Postdoctoral researcher ‘Digital Media History – Radio Archives in Central Europe, 1930-1960’

Postdoctoral researcher ‘Digital Media History – Radio Archives in Central Europe, 1930-1960’

Published Deadline Location
31 Aug 4 Oct Amsterdam

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Job description

The Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture (AHM), one of the six research schools of the Faculty of Humanities, currently has a vacant Postdoctoral position as part of the NWO-funded VIDI project ‘Tracking Radio Archival Collections across Europe, 1930-1960’ (TRACE), led by Dr Carolyn Birdsall.

Project description

Tracking Radio Archival Collections across Europe, 1930-1960 (TRACE) is a collaborative research project whose central aim is to unpack the ways in which radio sound collections were archived, circulated and used during and after World War II. An important source for this research project is historical archival catalogues, which are used to understand how radio archives were subject to processes of transformation, relocation and valorisation across the period 1930 to 1960. The insights from this project will thus provide media-specific perspectives on the fate of cultural collections during and after WWII, and offer a novel approach for how to map transnational dynamics of media collections in a comparative European framework.

Your subproject explores the histories of Central European radio collections (focusing on historical recordings held today in Berlin/Potsdam and Prague) and contributes to discussions within the fields of contemporary history, media studies and archival studies. You will contextualize archival sources, seeking to understand the cultural-political status of radio archival collections (e.g. in view of past technological practices, institutional settings, state policy and geopolitical frameworks). In doing so, you will trace how and why institutions (and social actors) archived and used radio collections under conditions of war, occupation and Cold War-era reconstruction.

You will collaborate with the project team in charting the historical creation, dislocation and partial-restitution of radio collections, as part of the project’s overall goal in ‘tracking the traces’ of these collections across Europe. This Postdoc role will therefore include collecting historical radio catalogue data for inclusion in the TRACE project’s database.

Your tasks include:

  • conducting on-site archival research and data collection at selected relevant archives, and developing case studies concerned with the history of radio archiving in East-Central Europe (1930-1960);
  • contributing archival data to the project’s database;
  • delivering a number of publications directly related to the ‘TRACE’ project in international journals and/or as chapters with leading presses;
  • presentation of intermediate research results at (inter)national workshops and conferences;
  • participation in meetings of the project research group; assisting with organisational matters connected to the project, such as conference co-organisation.


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


We expect you to have:

  • a completed doctoral degree in a discipline with a clear relevance to the research project (e.g. History, Media Studies, Sound Studies, Heritage and Memory Studies, European Studies);
  • excellent research skills;
  • good written and spoken English;
  • prior research on or expertise in Central/Eastern Europe during the twentieth century;
  • strong language skills for working with German and Czech-language archival materials;
  • a proven track record in conducting research in historical archives;
  • an affinity with digital humanities, and/or prior experience with digital research data;
  • a strong cooperative attitude and willingness to engage in collaborative research and knowledge dissemination activities;
  • a willingness to travel for on-site research in archives and conferences;
  • strong organizational skills.

Conditions of employment

Our offer

The employment contract will be for 38 hours per week for a period of 24 months at the Department of Media Studies of the Faculty of Humanities. The research will be carried out under the aegis of AHM. The employment contract is initially for a period of 12 months; contingent on satisfactory performance it will be extended by 12 months. The intended starting date of the employment contract is 1 January 2021. The gross monthly salary (on a full-time basis) will range from €3,491 (scale 10) to €5,127 (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.


University of Amsterdam

With over 5,000 employees, 30,000 students and a budget of more than 600 million euros, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) is an intellectual hub within the Netherlands. Teaching and research at the UvA are conducted within seven faculties: Humanities, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Economics and Business, Law, Science, Medicine and Dentistry. Housed on four city campuses in or near the heart of Amsterdam, where disciplines come together and interact, the faculties have close links with thousands of researchers and hundreds of institutions at home and abroad.  

The UvA’s students and employees are independent thinkers, competent rebels who dare to question dogmas and aren’t satisfied with easy answers and standard solutions. To work at the UvA is to work in an independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterised by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with the city of Amsterdam and society.


Faculty of Humanities – Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture

Research at the Faculty of Humanities is carried out by six research schools under the aegis of the Amsterdam Institute of Humanities Research.


  • Postdoc
  • Language and culture
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €3491—€5127 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 20-513


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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