Gepubliceerd op 10-04-2017

Vacature: Postdoctoral researcher ‘Gender and Urband Space in Edo (c 1600 – 1850)’ (Deadline 4 May)

Research at the Faculty of Humanities is carried out by six research schools under the aegis of the Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research. The Amsterdam School of Historical Studies (ASH), one of the six research schools, currently has a vacant postdoctoral position as part of the NWO-funded VIDI Project The freedom of the streets. Gender and urban space in Europe and Asia (1600-1850), led by Dr Danielle van den Heuvel.

Project description
This postdoctoral project is one of four closely-related projects, which together aim to systematically analyse the gendering of urban space in pre-modern Asia and Europe. It is widely held that between 1600 and 1850, women gradually withdrew from the public sphere of the street and moved to the private sphere of the home. This powerful narrative, linked to theories of modernisation, has created a conceptual stranglehold that sees public space as exclusively male and private space as entirely female, thereby obscuring the actual workings of gender in pre-industrial urban societies.

Based on extensive visual and textual sources, a postdoctoral project and a PhD project will provide in-depth studies of Edo and Amsterdam, two major pre-modern cities with distinct cultures, architecture, and governance. Another postdoctoral project digitally visualises gendered movement in these two cities, thereby providing a complementary spatial analysis, as well as an important tool to engage with wider audiences. Building on the work of the PhD candidate and Postdoctoral researchers, the Principal Investigator will analyse how the access of women to pre-industrial streets was shaped in contrasting European and Asian urban communities.

This postdoctoral project will reconstruct women’s use of urban space in the biggest city in the early modern world: Edo. It aims to enlighten the gendering of urban space during Edo’s transformation from a castle town to Ō-Edo, the Great City of commoners. This development significantly changed the physical and social makeup of Edo as large-scale immigration undermined the planned geography and transformed Edo from a warriors’ city into a city dominated by merchants. The postdoctoral researcher will work closely with the research group of Professor Takeshi Ito (Department of Architecture, University of Tokyo).

The postdoctoral project will make use of a wide range of sources, including guide books and surveys, prints and popular fiction, historical maps, records on the governance and day-to-day use of urban space, such as the Edo Machibure Shûshei (1648-1858) and Senyo Ruishu (1716-1853). The materials for this project are held in libraries and museums in the Netherlands (including the Library of the University of Leiden and the Rijksmuseum) as well as in collections and archives in Japan (the National Archives of Japan, the National Diet Library and Tokyo Municipal Archives). It is expected that the postdoctoral researcher will travel to Japan regularly and spend at least two extended stays in Tokyo.

Tasks of the postdoctoral researcher will include:

  • construction of a project database with observations of gendered movement in Edo;
  • contribution towards a project database of visual materials;
  • presenting (intermediate) research results at national and international workshops and conferences;
  • delivering a number of publications directly related to the Freedom of the Streets project in international journals and/or as chapters with leading presses; both individually as well as in cooperation with other project members;
  • participation in meetings of the project research group;
  • assisting with organizational matters connected to the project, such as conference and workshop organization.


  • The successful applicant must have:
  • a PhD in Japanese History or Japanese Studies, or other relevant field in the Humanities (maximum of 4 years of experience post PhD);
  • demonstrable experience in working with Edo-period archival sources;
  • a thorough command of Japanese and English;
  • a track record of publishing in high-ranking journals and/or with leading presses or a demonstrable capacity to develop such a record;
  • strong willingness to assist with organizational duties;
  • strong cooperative attitude and willingness to engage in collaborative research.

Desirable qualities:

  • An interest in interdisciplinary approaches to historical research;
  • enthusiasm for communicating academic research to non-academic audiences.

Further information
For further information, please contact:
Dr Danielle van den Heuvel

The postdoctoral researcher will be appointed for 26.6 hours per week (0.7 FTE) for a period of 36 months at the Department of History, European Studies & Religious Studies of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Amsterdam. The intended starting date of the contract is 1 October 2017. The gross monthly salary (on full-time basis) will range from €3.193 to €3.899, depending on experience and qualifications, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

Job application
Applications should include the following information, in one PDF file (not zipped):

  • a letter of motivation;
  • a full academic CV;
  • a full list of publications (please provide an English translation if the publication is not in English or Dutch); (do not send publications or theses as part of your application);
  • the names and contact details of two referees who may be approached by the selection committee.
  • Applicants must have completed their PhD before the start of this postdoctoral project.

Please submit your complete application no later than 4 May 2017 to solliciteren2017-FGW@uva.nl.

Only complete applications submitted as one PDF file to this email address will be considered.

Please state vacancy number 17-165 in the subject line of your application.

Interviews will take place in late May 2017. For candidates living abroad interviews may be held via Skype. #LI-DNP

No agencies please

More information and application: www.uva.nl

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