PhD Position in Critical Audiovisual Heritage

PhD Position in Critical Audiovisual Heritage

Published Deadline Location
27 Mar 26 Apr Amsterdam

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Job description

The Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture (AHM) currently has a vacant PhD position as part of the Critical Audiovisual Heritage initiative, led by Dr. Christian Olesen and Dr. Asli Ozgen Havekotte. The AHM is one of the five Research Schools within the Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research (AIHR).

What are you going to do?
The envisioned PhD candidate will conduct original archival research, focusing on marginalised and/or overlooked audiovisual collections. Taking ‘the unknown’ as its starting point (such as gaps, absences, and silences in archives and archiving), you will research emerging speculative methods (i.e. critical fabulation, potential history, radical imagination) and/or sensory approaches (i.e. challenging traditional text-based archival descriptions through audiovisual, creative, and sensory modes of access and reuse) to address these. You will explore innovative collaborations between archives, communities, artists, and researchers, aiming to generate insights for novel archival practices that contribute to collaborative knowledge production, for example, through database creation, annotation, (online) exhibition formats or augmented reality formats that centre on affective, sensory, and audiovisual modes of access and reuse.

The research initiative of which your doctoral research will be part has a dual focus: first, developing an innovative theoretical framework rooted in contemporary archival practices and emerging collaborative methods that reassess, transform and un-settle established core archival principles; second, proposing alternative ways of creative and collaborative engagement with audiovisual heritage by critically deploying innovative forms of access and reuse. To complement our team, we are seeking a doctoral researcher who will conduct research on these questions in audiovisual archive(s) of their choice.

Tasks and responsibilities:
  • Carry out original research in the field of critical audiovisual heritage;
  • Write and submit a PhD thesis in line with the project focus within the period of appointment;
  • Participate in regular meetings of the project group and develop a shared database;
  • Publish one single-authored, peer-reviewed article, videographic work or web-based project in line with the project focus;
  • Present intermediate research results at workshops and conferences;
  • Organise knowledge dissemination activities, including project workshops and seminars in collaboration with the project team;
  • Participate in the Research School and Faculty of Humanities PhD training programmes.
  • (Co)-teaching courses at the BA-level in the 2nd and 3rd year of the appointment (max 0,2FTE per year).


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


You approach academic activities with creativity, rigour, and collaborative spirit. You are attuned to varying expectations of working in an academic environment and an archive, or heritage institution. You are able to work with multiple stakeholders such as communities, researchers, and institutions. You have the ability to bridge different academic and professional perspectives and practices. You have the knowledge of, or demonstrable interest in, digital access to audiovisual collections and types of digital scholarship relevant to your proposed research project.

Your experience and profile:
Candidates need to have the following qualifications:
  • A completed Master's degree in Arts & Humanities with an emphasis on critical audiovisual heritage and/or archiving. 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 August 2024;
  • Excellent research skills demonstrated by an outstanding Master's thesis and the promise to develop a track record of publishing in high-ranking journals and/or with leading presses;
  • A strong cooperative attitude and willingness to engage in collaborative research;
  • Enthusiasm for communicating academic research to non-academic audiences;
  • Familiarity with marginalised collections, including but not limited to (post)colonial, subcultural, and community-driven archiving initiatives and/or questions of restitution/repatriation;
  • Familiarity with, or demonstrable interest in, Critical (Digital) Heritage approaches, involving a collaborative, community-driven component;
  • Good command of English, and other language(s) relevant to the archival research laid out in the PhD project proposal.

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
  • 12811


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012CX, Amsterdam

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