Vacature: PhD position ‘Negotiating Fiscal Norms, Property and Labour in Dutch Ceylon’ (Deadline 29 May)
Faculty of Arts
Vacancy number: 23.21.17
Application deadline: 29 May 2017
This project proposes a novel approach to the history of colonialism by analysing 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 and consists of four sub-projects. The subproject ‘Negotiating Fiscal Norms, Property and Labour in Eighteenth-Century Dutch Colonial Sri Lanka’ focuses on the exceptional Dutch thombos, primary sources which combine cadastral and census registration. This subproject will analyse how people related to the complex and manifold categories employed to describe land plots and concomitant rights and duties in the land thombos and those describing caste, labour services, civil status, legitimacy and genealogical relations in the head thombos. The goal of this PhD project is to understand how these Dutch practices of registration were adapted to the traditional feudal services, inheritance rules and family forms, and how – in turn – the practice of ’fixating’ the fluid social relations and dynamic daily affairs through this registration affected family strategies of reproduction and survival.
Your 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 organisation. The project provides a number of unique activities to reach out to Sri Lankan and Dutch audiences. You will be expected to actively contribute and participate in these activities.
The Faculty of Arts (www.ru.nl/facultyofarts/) is one of the largest faculties at Radboud University, where over 600 lecturers and researchers from over 30 countries explore language, communication, culture, history and arts. All our research is carried out at one of the faculty’s two research institutes: the Centre for Language Studies (CLS) and the Institute for Historical, Literary and Cultural Studies (HLCS). You will work as a core member of the HLCS-theme groups ‘Radboud Group for Historical Demography and Family History’ and ‘Categories Contested’.
What we expect from you
– MA degree in History (preferably with a socio-economic specialisation) or any other relevant MA. You will be expected to have obtained very good marks, including an 8 out of 10 or higher for your 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 Asian history;
– preferably academic experience with quantitative methods;
– 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.
What we have to offer
– employment: 0.8 – 1.0 FTE;
– in addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
– the gross starting salary amounts to €2,191 per month based on full-time employment, and will increase to €2,801 per month in the fourth year;
– initially you will receive an 18month contract with the possibility of a two-and-a-half-year extension, having received positive evaluations of capabilities and achievements;
– you will be classified as a PhD Candidate (promovendus) in the Dutch university job-ranking system (UFO)
Are you interested in our excellent employment conditions?
For more information about this vacancy, please contact:
Dr. Alicia Schrikker, Project Leader
Telephone: +31 71 527 2769
Are you interested?
You should upload your application (attn. of Léon Van Mosseveld) exclusively using the button ‘Apply’ below. Your application should include (and be limited to) the following attachment(s):
- Motivation letter that reflects on the project ‘Negotiating Fiscal Norms, Property and Labour’ (approx. 800 words)
- Curriculum vitae and (if applicable) a list of publications
- Copy of MA thesis
- Proof of English-language proficiency for 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 fac
- The names and contact details of two referees. Referees will be contacted directly by the committee.
Interviews are scheduled for the week of 26 June.
More information and application: www.ru.nl