Research at the Faculty of Humanities is carried out by six research schools under the aegis of the Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research (AIHR). The Amsterdam School of Historical Studies (ASH), one of the six research schools, currently has a vacant postdoctoral position as part of the ERC project Healthscaping, led by prof. G. Geltner.
HealthScaping seeks to trace the development and impact of preventative healthcare policies, medical discourses and social and religious action in the continent’s two most urbanized and richly documented regions in the later Middle Ages, Italy and the Low Countries. The project taps numerous written, material and visual sources and archaeological data from several sites, and examines them also by critically engaging the insights of governmentality studies, cultural-spatial analysis and actor-network theory. A multidisciplinary team, working in a Geographical Information Systems environment and generating innovative urban health maps, will recover earlier societies’ struggles with domestic and industrial waste, travel and labor hazards, food quality, and social and religious behaviours considered harmful or dangerous.
Within this framework, an advanced postdoctoral researcher will scrutinize textual, material and visual sources, both in and out of print, for discussions on and prescriptions for pursuing preventative health in medical theory, as they emerge from regimens of health, medical advice letters, courtesy books and images informing the public on behavioral routines and interventions benefitting health; sermons; urban statutes and court documents; manuals of architecture; and works on economic and social issues, including urban panegyric. The researchers will examine normative expressions as sites for the negotiation of bio-power, for instance among urban policy makers, ecclesiastical institutions, guilds and urban residents, and on the shifting boundaries between personal and public health.