Assistant Professor of Changing Narratives of Language

Assistant Professor of Changing Narratives of Language

Published Deadline Location
3 May yesterday Amsterdam

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Job description

In the context of the sector plan for the Humanities titled ‘Tradition in transition’, the Faculty currently has a vacant Assistant Professor position as part of the research theme Languages and Cultures. Within this research theme the focus is on strengthening the modern foreign language, by increasing the number of students whose programmes include language and culture components, while also enhancing the flow of students to teacher training for additional modern languages in secondary education. For this position, we are looking for a motivated researcher and an accomplished teacher who has the ambition to develop an agenda for the changing narratives of language, the stories people tell about their languages and how these stories change in response to disruptions like forced and voluntary migration and the digital revolution. Your will examine the role of language in imagination and the human ability to make sense of the world through narratives of a personal, political, artistic or mythical kind, with a clear historical focus on how these narratives change over time.

What are you going to do?
You will provide education in a dynamic context with ample opportunities for the development of innovative teaching methods. You will become part of the department of Modern Foreign Languages and Cultures (MVTC), and your research will be part of the Amsterdam School of Historical Studies (ASH), one of the five research schools of the Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research (AIHR).

You will design curricula and teach courses in the shared components of the courses in the various modern foreign languages offered in the department, and support colleagues in specific foreign languages to the perspectives offered by the changing narratives of language skills in the curricula. You will also offer courses in one, or preferably more, individual foreign languages taught in the department (including the various Germanic, Romance, Semitic and Slavic languages, but excluding English). Preference given to candidates able to teach in more than one language and where the appointment will complement existing expertise across the modern foreign languages.

Tasks and responsibilities
  • Design and conducting independent research on the narratives about language and how they change over time in response to disruptive events that result in unequal relationships between languages, resulting in academic publications in peer-reviewed international journals and/or books;
  • Participate actively to the research activities of ASH;
  • Pursuing external funding for research, notably funding from research councils, both national as well as European;
  • Contributing to the development of national and international research networks and other forms of cooperation;
  • Contribute to the interdisciplinary collaboration of the sector plan research theme Languages and Cultures.
  • Develop, coordinate and teach courses across MVTC on the narratives of languages, as well as courses in the foreign language(s) in which you specialise, as well as teaching in Dutch and/or English in the BA and MA programmes;
  • Supervise BA and MA theses and tutoring students; co-supervising PhD theses;
  • Contribute to the courses that investigate how languages and cultures make sense of their position in the changing world through narratives old and new;
  • Take part in committees and working groups and carrying out departmental administrative tasks as directed.

What do you have to offer?
You are a dynamic and motivated researcher with a strong profile, demonstrated by international publications and an international academic network. Your publications show broad knowledge of narratives about the role of language and culture in changing societies, with a clear historical foundation, and familiarity with contexts such as diaspora or the colonial impact on languages and decolonial responses, within the context of the impact of artificial intelligence on the human understanding of language. Your research matches the profile of the ASH.

You are able to develop and provide modules on narrative across languages and cultures, while also contribute to the teaching of literature and culture modules in a specific foreign language (other than English) in the department and in courses that cut across individual languages and/or the programme in cultural analysis. Proven flexibility in teaching on topics beyond your own research focus is important, a willingness to work in interdisciplinary teams of teachers and the ability to offer inspiring lectures and tutorials in the BA, MA and minor programmes that aspire to a wide range of students.

Candidates who will enhance the diversity of backgrounds and perspectives in MVTC and the ACLC are warmly encouraged to apply.

Your experience and profile
Candidates need to meet the following criteria:
  • A PhD in the literature, literary history and culture of a specific language community with a research focus that profiles languages other than English and Dutch;
  • Research output commensurate with the level of the position;
  • Demonstrable ability and intention to obtain external research grants;
  • Broad and relevant teaching experience at BA and MA level;
  • Experience with digital and audio-visual teaching facilities and affinity with IT in university teaching;
  • Good team player and versatile at all levels, capable of multidisciplinary co-operation;
  • Relevant organisational experience and skills;
  • Excellent command of at least one foreign specialisation language;
  • Command of Dutch and English. If you do not speak Dutch, an active and passive command must be acquired within the first two years of the employment contract and the state examination for Dutch as a Second Language programme II must be passed;
  • A University Teaching Qualification (UTQ). If you have not attained a UTQ you are required to start with the UTQ track upon commencement of your employment contract and obtain the qualification within three years of employment.

Additional requirements:
  • Experience in developing partnerships with industry, civil society, and public institutions is a plus.
  • Experience in valorisation and practice-based education and/or research.

What can we offer you?
We offer permanent employment upon a satisfactory evaluation following a temporary employment contract of a maximum of 18 months with a probationary period of two months. If you already have an employment contract with the UvA, we offer permanent employment upon a satisfactory evaluation following a temporary employment contract of a maximum of 12 months. The employment is for 38 hours per week. Preferred starting date is 01 August 2024.

The gross monthly salary, based on 38 hours per week, ranges between €4,332 (scale 11) to €6,737 (scale 12) dependent on relevant experience. 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?
  • the opportunity to collaborate in interdisciplinary teams;
  • excellent opportunities for study and personal development;
  • support in attaining the University Teaching Qualification (UTQ) if not already completed;
  • support in completing the Dutch as a Second Language programme II if the candidate is not already a fluent speaker of Dutch;
  • a position in which taking initiative and providing input are greatly appreciated;
  • an inspiring academic and international work environment in the heart of Amsterdam;
  • an enthusiastic, inspiring and professional academic team.

About us
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.

If you have any questions about the position or the department, please contact during office hours:

Prof Dr Bertus van Rooy
Chairperson: Modern Foreign Languages

Job application
If you feel the profile fits you, and you are interested in the job, we look forward to receiving your application. You can apply online via the link below. The deadline for applying for this vacancy is 24 May 2024.

Your application should include the following information:
  • a letter and detailed CV;
  • a list of publications;
  • the names and email addresses of two references who can provide letters of recommendation.

Please submit the required information in 1 pdf by uploading in the required field ‘CV’.

The first round of interviews will be held in the course of June 2024. A trial lecture may be part of the application process.


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


  • Assistant professor
  • Language and culture
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €4332—€6737 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 12956


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012CX, Amsterdam

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