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  3. Postdoctoral researcher 'Townscape and Healthscape: Mapping the Sanitary City in Italy'

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Postdoctoral researcher 'Townscape and Healthscape: Mapping the Sanitary City in Italy'

The Amsterdam School of Historical Studies (ASH), one of the six research schools of the Faculty of Humanities, currently has a vacant postdoctoral position as part of the ERC-project Healthscaping, led by prof. G. Geltner ...

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Amsterdam, Noord-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
30 uur
€ 3238 - € 3954 per maand


The Amsterdam School of Historical Studies (ASH), one of the six research schools of the Faculty of Humanities, 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 behaviors considered harmful or dangerous.

Within this framework, a postdoctoral researcher will trace the trajectory of civic amenities and physical interventions that can be linked to prophylactic measures, as sources of pollution or preservers of health, including cemeteries, water-borne and other waste disposal systems, urban infrastructures such as wells, town walls and latrines, and harm-reductive institutions such as leprosaria, hospitals and almshouses. The information gathered will be assembled into new, chronologically layered maps of urban health, achieved by using software to enable different presentations. These will accordingly be used as analytical tools tracing flux and enabling multifocality, for the benefit of other team members as well.


Applicants must have:

  • a PhD in medieval archaeology, with a specific focus on Italy;
  • a research and publication record commensurate with their career stage;
  • specialist knowledge of premodern medical history (theory, policy and practice);
  • significant research experience in Italian sites, including working in a GIS environment;
  • a thorough command of Latin and Italian, excellent English and a working knowledge of languages pertinent to the field’s professional literature;
  • a theoretical background in urban studies and material culture;
  • a strong creative and cooperative attitude and willingness to engage in collaborative research in a multidisciplinary team; and
  • strong organizational skills.


The postdoctoral researcher will be appointed for 30,4 hours per week (0.8 FTE) for a maximum period of four years at the Department of History, European Studies & Religious Studies of the Faculty of Humanities. The research will be carried out under the aegis of ASH. The appointment is initially for a period of 12 months; contingent on satisfactory performance it will be extended by a maximum of 36 months. The intended starting date of the contract is 1 September 2018. The gross monthly salary (on full-time basis) will range from €3,238 to €3,954 depending on experience and qualifications, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

Additional information

Only qualified applicants, as detailed above, should apply. For further information, please contact:

Please submit your complete application no later than 15 February 2018 to:

Applications should include only the following information, in one PDF file (not zipped):

  • a letter of motivation;
  • a full academic CV, including a list of publications;
  • the names and contact details of two referees who may be approached by the selection committee;
  • an original article/chapter-length text (up to 10,000 words) relating directly to the research field;
  • in case the PhD has not been formally awarded yet: a statement from the dissertation supervisor (or equivalent) of the candidate’s current status and graduation plan.

Applicants must have completed their PhD before the start of this postdoctoral project.

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

Please state vacancy number 18-032 in the subject line of your application.

Interviews will take place in first two weeks of April. For candidates living abroad interviews may be held via Skype.


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 School of Historical Studies

The Amsterdam School of Historical Studies (ASH) integrates a variety of (inter)disciplinary perspectives, including history, history of art, literature and religious studies. It encourages collaborations between scholars along thematic lines (e.g. Religion, the City, Conflict), geographical focus (e.g. Mediterranean History, American Studies, Modern Germany) and in terms of period (e.g. Antiquity, the Middle Ages, Early Modern and Modern History).