Postdoctoral researcher| Digital Spatial History/Digital Archaeology (Deadline 21 November 2018)

Job description

The Amsterdam School of Historical Studies (ASH) currently has a vacant postdoctoral position as part of the NWO-funded VIDI Project The Freedom of the Streets. Gender and Urban Space in Eurasia (1600-1850), led by Dr Danielle van den Heuvel.

This postdoctoral project is one of five closely-related projects, which together aim to systematically analyse the gendering of urban space in premodern Asia and Europe. Each team member focuses on a specific city or a specific theme. A PhD candidate and a postdoctoral researcher study gendered uses of space in two of the most important cities in the early modern world: Amsterdam and Edo. Another PhD project specifically looks at the relationship between urban nature and gender and compares women’s experiences in Berlin and Amsterdam. The post for which applications are sought will be filled by a postdoctoral researcher who takes a leading role in digitally visualising the relationship between gender and urban space in these cities, thereby providing a complementary spatial analysis, as well as an important tool to engage with wider audiences. Building on the work of the PhD candidates and postdoctoral researchers, the Principal Investigator analyses how the access of women to pre-industrial streets was shaped in contrasting Eurasian urban communities.

Tasks of the postdoctoral researcher will include:

  • researching, building and publishing 3D models of a selected number of early modern streetscapes;
  • developing strategies for integrating the 3D models in historical GIS;
  • presenting the digital visualisations in a web environment directed to a non-academic audience;
  • presenting (intermediate) research results at national and international workshops and conferences;
  • delivering a number of publications directly related to the Freedom of the Streets project in international journals and/or as chapters with leading presses, both individually as well as in cooperation with other project members;
  • working in close collaboration with the other researchers of the group (including on issues not directly connected to one’s own project, such as supporting the management and coordination of the project and its dissemination activities, taking part in project meetings).


  • max. 26.6 hours per week
  • €3303—€4033 per month


If you are the postdoctoral researcher we are looking for, you must have:

  • a PhD in in a relevant field (such as Architecture, History, Archaeology or Urban Planning);
  • proven skills in and affinity with digital spatial visualisations (including GIS mapping and 3D modelling methods and software);
  • a strong background or demonstrable interest in working with early modern archival textual and visual sources;
  • a track record of publishing in high-ranking journals and/or with leading presses or a demonstrable capacity to develop such a record;
  • enthusiasm for communicating academic research to non-academic audiences;
  • a strong cooperative attitude and willingness to engage in collaborative research and organizational duties;
  • good academic writing and presentation skills;
  • good social and organizational skills;
  • proficiency in English.

Desirable qualities are:

  • a passive knowledge of Dutch and/or Japanese;
  • an interest in interdisciplinary approaches to historical research.

Conditions of employment

You will be appointed for 26,6 hours per week (0,7 FTE) for a period of 24 months at the Department of History, European Studies & Religious Studies of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Amsterdam. The intended starting date of the contract is 1 March 2019. The gross monthly salary (on a full-time basis) will range from €3,303 during the first year to €4,033 during the second year, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.


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.


Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research

ASH  is one of six research schools in the Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). Applications are invited from excellent candidates who wish to conduct research on digital historical visualizations including GIS-mapping and the making of 3D models of early modern streets as interfaces for historical research on premodern gendered urban space.

This postdoctoral project is one of five closely-related projects, which together aim to systematically analyse the gendering of urban space in premodern Asia and Europe. It is widely held that between 1600 and 1850, women gradually withdrew from the public sphere of the street and moved to the private sphere of the home. This powerful narrative, linked to theories of modernisation, has created a conceptual stranglehold that sees public space as exclusively male and private space as entirely female, thereby obscuring the actual workings of gender in pre-industrial urban societies. The Freedom of the Streets project offers a pioneering approach to the study of gendered urban space, in which mapping and visualisations play an important role alongside analyses of gendered discourses about urban mobility.

Additional information

For further information you may contact:

Your application should include the following information, in one PDF file (not zipped):

  • a letter of motivation;
  • a full academic CV;
  • a full list of publications (please provide an English translation if the publication is not in English or Dutch, do not send publications or theses as part of your application);
  • the names and contact details of two referees who may be approached by the selection committee.

You must have completed your PhD before the start of this postdoctoral project.

Only complete applications submitted as one PDF file to this link  will be considered.

Interviews will take place in early January 2019. For candidates living abroad interviews may be held via Skype.

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