Utrecht University, Department of History and Art History
Postdoc Researcher Cultural History / Digital Humanities
Postdoc position 1 "Consumerist Encounters: The Emergence of New Products, Innovations, and Services in European Public Discourse" (0.5 fte)
Postdoc position 2 "The Dissemination of European Mass Culture" (0.5 fte)
The Department of History and Art History at Utrecht University invites applications for a part-time (0.5 fte) Postdoctoral Researcher for a duration of three years in the projects “Consumerist Encounters: The Emergence of New Products, Innovations, and Services in European Public Discourse” and "The Dissemination of European Mass Culture". The projects use digital humanities (“text mining”) tools to analyse European public discourses about consumerism and mass culture. The projects will perform longitudinal analyses of the corpus of historical newspapers in European library holdings in order to provide systematic insights into the continuities and discontinuities of public discourses during the modernization of Europe.
The aim for project 1 is to investigate the relation or disparity between the pace and intensity of the public debates and the actual introduction of European products and consumption patterns. The research goal is to map how new consumer products (such as confection clothing, cosmetics, pilsner beer, life insurance, and pharmaceuticals) were received and appropriated, often replacing or changing indigenous products and practices. The aim for project 2 is to map the dissemination of mass culture, the sentiments that this evoked, and the degree to which cult¬ural expressions were linked with (inter)national origins, in order to establish which cities, regions or nations served as positive or negative models or reference cultures for various new expressions of mass culture.
* Conduct above described research; resulting in individual and collaborative publications, including at least two peer-reviewed journal articles and one book-length manuscript;
* Work in a team of researchers to analyse how e-tools can be used to discover long-term developments and breakpoints in public debates, but also to map the vectors of cross-cultural influences;
* Participate in workshops and conferences according to grant specifications and adopt responsibility for the dissemination of research findings to a wider public;
* Contribute to developing international grant proposals related to this project;
* Teach a limited number of courses within the Department of History and Art History related to this project.
What we ask
* Recent PhD in history or a related field;
* Research experience and publications related to modern European history, history of consumerism, or social-economic history;
* Ability to work in an international, interdisciplinary team;
* Affinity with digital tools and both quantitative and qualitative research methods;
* Excellent oral and writing skills in English and excellent reading skills in German, French and Dutch;
* International outlook and experience in internationally oriented research projects;
* Since a teaching assignment is part of this position, teaching experience is preferred.
We offer part-time (0.5) positions at the Department of History and Art History at Utrecht University to a maximum of 3 years. Salary ranges between € 3,007 and € 3,227 gross per month on a fulltime basis depending on experience and qualifications (scale 10). The chosen candidate will be offered an initial contract for 1 year beginning October 1, 2013, which, upon positive evaluation, will be extended with two more years. Utrecht University offers a pension scheme, a holiday allowance of 8% per year, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3% and flexible employment conditions. Conditions are based on the Collective Employment Agreement of the Dutch Universities.
Utrecht University has great ambitions for its teaching quality and study success rates. This also applies to its clear research profiles which are centred around four themes: Sustainability, Life Sciences, Youth & Identity, and Institutions. Utrecht University plays a prominent role in our society and contributes to finding the answers to topical and future societal issues.
The Faculty of Humanities has around 7,000 students and 900 staff members. It comprises four knowledge domains: Philosophy and Religious Studies, History and Art History, Media and Culture Studies, and Languages, Literature and Communication. With its research and education in these fields, the Faculty aims to contribute to a better understanding of the Netherlands and Europe in a rapidly changing social and cultural context. The enthusiastic and motivated colleagues and the excellent facilities in the historic town centre of Utrecht, where the Faculty is located, provide a stimulating professional atmosphere.
The position is part of the research programme “Asymmetrical Encounters: Digital Humanities Approaches to Reference Cultures in Europe, 1815–1992” under the supervision of prof.dr. Joris van Eijnatten. This programme will explore the cultural aspects of European identity by analysing the role of “reference cultures” in European public debates between 1815 and 1992. The project uses a new digital humanities methodology to study long-term developments and transformations of cultural imaginaries in a systematic, longitudinal, and quantifiable way. Innovative text mining techniques enable researchers to mine and analyse large collections of digitized newspapers and magazines currently made available by national libraries. This quantitative approach to the history of mentalities will be used to study the nature of cultural exchanges between major countries like England, France and Germany and smaller countries like the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. The project will explore case studies such as the public perception of the rapidly growing European metropolis, the spread of the commercial entertainment industry in the form of musicals, football and pop music, and the emergence of new consumer products such as ready-to-wear, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and pilsner beer.
The programme is funded by the Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) and will be carried out by an international consortium of researchers from Utrecht University, Universität Trier and University College London. There is a possibility that this position can be combined with a 0.5 position for three years at Utrecht within the same programme that is open for the project “The Dissemination of European mass Culture: References to European Mass Culture in Public Debates.
For further information about this position, please contact the project leaders
|Primary Category:||Cultural History / Studies
|Secondary Categories:||Digital Humanities
European History / Studies