PhD Candidate: Experimental Approaches to Global Histories of Art and Architecture

PhD Candidate: Experimental Approaches to Global Histories of Art and Architecture

Published Deadline Location
23 May 15 Aug Nijmegen

Job description

Are you an aspiring researcher in the field of art history, looking to start your academic career off right? Then become a PhD candidate at Radboud University and uncover unpublished and under-examined sources that can help us rethink existing disciplinary frameworks within art history.

We offer you the opportunity to develop and carry out your own PhD project within the area of expertise of your supervisors, who specialise in global approaches to the history of art and architecture: Prof. Scott Nethersole, Dr Sonia de Laforcade and Dr Matthew Mullane. The project will be funded by a Starters Grant from the Faculty of Arts awarded to Dr Sonia de Laforcade and Dr Matthew Mullane.

Amidst calls to decolonise the discipline and challenge inherited biases, art and architecture historians have increasingly embraced global-scale study. But what does a global history of art and architecture look like? And does it necessarily have to take the form of a book? Looking to the earliest examples of ’global’ art and architecture history we in fact see a wide range of media experiments. In Europe, nineteenth-century historians awash in new colonially sourced images and objects developed novel means of presenting the overwhelming scope of a global story. However, there remains a wealth of underexplored experiments from around the world that not only challenge our preconceptions about the authoritative book, but also the absoluteness of national and stylistic categories.

Scholars have begun to spotlight these overlooked examples of art history made by artists, critics, architects, and even corporations in unexpected media. The supervising team of this PhD project have contributed to these efforts by analysing projection-based performances that reinvent the history of art from the perspective of Brazil (de Laforcade) and a world history of architecture secreted away in a Japanese architect’s notebooks (Mullane). These examples of ’global art history’ are more than just novel experiments, but rather challenges to the structures of power inherent in disciplinary discourse. Today, in the face of digital media’s growing influence, we stand to lose alternative traditions of art history under the weight of the digital’s presumed objectivity. It is therefore vital to collect and understand approaches that add to the methodological multiplicity of the discipline. Your PhD project will contribute to this growing field of inquiry.

The proposed PhD project, ’Experimental Approaches to Global Histories of Art and Architecture’, will uncover and historicise experimental approaches to the history of art and architecture, with the aim of exploring diverse epistemological viewpoints. We are interested in PhD projects on artists, architects, historians, critics, and curators who used alternative media to challenge the narratives and methodologies of the history of art and architecture. The PhD project could focus on objects and practices that take the form of artworks, buildings, more complex intermedia projects, or curatorial and pedagogical experiments. The experimental practices under study may have emerged at any point from the nineteenth century to today, anywhere in world. Methodologically, the project encourages PhD candidates to uncover unpublished and under-examined sources that can help us rethink existing disciplinary frameworks.


Radboud University


  • You hold an MA degree in the History of Art and Architecture or in a closely related discipline.
  • You have knowledge of modern art historiography and an exhibited commitment to issues pertaining to global art history.
  • You have proven ability to conduct independent academic research and work in a collaborative research environment.
  • You have a good command of English and solid research abilities in other relevant languages.
  • You are willing to perform teaching and service duties.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

  • We will give you a temporary employment contract (1.0 FTE) 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).
  • 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 in the fourth year (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.


As a PhD candidate at the Radboud Institute for Culture & History (RICH), you will be part of the Graduate School for the Humanities (GSH). 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.

Additional information

You can apply only via the button below. Address your letter of application to Prof. Scott Nethersole. In the application form, you will find which documents you need to include with your application.

The first interviews will take place on Friday 13 September. Any second interview will take place on Friday 20 September. You will preferably start your employment on 1 December 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.


  • PhD
  • Language and culture
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 23.032.24



Houtlaan 4, 6525XZ, Nijmegen

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Application procedure

Application procedure

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