PhD Candidate: Affectivity in the Anthropocene

PhD Candidate: Affectivity in the Anthropocene

Published Deadline Location
5 Mar tomorrow Nijmegen

Job description

The Department of Modern Languages and Cultures (Faculty of Arts) and the Department of Metaphysics and Philosophical Anthropology (Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies) at Radboud University are jointly looking for a PhD candidate in the interdisciplinary Environmental Humanities project 'Affectivity in the Anthropocene'.

This project is funded by the Christine Mohrmann Foundation at Radboud University to support research initiated by Professor Dr Marjolein Oele, Professor of Philosophy of the Humanities. It is organised around the concept of affectivity (Greek: pathos), which has been crucial to theorising ancient Greek notions of undergoing, suffering, emotion, illness, and qualitative change. In the 20th and 21st centuries, notions of affect and affectivity are at the forefront of research in continental philosophy (e.g. Heidegger, Henry, Irigaray) and affect theory more broadly (e.g. Ahmed, Berlant). The prominence of these concepts is such that scholars even speak of an "affective turn" in the humanities (e.g. Clough and Halley).

The specific aim of Affectivity in the Anthropocene is to provide in-depth philosophical reflections on the predominant human and non-human affects that are related to climate change and the Anthropocene. The methodological basis of the research project is philosophical, but the project also has interdisciplinary aspects in aiming to involve texts and artworks from the humanities more broadly (literature, art, digital media, film, etc.). Using authors from both philosophy and the wider environmental humanities, it is the project's aim to distinguish, among other things, the relevance of affects in times of ecological destruction, and to investigate the temporality of affects (short-term versus long-term), ethical and political aspects of affects (e.g. in terms of compassion, grief and trust), the co-emergence of affects (between human and non-human living beings) and individual versus communal affects.

As a PhD candidate, you will conduct research on the theoretical foundations of the meaning of human and non-human affects. You will investigate both (historical and continental) philosophical theories as well as artworks, literature and media that are part of the environmental humanities to theorise significant affects that relate to the Anthropocene. You will be asked to provide a brief research proposal including a research question and a description of how your proposed research will fit within the Affectivity in the Anthropocene project.

As a PhD candidate at the Radboud Institute for Culture & History (RICH), you will be part of the Graduate School for the Humanities. Up to 75% of your time will be devoted to the research for and writing of your PhD thesis. The remaining 25% will be spent on training and academic service to the Faculty of Arts, including teaching and editorial assistance for the journal Environmental Philosophy. Given the interdisciplinary nature of this position, you will also be embedded in the Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies, for instance by participating in activities organised by the Centre for Contemporary European Philosophy (CCEP), or by engaging in service and/or teaching activities. You will be expected to write your PhD thesis in English.


Radboud University


  • You hold an MA degree in Philosophy or Cultural Theory or in a closely related discipline with a solid basis in Philosophy or Cultural Theory.
  • You are able to conduct independent academic research and work in a collaborative research environment.
  • You are results-oriented, have a good command of English and good writing skills.
  • You are willing to perform teaching and service duties.
  • You have a good knowledge of both the history of philosophy, 20th-century Continental philosophy and/or Cultural Theory and demonstrable interdisciplinary interests in extending this project towards the environmental humanities more broadly. Familiarity with the project's subject area is preferable.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 or 5 years.

  • We will give you a temporary employment contract (0.8 FTE 5- year contract- 1.0 FTE 4- year contract) of 1,5 years, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, your contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4-year contract) or 3.5 years (5-year contract).
  • You will receive a starting salary of €2,770 gross per month based on a 38-hour working week, which will increase to €3,539 from the fourth year onwards (salary scale P).
  • You will receive an 8% holiday allowance and an 8,3% end-of-year bonus.
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Support Service. The Dual Career Programme assists your partner via support, tools, and resources to improve their chances of independently finding employment in the Netherlands. Our Family Support Service helps you and your partner feel welcome and at home by providing customised assistance in navigating local facilities, schools, and amenities. Also take a look at our support for international staff page to discover all our services for international employees.
  • You will receive extra days off. With full-time employment, you can choose between 30 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the statutory 20.

Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.


You will also be embedded in the Department of Metaphysics and Philosophical Anthropology at Radboud’s Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies. This Faculty is a compact, ambitious division with approximately 180 staff and over 1,000 students from the Netherlands and abroad. The curriculum includes top-notch degree programmes in both in-depth disciplinary fields of study and interdisciplinary and interfaculty studies. The Faculty has innovative education and research programmes with a strong focus on current societal issues.

Additional information

You can apply no later than 15 April 2024 only via the button below. Address your letter of application to Marjolein Oele. Please fill in the application form and attach the following documents:
  • A letter of motivation.
  • Your CV.
  • A research proposal (max. 500 words, i.e. one single-spaced page).
  • A writing sample of maximally 5,000 words (ideally taken from your MA thesis or a published article).
  • A transcript of records (i.e. a certified document showing the BA and BA courses you have taken and the grades you have received).
  • A copy of a relevant diploma or a statement from your Master’s thesis supervisor confirming that you will hold the required degree at the time of appointment.
  • The contact details of two referees.

The first interviews will take place on 21 May. Any second interview will take place on 28 May. You will preferably start your employment on 1 September 2024.

We can imagine you're curious about our application procedure. It describes what you can expect during the application procedure and how we handle your personal data and internal and external candidates. If you wish to apply for a non-scientific position with a non-EU nationality, please take notice of the following information.


  • PhD
  • Language and culture
  • 30.4—38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 23.010.24



Houtlaan 4, 6525XZ, Nijmegen

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 15 Apr 2024 1:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).