Postdoctoral researcher ‘Worlding Public Cultures: Museums in an Age of Decolonization’

Postdoctoral researcher ‘Worlding Public Cultures: Museums in an Age of Decolonization’

Published Deadline Location
25 May 26 Jun Amsterdam

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Job description

The Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA), one of the six research schools of the Faculty of Humanities, currently has a vacant postdoctoral position as part of the NWO funded Trans-Atlantic Platform (T-AP) Social Innovation project ‘Worlding Public Cultures: The Arts and Social Innovation’.

Worlding Public Cultures: The Arts and Social Innovation is a collaborative research project and transnational platform that facilitates multipronged dialogues concerning the global in the arts and culture. As such, it puts forward an understanding of the globalized world as historically constituted by open-ended processes involving lived interrelations and interconnections. Bringing together universities and museums across the Atlantic, from Canada to the UK, The Netherlands, and Germany, Worlding Public Cultures sees art, art history, and curating as world-making and activating practices that imagine the global otherwise. By conducting research on and for institutions of public culture, this project endeavors to foster social innovation. In particular, it aims to contribute toward building more resilient public cultures and institutions so as to best address contemporary challenges to pluralist democracies and open pathways toward decolonizing 'universal' narratives and epistemologies.

The Netherlands-based T-AP research subproject is a joint VU-UvA collaboration; there will be two postdocs, one based at the UvA and one based at the VU, working on these topics from different perspectives. The subproject explores institutional change in relation to the conceptual framing of the overall project. In looking at 'worlding and/as decolonization,' it focuses on projects and processes of institutional decolonization and transformation in the Global South, including artists and activists’ ongoing efforts to decolonize museums. The project will address the following questions: where have these decolonizing practices emerged and thrived? How do they operate? Who pushes them through? Under what conditions can they emerge? Under what conditions can they be successful? What artistic, activist, and curatorial strategies are being mobilized to change institutions in response to the question of enduring colonial legacies?

What the Postdoctoral researcher will do:

  • collect data on different projects aiming to decolonize museums and cultural institutions;
  • assist in organizing the Amsterdam Academy (expected to take place in November 2020) so as to help it address these themes;
  • write up research findings in a fieldwork report;
  • complete and submit a significant body of writing for publication within the period of the appointment;
  • contribute to developing a published paper on best practices with respect to decolonial themes;
  • contribute to the Platform’s collaborative Book Series project;
  • contribute to the content of the project website.


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


  • A PhD degree in the Humanities or Social Sciences or the Arts;
  • outstanding research qualities manifested in a high-quality PhD dissertation and publications;
  • demonstrable research experience;
  • good written and spoken English;
  • keen interest in critical, interdisciplinary research methods and approaches;
  • ability and willingness to work in a team;
  • social media skills;
  • proven organizational, administrative and leadership skills.

Experience with work in the arts and culture is a plus.

Conditions of employment

Our offer

The selected Postdoc will get an employment contract at the Faculty of Humanities in the Department of History, European Studies, and Religious Studies. The research will be carried out under the aegis of ASCA. The employment contract will be for 0,8 FTE (30,4 hours per week) for a period of 1,5 year. The intended starting date is 1 September 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter. The gross monthly salary (on a full-time basis) will range from €3,389 (scale 10) to €4,978 (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.

We are currently working on the assumption that this postdoc project will start on 1 September 2020, or as soon as possible thereafter. However, we may need to delay the starting date if travel restrictions will still be in place, or foreseen for the near future, by mid-June 2020. Candidates still in the procedure will be duly informed.


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 Cultural Analysis

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

Research at the Faculty of Humanities is carried out by six research schools under the aegis of the Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research. The Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA) is one of the six research schools. ASCA is home to more than 110 scholars and 120 PhD candidates, and is a world-leading international research school in transnational 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.   


  • Postdoc
  • Language and culture
  • max. 30.4 hours per week
  • €3389—€4978 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 20-307


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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