Assistant Professor in Modern Arabic Literature / Cultural History
University of Amsterdam Faculty of Humanities

Assistant professor in Modern Arabic Literature and/or Cultural History

Publication date 25 February 2020
Closing date 1 April 2020
Level of education PhD
Hours 38 hours per week
Salary indication €3,637 to €5,656 gross per month
Vacancy number 20-128

The Faculty of Humanities provides education and conducts research with a strong international profile in a large number of disciplines in the field of language and culture. Located in the heart of Amsterdam, the Faculty maintains close ties with many cultural institutes in the capital city. Research and teaching staff focus on interdisciplinary collaboration and are active in several teaching programmes.

The Faculty of Humanities offers assistant professors the opportunity to collaborate with leading researchers at research institutes that - partly as a result of their interdisciplinary approach - are world-renowned. Moreover, you will be teaching in a dynamic context in which new teaching methods are being developed.

This position is based in the Department of Modern Foreign Languages and Cultures, more specifically Arabic Language and Culture. The Department of Modern Foreign Languages, in collaboration with the Department of  History, European Studies and Religious Studies, is looking for an Assistant Professor (UD) in Arabic literature and/or cultural history of the modern era, broadly defined, with a research focus on urban and non-urban environments. The research of the candidate will be part of the Amsterdam School of Historical Studies (ASH). ASH is one of the five research schools within the Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research.  The candidate will have demonstrable expertise in the field of digital humanities. The candidate is expected to build upon and to expand existing research priority areas on urban and health studies within ASH, and to contribute to the implementation of digital methods in research and teaching in both the departments of history and modern languages at the BA and MA levels.

The curriculum of Arabic Language and Culture at UvA educates students in language acquisition, Arabic literature, and Arabic (Middle Eastern and North African) culture and society, so as to qualify them for a career as experts on modern Arabic culture and society.

History at UvA is a large academic department that connects research and teaching in Dutch, European and American political, social and cultural history from Antiquity up to the present day. Global history, the non-Western view, urban studies, health and environmental studies, the study of social discontent and the implementation of digital humanities approaches are priorities within the department’s innovative agenda.

The language of instruction in the History curriculum and the Arabic Language and Culture curriculum is Dutch.

Job description

The candidate should hold a PhD in either Middle Eastern Studies/Arabic Language and Literature/ Culture or in History (with a specialization in Arabic culture or society). S/he has a good research record in urban and/or health studies within the context of Arabic culture or society. The candidate will have demonstrable expertise in working with new digital methods, techniques and tools.  

In addition to an excellent PhD, international publications, an international academic network, and a research proposal that speaks directly to the profile of the position, the ideal candidate is a flexible team player, who is committed to the ASH research priorities and to teaching within two departments.  The candidate has proven record of academic teaching experience. Important is also proven capacity in teaching topics beyond the candidate's own research focus, as the holder of this position will be expected to teach some of the existing modules of Arabic studies and/or History, in the tracks with which she/he has most affinity, and where teaching capacity is requested.


  • Conducting independent research in the broad area of modern Arabic literary and cultural history with a focus on non/urban environmental history, resulting in academic publications in peer-reviewed international journals and/or books;
  • actively pursuing external funding for research, notably funding from research councils, national as well as European; actively contributing to and developing national and international research networks and other forms of cooperation;
  • actively contributing to the research activities of the Amsterdam School for Historical Studies (ASH);
  • developing, coordinating and delivering teaching in Dutch and English in the BA and MA programmes of Arabic Language and Culture, Middle Eastern Studies and History;
  • supervising BA and MA theses and tutoring students;
  • actively contributing to the development and improvement of the broader teaching programmes in the Departments, in particular with regard to the development and implementation of digital humanities in the relevant fields.
  • taking part in committees and working groups, and carrying out departmental administrative tasks as directed.


  • PhD in Arabic Language (Literature, Culture) or History;
  • a strong command of modern standard Arabic and fluency in an Arabic dialect, preferably of the Mashreq
  • an international research network in the research area concerned;
  • research output commensurate with the level of the position;
  • demonstrable ability and ambition to obtain external research grants;
  • proven record of high quality teaching, in both specialist and general courses at the BA and MA level;
  • experience with digital and audiovisual teaching facilities; affinity with ICT in university teaching;
  • demonstrable expertise in working with new digital methods, techniques and tools;
  • broad teaching skills, relevant to multiple departments in the Faculty of Humanities;
  • a good team worker and versatile at all levels, capable of multidisciplinary co-operation;
  • excellent organizational skills, preferably with a track record in academic administration and a commitment to carry out administrative tasks;
  • the Dutch University Teaching Qualification (UTQ/BKO), or willingness to acquire this within the first two years;
  • teaching and admin duties require native or near-native fluency in Dutch and English; appointments are subject to the candidate’s proficiency in both, or their undertaking to acquire thorough knowledge of Dutch and English as speedily as possible; non-native Dutch speakers must achieve an active and passive command of Dutch within two years. Passing the state examination for Dutch as a Second Language (NT2), programme II, is a prerequisite for a permanent employment contract.

Further information

For more information, please contact:

  • Prof. Arjen Versloot, Chair of the Department of Modern Foreign Languages and Cultures

Employment contract

The contract is initially temporary for a period of two years. Subject to a positive assessment, it will be converted to a permanent contract. The start of the contract is scheduled for 1 August 2020.
The scope of the employment contract is 38 hours per week (1.0 FTE). The UFO profile of assistant professor applies to this position (salary scale 11/12, depending on relevant work experience). The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities applies.

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.

Applications, including a motivation letter, a detailed curriculum vitae, a list of publications, and the names and email addresses of two referees who can provide letters of recommendation, should be submitted electronically no later than 1 April 2020 to the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Prof. Fred Weerman, by using the link below.

Only complete applications received via this link will be considered.

The interviews will be held on Wednesday 6 May 2020. A trial lecture will be part of the application procedure. #LI-DNP

No agencies please

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