Gepubliceerd op 28-08-2014

Vacature : Two PhD candidates in History, Amsterdam School for Culture and History

The Amsterdam School for Culture and History (ASCH) of the Faculty of Humanities is looking for two PhD candidates in History as part of the NWO-Vidi project Covering the Ocean: Newspapers and Information Management in the Atlantic World, 1620-1770. This project explores the circulation and manipulation of news from Africa and the Americas in newspapers of the Low Countries, north and south, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Established in 2014, ASCH brings together more than 300 academics, who participate in ca. 35 research groups. Its members study the historical dimension of culture and the cultural dimension of history.

Project description

The Low Countries, with its global maritime network and its highly advanced print culture, were Europe’s clearing house for Atlantic news. This project studies the coverage of transoceanic events in the periodical press of the Dutch Republic and the Southern Netherlands. The field of Atlantic studies, with its objective to analyse the exchange of people, commodities, values, and ideas, is dominated by the discourse of empire – focusing on trade, migration, and settlement. Atlantic news has never been the subject of any critical study, even though it conditioned every form of agency in Europe, Africa, and the Americas. Covering the Ocean takes the Atlantic World away from the customs houses and into the coffee houses. It opens a new historiographical window that redefines existing scholarship, and offers a foundational layer for future studies by examining the production, dissemination, and reception of Atlantic news in early modern media.

The two PhD candidates will study Atlantic news in the Northern and Southern Netherlands respectively, using printed newspapers and other relevant textual and visual sources. PhD 1 examines the competition for Atlantic news between newspapers in the Dutch Republic. It analyzes how the rivalry between different newspapers influenced the nature of Atlantic coverage, which media outlets were targeted by the authorities, and how the government’s attempts at information management conditioned Atlantic coverage. PhD 2 explores how newspapers in the Southern Netherlands that operated in an autocratic media landscape, strictly curtailed by the royal authorities, reported on Atlantic news. It examines different methods of distortion of the same news in different media, analyzing newspapers in conjunction with other media, for example Jesuit letters, that also reported (in a biased way) about events in the Atlantic World. Please indicate which of the two positions you prefer as part of your statement of motivation (see below).


The successful applicants must have a:

  • completed (R)MA or MPhil degree in a relevant field, preferably early modern history;
  • thorough command of Dutch and English, and a working knowledge of French. Reading competence in early modern Latin is a plus.

Further information

For more information on the research project Covering the Ocean and the selection procedure, please contact:

Michiel van Groesen


The appointments will be on a temporary basis for a period of four years, starting 1 January 2015. The chosen candidates will be appointed for 1.0 fte (38 hours per week) initially for a period of one year. Contingent on satisfactory performance it will be extended by a maximum of three additional years leading to the completion of a PhD thesis. The gross monthly salary (on a full-time basis) will range from €2,083 during the first year to €2,664 during the fourth year, in accordance with the Collective Employment Agreement of the Dutch universities.

Job application

Applications should include:

  • cover letter;
  • statement of motivation for this research project (ca. 1 A4);
  • full academic CV and a list of MA grades;
  • two letters of recommendation, to be submitted separately to the email address below, clearly indicating the name of the applicant in the subject of the email.

Shortlisted candidates will be required to provide a copy of their MA thesis or another relevant writing sample.

Please submit your complete application before 15 October 2014 to solliciteren2014-FGW@uva.nl. Only complete applications submitted to this email address will be considered. Interviews will take place in the final week of November 2014.

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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.