PhD Position (Trans-)Sexualities and Psychoanalysis

PhD Position (Trans-)Sexualities and Psychoanalysis

Published Deadline Location
27 Mar 22 Apr Amsterdam

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Job description

Are you looking for a challenging position in a dynamic setting? The Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA) currently has a vacant PhD position as part of the Trans-Sexualities project led by principal investigators Marija Cetinic and Diego Semerene. ASCA is one of the five Research Schools within the Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research (AIHR).

The Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis invites applications for a fully-funded 4-year PhD position in (Trans-)Sexualities and Psychoanalysis. The position is funded by a starting grant from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands led by Dr Marija Cetinic and Dr Diego Semerene, of which the PhD position is a part.

The PhD fellow will be part of ASCA, one of the five Research Schools within the Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research (AIHR), the Literary and Cultural Analysis program and the Media Studies department. ASCA is a research community devoted to the comparative and interdisciplinary study of culture (in all its forms and expressions) from a broad humanities perspective. ASCA is home to more than 120 scholars and 160 PhD candidates, and is a world-leading international research school in 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.

Candidates can work on a project of their own choosing within the scope of (Trans-)Sexualities and Psychoanalysis, and are encouraged to think creatively in terms of research design. We invite interested candidates to prepare short proposals (details below) that could, for instance, examine:
  • trans-ness/cis-ness in relationship to technology
  • moral panics and trans-ness, or questions around trans children
  • trans literature, poetry, cinema
  • trans desire, or desire for trans subjects/objects/bodies
  • philosophical notions of transformation, plasticity, negativity
  • the antisocial turn in queer theory
  • intersections between queer theory, trans theory, and psychoanalysis
  • queer / trans theory and desire
  • psychoanalysis and questions of racialization and (post-)coloniality

The PhD fellow will also be a part of the Sex Negativity and Queer Analysis research groups, which bring together researchers to work on interdisciplinary questions concerned with gender, sexuality and intimacy through psychoanalysis, critical theory, philosophy, and poetry.

What are you going to do?
You will be working on a research project which explores questions around gender and sexuality that center around trans-ness within a psychoanalytic framework. You are expected to either have some literacy in psychoanalytic theory (of whatever tradition/school) or a strong interest in developing psychoanalytic skills in order to think gender and sexuality alongside queer theory and trans theory. Candidates without prior experience in psychoanalytic theory should demonstrate a keenness to acquire these skills.

During the PhD research you will conduct extensive research on theories and histories of (trans-)sexualities, theories of (trans-)desire, and psychoanalysis. This will involve critical reviews and analysis of critical theories on (trans-)sexualities and psychoanalysis.

We are open to candidates with experience in a range of theories of gender and sexuality but are particularly interested in those who have some literacy in trans studies and/or psychoanalysis.

Tasks and responsibilities
  • submission of a PhD thesis on (trans-)sexualities and psychoanalysis within a 4-year period;
  • participating in meetings in the Sex Negativity and Queer Analysis research;
  • publication of single-authored and co-authored outputs derived from your doctoral research, including peer-reviewed academic articles;
  • presenting intermediate research results at workshops and conferences, including at least one international conference outside of the Netherlands;
  • organising knowledge dissemination activities, including in collaboration with the Sex Negativity and Queer Analysis research groups;
  • participating in the Research School and Faculty of Humanities PhD training programmes.
  • co-teaching courses at the BA level in the second and third year of the appointment (max. 0,2 fte per year).


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


We are looking for candidates who are intellectually curious and passionate about the intersection between trans studies and psychoanalysis.

Your experience and profile:
Candidates need to have the following qualifications:
  • a completed Master's (research) degree in gender studies, media studies, literary and cultural analysis, philosophy, artistic research, psychoanalytic studies, or a related discipline. You may apply if you have not yet completed your Master's degree only if you provide a signed letter from your supervisor stating that you will graduate before 01 September 2024;
  • research skills demonstrated by an outstanding Master's thesis and a demonstrable capacity to develop an extended PhD research project and publishable research outputs;
  • a strong cooperative attitude and willingness to engage in collaborative research;
  • enthusiasm for communicating academic research to non-academic audiences;
  • excellent command of the English language.

Please note that if you already hold a doctorate/PhD or are working towards obtaining a similar degree elsewhere, you will not be admitted to a doctoral programme at the UvA.

Conditions of employment

We offer a temporary employment contract for the period of 48 months. The first contract will be for 16 months, with an extension for the following 32 months, contingent on a positive performance evaluation within the first 12 months. The employment contract is for 38 hours a week. The preferred starting date is 01 September 2024.

Your salary, depending on relevant experience on commencement of the employment contract, ranges from € 2,770 up to a maximum of € 3,539 gross per month on the basis of a full working week of 38 hours. This sum does not include the 8% holiday allowance and the 8,3% year-end allowance. Favourable tax agreements may apply to applicants moving from abroad. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

What else do we offer?
  • PhD candidates receive a tuition fee waiver;
  • PhD candidates have free access to courses offered by the Graduate School of Humanities and the Dutch National Research Schools;
  • excellent possibilities for further professional development and education;
  • an inspiring academic and international work environment in the heart of Amsterdam;
  • an enthusiastic and professional academic team.


Faculty of Humanities

The University of Amsterdam is the largest university in the Netherlands, with the broadest spectrum of degree programmes. It is an intellectual hub with 42,000 students, 6,000 employees and 3,000 doctoral students who are all committed to a culture of inquiring minds.

The Faculty of Humanities provides education and conducts research with a strong international profile in a large number of disciplines in de 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.

Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • max. €3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 12815


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012CX, Amsterdam

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