Vacature: PhD Position ‘Negotiating Conversion and Family Law in Eighteenth Century Dutch Colonial Sri Lanka’ (Deadline 28 May)

Leiden University, Faculty of Humanities, Institute for History is looking for a

PhD Position (1.0 fte) ‘Negotiating Conversion and Family Law in Eighteenth Century Dutch Colonial Sri Lanka’ 
Vacancy number 17-133

Project description
From September 1, 2017, the Leiden University Institute for History will be appointing a PhD (1.0 fte) for a four-year period, within the NWO financed project “Colonialism inside out: everyday experience and plural practice in Dutch Institutions on Sri Lanka, 1700 – 1800.”

This project proposes a novel approach to the history of colonialism by analyzing the everyday interaction between an Asian society and an expanding European bureaucracy. It focuses on how ordinary people in Sri Lanka experienced and navigated normative institutions of taxation, legal action and religion that were set up by the Dutch East India Company (VOC). These institutions were created by the Dutch for social control and revenue extraction, but functioned simultaneously as sites of mediation and conflict resolution. In what way did coastal inhabitants, such as peasants, traders and fishermen, utilize these institutions to further their own interests? How did this everyday interaction contribute to the shaping of their lives?

‘Colonialism Inside Out’ is a collaborative project between Leiden University and Radboud University Nijmegen and consists of four sub-projects. The subproject ‘Negotiating Conversion and Family Law in eighteenth century Dutch Colonial Sri Lanka’ is centred around the function of the Dutch Protestant Church in Sri Lankan society. Why did people relate to the church and how did conversion influence their life course? For this project the Leiden Institute for History is looking for an active and talented PhD student who is eager to work with 18th century Dutch language material from the VOC and Church archives. Research activities include archival research in Sri Lanka and the Netherlands, contributing to a collective database to be shared with the other team-members and conference organization. The project provides in a number of unique activities to reach out to a Sri Lankan and Dutch audience, and the PhD student is expected to actively contribute and participate in these activities. More information about the project can be found at the project website https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/research/research-projects/humanities/colonialism-inside-out#tab-2.

Key responsibilities
– Writing a dissertation in English within four years;
– Submitting research results for publication to international peer-reviewed academic journals;
– Presenting papers at conferences and workshops;
– Co-organizing conferences and workshops;
– Contributing to valorization activities;
– Teaching some undergraduate courses in the second and third year of appointment;
– Participating in PhD training courses (Posthumus Institute).

Selection criteria
– (Research) MA degree in History or a related discipline such as Asian Studies. Very good grades are expected, as well an 8 mark or higher for the (Res) MA thesis;
– Written and oral fluency in English;
– Fluency in reading Dutch and preferably proven experience in reading 18th-century Dutch archival sources;
– Interest in colonial and global history and/or South Asian history;
– Willingness to work in an international academic team that aspires to the highest levels of scholarly excellence and societal engagement;
– A problem-focused approach to historical research and demonstrable ability to apply theoretical and comparative frameworks;
– Ability to work both independently and as a team member.

Our Faculty/Institute
The Institute for History is the home of a vibrant community of researchers and lecturers with outstanding track records and successful in attracting national and international research grants. Under the label ‘Global Questions, Local Sources’ scholars affiliated to the Institute combine a deep knowledge of global interactions and of specific localities, regions and states in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. They use comparative, connective and entangled approaches and resort to qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. This project is part of the research specialization Colonial and Global History, for more information see https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/research/research-projects/humanities/colonial-and-global-history.

Terms and conditions
The PhD position is for a period of four years (or 0.8 fte for a period of five years). Initially the employee will receive a one year contract. An extension of three years is possible having received positive evaluations of capabilities and achievements. Salary range for a full-time working week from € 2,191.- to € 2,801.- gross per month (pay scale P, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses(8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. More at http://www.workingat.leiden.edu/.

Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.

Potential candidates can contact the Project Leader dr. Alicia Schrikker, email A.F.Schrikker@hum.leidenuniv.nl for more information about the project and the PhD position.

Letters of application should be submitted in English and include: 
– A cover letter; 
– A motivation letter that reflects on the subproject ‘negotiating conversion’ (ca. 800 words); 
– A cv and a list of publications (if applicable); 
– A copy of (Res) MA thesis; 
– A proof of English language proficiency for non-native English speakers or those without an undergraduate degree obtained in The Netherlands or an English-speaking country (IELTS 7.0 or lower will only be considered in exceptional circumstances, e.g. in the case of other compensatory factors such as unique experience and expertise); 
– A list of (maximum) two referees to your application (with full postal addresses, telephone numbers and emails). Referees will be contacted directly by the search committee.

Please quote the vacancy number in your application and send it by email to vacaturesgeschiedenis@hum.leidenuniv.nl no later than May 28, 2017. All requested documents should be sent in PDF format, one PDF with all the documents listed above excluding the MA thesis, and a separate PDF with the thesis. The PDF’s should be titled ‘CIO + family name applicant’ and ‘CIO PHD thesis + family name applicant’. Interviews are scheduled for the week of June 26.


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