Assistant Professor of Cultural Analysis and Philosophy
University of Amsterdam Faculty of Humanities

Assistant professor in Cultural Analysis and Philosophy, with a Specialization in Environmental Humanities

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 20-127

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 will be based in the Department of Literature and Linguistics, in the Literary and Cultural Analysis (LCA) group. Combining perspectives from Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies and Philosophy, LCA is dedicated to research and teaching on contemporary culture. The aim is to make sense of and reflect on works of literature, art, and visual culture in close relation to urgent contemporary social and political questions. In addition to teaching Literary and Cultural Analysis, the successful candidate will teach courses in Philosophy. The successful candidate's research will be part of the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA). One of five research schools within the Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research (AIHR), ASCA is home to more than 110 researchers and more than 120 PhD candidates, and conducts world-leading research in Cultural Analysis. ASCA members share a commitment to studying culture in all its forms and expressions within an interdisciplinary framework, and to maintaining a close connection with contemporary cultural and political debates. All ASCA research fits into at least one, but usually more than one of five thematic constellations: 1) Mediality; 2) Arts & Aesthetics; 3) Globalization & Migration; 4) Identities; and 5) Cultural & Social Critique. Across these constellations, ASCA is seeking to strengthen its profile in the environmental humanities. We consider climate change, environmental degradation, resource extraction, and species extinction to be pressing problems, and are looking for someone able to work with researchers within and outside ASCA to reach a more profound and critical understanding of present and future environmental challenges, and to come up with creative responses to these challenges.  

Job description

The Department of Literature and Linguistics, in collaboration with the Department of Philosophy, is looking for an Assistant professor in Cultural Analysis and Philosophy, with a Specialization in Environmental Humanities. Environmental Humanities is an interdisciplinary research area that seeks to develop theoretical perspectives on human-environment, human-nonhuman relations, and environmental issues (e.g. climate change), and that looks to cultural representations (e.g. film, literature, visual art) for imaginative ways to reframe these issues. The ideal candidate for this position will have: an interdisciplinary background that combines broad knowledge of 1) cultural analysis, cultural studies, literary studies, and/or media studies, and 2) philosophy; a strong record of publications in top international peer-reviewed journals; experience with acquiring third party funding; and solid experience with teaching at both BA and MA level, including academic skills and thesis supervision.

The Literary and Cultural Analysis (LCA) group and the Critical Cultural Theory (CCT) and Philosophical Tradition in Context (PTC) groups cover a broad field of expertise and seek to strengthen their profile by hiring a candidate with: (a) competence in cultural theory and visual/textual/discursive analysis; (b) competence in philosophy of culture (aesthetics and/or history of philosophy); (c) a specialization in environmental humanities.

Areas of competence: cultural theory and visual/textual/discursive analysis; philosophy of culture (aesthetics and/or history of philosophy).

Area of specialization: environmental humanities.

The successful candidate is expected to take an active role in the teaching and other activities of the LCA and CCT/PTC groups. Good social skills, a deeply collegial attitude, and the ability and willingness to take up substantial administrative tasks are particularly welcome.

The teaching needs in Literary and Cultural Analysis are focused on introductory, advanced, and elective courses in the BA Literary and Cultural Analysis; core courses and electives in the MA’s Comparative Literature and Comparative Cultural Analysis, and the research-MA’s Cultural Analysis and Literary Studies; BA, MA and research-MA thesis supervision. All teaching is in English.

The teaching needs of the Philosophy programmes are focused on but not limited to introductory and advanced courses in the BA Philosophy, MA philosophy, and research-MA Philosophy. Teaching is in Dutch and English.


  • PhD in a relevant discipline (candidates with a PhD in philosophy should have substantial experience in cultural analysis, cultural studies, literary studies, media studies or another humanities discipline focused on the analysis of cultural objects; candidates without a PhD in philosophy should have substantial knowledge of philosophy of culture, aesthetics, history of philosophy or similar fields in philosophy);
  • research publications in international peer-reviewed journals or with academic presses;
  • demonstrable affinity with interdisciplinary research;
  • demonstrable ability and ambition to obtain external research grants;
  • an international research network;
  • areas of competence: contemporary literary and cultural theory; narrative and visual analysis; philosophy of culture (aesthetics and/or history of philosophy);
  • area of specialization: environmental humanities;
  • teaching experience at BA and MA level, including thesis supervision;
  • excellent pedagogical and ICT skills;
  • broad teaching skills, relevant to multiple departments in the Faculty of Humanities;
  • demonstrable organizational skills and administrative experience;
  • good social skills, a good team worker;
  • 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 further information, please contact:

  • Prof. Jeannette Schaeffer, Chair of the Department of Literature and Linguistics 

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.

A trial class and an interview will be part of the application procedure for shortlisted candidates. Trial classes and interviews will be held on 15 April 2020, 9am-6pm. #LI-DNP

No agencies please

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