Postdoc Position – Universiteit Leiden – Faculty of Humanities

The Faculty of Humanities, Institute for History, has a

Postdoc Position – “Dutch Entrepreneurial Exploitation of Cash Crops and Natural Resources (Including Tax Farming) in the Colonies of Others”

Key responsibilities
As per September 1, 2021, the Leiden University Institute for History will be appointing a postdoc researcher within the NWO-funded VICI project Exploiting the Empire of Others: Dutch Investment in Foreign Colonial Resources, 1570-1800, supervised by Professor Cátia Antunes. The responsibilities are:

  • Conducting research on the history of scientific codes of conduct;
  • Writing 4 single authored and 2 co-authored articles for publication in peer-reviewed journals (alternatively one single authored monograph submitted to a prominent academic publisher);
  • Contribute to one co-edited volume (for submission to a prominent academic publisher);
  • Contribute to the development of the project’s datasets (jointly with the rest of the team);
  • Co-organizing workshops and organizing panels for major international conferences;
  • Contributing actively to team work (e.g., serving as a peer reviewer for other team members, contributing to the project deliverables, liaise with societal partners).

Selection criteria

  • PhD degree in History, preferably in Economic and Social History, Colonial/Imperialism History or Global History (focus on Early Modern period);
  • Relevant publications (journal articles, book chapters, single authored monography);
  • Broad paleographic skills of Early Modern documents in different languages
  • Experience of complex, splintered public and private archives
  • Language skills: proficiency in English, knowledge of Dutch (reading), German (reading), French (reading), Spanish (basic), Portuguese (basic), Italian (basic) and Latin
  • Excellent writing skills, preferably able to write proficiently in English and at least one other Western European language;
  • Proven ability to work both independently and as part of a team;
  • Proven ability to work in in a large, dynamic and ambitious international team, embedded in a highly competitive environment.

Dutch Entrepreneurial Exploitation of Cash Crops and Natural Resources (Including Tax Farming) in the Colonies of Others
In this subproject, the successful applicant will be asked to conceptualize the investment of Dutch firms in the empire of others having as starting point three specific themes: cash crops (and associated allocation of labour), natural resources and tax farming. The analysis will be approached from the point of view of the firm and the mechanisms of management of complex portfolios that included, at times simultaneously, the exploitation of multiple sources of income and revenue.

In terms of exploitation of revenue, and often through mechanisms of public debt, many Dutch firms became entangled in the political and expansionist projects of different monarchies. In this context, the postdoc will be invited to reflect upon the consequences of this entanglement for the development of specific and common features of the political economy of European empires and the pre-imperialist association between private capital and public administration of empire.

In case of urgent questions, please contact Professor Cátia Antunes, email


More information and application

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