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  3. Postdoctoral researcher 'Imagining the Rural in Contemporary Chinese Culture'

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Postdoctoral researcher 'Imagining the Rural in Contemporary Chinese Culture'

The Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA), one of the six research schools of the Faculty of Humanities, currently has a vacant postdoctoral position …

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Spui, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 uur
€ 3238 - € 3839 per maand


The Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA), one of the six research schools of the Faculty of Humanities, currently has a vacant postdoctoral position as part of the ERC Consolidator project Imagining the Rural in a Globalizing World/RURALIMAGINATIONS, led by prof. Esther Peeren.

With globalization primarily considered an urban phenomenon, its impact on rural areas tends to be neglected. Tackling this blind spot is urgent as rural-urban divides persist and rural communities, notably in the 2016 Brexit vote and US election, claim their concerns about globalization’s effects are being ignored. RURALIMAGINATIONS focuses on the crucial role played by cultural imaginations in determining what aspects of contemporary rural life do and do not become visible nationally and globally, which, in turn, affects how the rural can be mobilized politically. Using a distinctive humanities approach, it examines prominent cultural imaginations of the rural in film, television and literature in the UK, US, Netherlands, China and South Africa, asking:

  1. to what extent do these imaginations render globalization’s effects on the rural (in)visible?;
  2. what role do traditional rural genres and the feelings or desires they attach to the rural play in this making (in)visible? and
  3. how can new aesthetic repertoires highlighting the rural as a site of globalization and addressing rural-urban divides and inequalities be developed?

The five subprojects conduct, in their national contexts, a narrative, visual and discursive analysis of post-2000 rural imaginations, guided by an innovative theoretical framework combining three concepts: the chronotope reveals what the imagined rural time-space renders visible and how it relates to urban and global time-space; spectrality gives access to what rural imaginations render invisible and to their haunting by traditional genres; and affect exposes how these imaginations attach feelings and desires to the rural, impacting its evaluation and political mobilization. The project synthesis compares the five contexts and examines how rural imaginations interact globally. Expert workshops in the national contexts forge collaborations between humanities scholars, social scientists and cultural producers to develop new rural imaginations.

This postdoctoral position is aimed at a candidate who completed his/her PhD no longer than two years ago or will do so before 1 November 2018.


  • A PhD degree in the humanities or social sciences focused on contemporary Chinese culture, completed after 1 May 2016 or with a fixed completion date before 1 November 2018;
  • excellent written and spoken English, as well as fluency in Mandarin;
  • outstanding research qualities manifested in a high-quality PhD dissertation and international peer-reviewed publications;
  • demonstrable experience with the narrative, visual and discursive analysis of film, television and/or literature;
  • demonstrable experience working with theoretical frameworks and keen interest in the three concepts (chronotope, spectrality, affect) central to the project;
  • keen interest in interdisciplinary research methods and approaches;
  • ability and willingness to work in a team;
  • willingness to travel abroad for research stays, conferences and project expert workshops;
  • strong organizational skills.


The selected Postdoc will be appointed full-time (38 hours per week) for a period of 3 years at the Department of Language and Literature, Faculty of Humanities. The intended starting date is 1 January 2019. The appointment is initially for a period of one year; contingent on satisfactory performance (completion of an academic journal article) it will be extended by a maximum of 2 years, leading to the completion of 4 international peer-reviewed journal articles and a contribution to an edited volume over the course of the entire Postdoc. The gross monthly salary (on a full-time basis) will range from €3,238 during the first year to €3,839 during the third year, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

Additional information

For more information on the research project, please contact:

Your application should include:

1. A full academic CV, including a list of publications

2. Other documents in a single PDF file (not zipped) consisting of:

  • a detailed letter of intent stating your motivation for this position;
  • one relevant writing sample (totaling no more than 10,000 words);
  • in case the PhD is not completed yet, evidence of a fixed completion date before 1 November 2018.

Shortlisted candidates may be required to provide additional materials.

Please submit your application no later than 17 June 2018 using this link.