Postdoctoral researcher Digital Spatial History/Digital Archaeology

Faculty of Humanities – Amsterdam School of Historical Studies

Publication date
15 October 2018
Level of education
Salary indication
€3,303 to €4,033 gross per month, based on 38 hours per week
Closing date
21 November 2018
26,6 hours per week
Vacancy number

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.

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.

Project description

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.

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.

The postdoctoral researcher will also closely collaborate with other research teams in the Faculty of Humanities, including CREATE: Creative Amsterdam: an E-Humanities perspective and the 4D Research Lab, which facilitates researchers from different disciplines in the Humanities who have specific spatial and architectural questions that cannot be answered with traditional methods.

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).


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.

Further information

For further information, you may contact:


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.

Job application

The UvA is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. We value a spirit of enquiry and endurance, provide the space to keep asking questions and cherish a diverse atmosphere of curiosity and creativity.

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 the link below will be considered.

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


No agencies please

Published by  University of Amsterdam