PhD Candidate| Historical Representations of Diversity, Race, and ‘Dutchness’ in Sport, 1950s-Present

Do you want to create a more inclusive understanding of Europe? And are you interested in working with scientific and societal partners in Curaçao, where part of your research will also take place? The Radboud Institute for Culture and History calls for a PhD candidate for a work package on Diversity in Sport within the ‘Popular Representations of Diversity and Belonging’ project, where you will be able to put your inclusive ideas to the test and push European boundaries. 
The Radboud Institute for Culture & History seeks a PhD candidate for a work package on Diversity in Sport within the NWA-ORC funded project (Re)Presenting Europe: Popular Representations of Diversity and Belonging. This project is a collaboration between several universities and societal and grassroot organisations in the Netherlands and Curaçao. The full project consists of work packages that will address dominant spaces of representation of belonging, both in the formal institutional space of education and healing, as well as informal spaces of sport, popular culture and urban arts. The goal of the project is a more inclusive understanding of Europe.
The PhD project forms the historical component of a work package on diversity in sport entitled Arenas of Belonging: Sport Heroes as Models of Aspiration, Inspiration, and Participation, 1950-Present. It focuses on the way in which sport successes have contributed to a sense of belonging in an increasingly diverse Dutch society, and how transatlantic entanglements with the Dutch Caribbean have played a role in constructions of race and diversity. It addresses how dominant assumptions about sport had integrative power, but also damaged, stereotyped and “blackened” athletes. Such popular representations created a new racial archetype of “the natural black athlete” that reproduced colonial myths or caused a “brawn drain” in the countries of origin. The PhD project will collaborate with a postdoctoral project that employs digital humanities methodologies to analyse tropes of inclusion and belonging in historical periodicals (such as Delpher). The outcomes of continuities/discontinuities of such tropes and stereotypes will be connected to outcomes of the second part of the work package that focuses on Present Heroes: Sporting role models and mediated meaning making amongst urban adolescents.As a PhD candidate you will write a PhD thesis, participate in the Graduate School for the Humanities, which includes taking courses for approximately six months, and provide six months of academic service to the Faculty of Arts at Radboud University. Your research will be embedded in the Radboud Institute for Culture & History (RICH), which focuses on understanding the complexities of Europe in a changing world, and of the changing world of which Europe forms a part. Within the project, you will collaborate closely with the work package team and the researchers of other work packages in the project that focus on popular music, urban arts and education. In addition, you will work with scientific and societal partners in Curaçao, where part of your research will take place. The resulting PhD will be a joint doctorate of Radboud University and the University of Curaçao.


  • You hold a Research Master’s or comparable degree in History, American Studies, Cultural Studies, or a comparable discipline; experience in sport-related research is an advantage.
  • You have affinity with digital humanities.
  • You have excellent oral and writing skills in Dutch and English, as demonstrated in an excellent thesis and/or other publications; experience in other languages, particularly Spanish or Papiamento, is an advantage.
  • You are able to work independently and flexibly, taking initiative where needed.
  • You are able to communicate and collaborate effectively in a team setting.
  • You are interested in and committed to teaching and supervising Bachelor’s students.

Fixed-term contract: You will be employed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract).

  • It concerns an employment for 1.0 FTE.
  • The gross starting salary amounts to €2,541 per month based on a 38-hour working week, and will increase to €3,247 in the fourth year (salary scale P).
  • You will receive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • You will be employed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract).
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services. Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can assist you with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, provide customized support in their search for employment  and help your family settle in Nijmegen.
  • Working for us means getting extra days off. In case of full-time employment, you can choose between 29 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the legally allotted 20.

The Faculty of Arts is committed to knowledge production with a significant scientific and social impact. With over 500 academic and support staff, we teach and conduct research in the fields of history and art, languages and cultures, and linguistics and communication, using innovative methodologies and working in close collaboration between the disciplines. Our research is embedded in two research institutes: the Centre for Language Studies (CLS) and the Radboud Institute for Culture & History (RICH). We currently have approximately 2,500 students, enrolled in three departments: the Department of History, Art History and Classics, the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures, and the Department of Language and Communication. We aim to contribute to a more sustainable and inclusive world, which is why we especially seek applications from candidates who bring diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and skills that will be assets to our study programmes and research profiles.

Radboud University
We want to get the best out of science, others and ourselves. Why? Because this is what the world around us desperately needs. Leading research and education make an indispensable contribution to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This is what unites the more than 24,000 students and 5,600 employees at Radboud University. And this requires even more talent, collaboration and lifelong learning. You have a part to play!

For questions about the position, please contact Marjet Derks, Professor of Sport History at +31 24 361 28 30 or Alternatively, you can contact Jaap Verheul, Professor of Transatlantic Relations at +31 24 361 55 17 or


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