Publication date 25 May 2020
Closing date 26 June 2020
Level of education PhD
Hours 30,4 hours per week
Salary indication €3,389 to €4,978 gross per month, based on 38 hours per week
Vacancy number 20-307

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 for Cultural Analysis (ASCA), one of the six research schools, currently has a vacant postdoctoral position as part of the NWO funded Trans-Atlantic Platform (T-AP) Social Innovation project ‘Worlding Public Cultures: The Arts and Social Innovation’.

ASCA is home to more than 110 scholars and 120 PhD candidates, and is a world-leading international research school in transnational Cultural Analysis. ASCA members share a commitment to working in an interdisciplinary framework and to maintaining a close connection with contemporary cultural and political debates.

Project description

Worlding Public Cultures: The Arts and Social Innovation is a collaborative research project and transnational platform that facilitates multipronged dialogues concerning the global in the arts and culture. As such, it puts forward an understanding of the globalized world as historically constituted by open-ended processes involving lived interrelations and interconnections. Bringing together universities and museums across the Atlantic, from Canada to the UK, The Netherlands, and Germany, Worlding Public Cultures sees art, art history, and curating as world-making and activating practices that imagine the global otherwise. By conducting research on and for institutions of public culture, this project endeavors to foster social innovation. In particular, it aims to contribute toward building more resilient public cultures and institutions so as to best address contemporary challenges to pluralist democracies and open pathways toward decolonizing ‘universal’ narratives and epistemologies.

The Netherlands-based T-AP research subproject is a joint VU-UvA collaboration; there will be two postdocs, one based at the UvA and one based at the VU, working on these topics from different perspectives. The subproject explores institutional change in relation to the conceptual framing of the overall project. In looking at ‘worlding and/as decolonization,’ it focuses on projects and processes of institutional decolonization and transformation in the Global South, including artists and activists’ ongoing efforts to decolonize museums. The project will address the following questions: where have these decolonizing practices emerged and thrived? How do they operate? Who pushes them through? Under what conditions can they emerge? Under what conditions can they be successful? What artistic, activist, and curatorial strategies are being mobilized to change institutions in response to the question of enduring colonial legacies?

What the Postdoctoral researcher will do:

  • collect data on different projects aiming to decolonize museums and cultural institutions;
  • assist in organizing the Amsterdam Academy (expected to take place in November 2020) so as to help it address these themes;
  • write up research findings in a fieldwork report;
  • complete and submit a significant body of writing for publication within the period of the appointment;
  • contribute to developing a published paper on best practices with respect to decolonial themes;
  • contribute to the Platform’s collaborative Book Series project;
  • contribute to the content of the project website.


  • A PhD degree in the Humanities or Social Sciences or the Arts;
  • outstanding research qualities manifested in a high-quality PhD dissertation and publications;
  • demonstrable research experience;
  • good written and spoken English;
  • keen interest in critical, interdisciplinary research methods and approaches;
  • ability and willingness to work in a team;
  • social media skills;
  • proven organizational, administrative and leadership skills.

Experience with work in the arts and culture is a plus.

Our offer

The selected Postdoc will get an employment contract at the University of Amsterdam’s Faculty of Humanities in the Department of History, European Studies, and Religious Studies. The research will be carried out under the aegis of ASCA. The employment contract will be for 0,8 FTE (30,4 hours per week) for a period of 1,5 year. The intended starting date is 1 September 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter. The gross monthly salary (on a full-time basis) will range from €3,389 (scale 10) to €4,978 (scale 11). The UFO profile for this position is, dependent on relevant experience, Researcher 4 (scale 10) or Researcher 3 (scale 11). The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

We are currently working on the assumption that this postdoc project will start on 1 September 2020, or as soon as possible thereafter. However, we may need to delay the starting date if travel restrictions will still be in place, or foreseen for the near future, by mid-June 2020. Candidates still in the procedure will be duly informed.

Further information

For more information on the project, please contact:

If you have practical questions, please contact:

Job application

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

The Faculty of Humanities wants to improve the diversity of its research community with respect to ethnicity, gender, sexuality and class. Applications that contribute to this are particularly encouraged.

Your application must consist of the following:

  1. a detailed letter of motivation, stating your motivation for applying, and why you are an excellent candidate for the role (no more than 750 words);
  2. a research proposal, detailing the countries, sites, institutions and movements in the Global South you propose to investigate as well as your research approach for how to tackle the project’s topics (no more than 1,000 words);
  3. a full academic CV, including a list of publications;
  4. a summary of your PhD thesis (250-500 words);
  5. one relevant writing sample (totalling no more than 10,000 words);
  6. the names and contact details of two referees familiar with your academic record and research skills.

Shortlisted candidates may be requested to provide additional materials. Interviews are planned for 14 and 15 July, most likely via Zoom.

Applicants must have completed their PhD before the start of this postdoctoral project.

Please submit your application no later than 26 June 2020 in a single PDF file (not zipped) via the link below.

Only complete applications received via this link will be considered. #LI-DNP
No agencies please

How to apply

Visit the following link:


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