Postdoctoral researcher Decolonial Futures

Faculty/Services:  Faculty of Humanities
Educational level:  Promoted
Function type:  Academic Staff
Closing date:  1 September 2022
Vacancy number:  9859



The Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research (AIHR) currently has a vacant Postdoc researcher position as part of the broader field Cultural Heritage and Identity. Within this field the focus is on material and immaterial heritage (including digital heritage), and on cultural heritage and societal change. The postdoc will be part of one of the following research schools within AIHR: Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA), Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture (AHM), Amsterdam School of Historical Studies (ASH) or Amsterdam School for Regional, Transnational and European Studies (ARTES):


What are you going to do


This postdoc position is connected to the Decolonial Futures research priority area (RPA), currently in development at the University of Amsterdam. The RPA brings together scholars from the humanities, social sciences and law to develop theories and methods that account for colonial pasts and enable more just decolonial futures. The RPA innovates theoretically by approaching colonial pasts as not completed, but embedded in the present, and decolonial futures as not yet-to-come but prefigured in the present and past. It also develops new methodologies by connecting approaches from different disciplines that make room for marginalized communities and perspectives.


We are looking for a postdoc who will contribute to the RPA’s research line on “Justice: Past, Present and Future” by approaching cultural heritage from a critical humanities perspective. We would like the research of the postdoc to address and redress colonial legacies by examining how we can harness material and immaterial archives silenced, marginalized and fragmented by colonial violence (which tend not to be recognized as cultural heritage) to create new visions of a just global future and how we can mobilize these visions to work towards meaningful social change, for example through reparation and restitution. The focus may also lie on how these archives enable forms of research and teaching that challenge the monocultural modes of knowledge production from which the concept of heritage itself emerged. We are particularly interested in projects that explore the decolonial force of harnessing archives as-yet excluded from globally dominant notions of cultural heritage across at least two of the RPA’s four thematic fields: (1) Museums, monuments & archives; (2) Ecology, sustainability & climate change; (3) Migrations, mobility & borders; and (4) Race, gender, sexuality, class & diversity.


Your tasks and responsibilities:

  • conducting research, presenting intermediate research results at workshops and conferences and publishing at least two peer reviewed articles;
  • participating in activities of the research school, department and research priority area;
  • co-organising knowledge dissemination activities.


What do you have to offer


Your experience and profile:

  • a PhD in the humanities with a focus on decolonial theories and approaches;
  • excellent research skills demonstrated by a track record of publishing in high-ranking journals and/or with leading presses or a demonstrable capacity to develop such a record;
  • a strong cooperative attitude and willingness to engage in collaborative, interdisciplinary research;
  • enthusiasm for communicating academic research to non-academic audiences;
  • excellent command of English.

What can we offer you


The Postdoc researcher will be appointed at one of the Departments of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Amsterdam, in accordance with their background and expertise, and will conduct research in ASCA, AHM, ASH or ARTES. The employment contract will be for one year. Contingent on a positive performance evaluation the contract will be extended with one year. The employment contract is for 30,4 - 38 hours a week. Preferred starting date is 01 October 2022.


The gross monthly salary, based on 38 hours per week and relevant experience, ranges between € 3,974 to € 5,439. This sum does not include the 8% holiday allowance and the 8,3% year-end allowance. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.


What else do we offer

  • excellent possibilities for further professional development and education, including participation in a dedicated Research Training group;
  • an enthusiastic, inspiring and professional academic team;
  • the opportunity to collaborate with leading researchers at research institutes that - partly as a result of their interdisciplinary approach - are world renowned.


About us


The University of Amsterdam is the Netherlands' largest university, offering the widest range of academic programmes. At the UvA, 30,000 students, 6,000 staff members and 3,000 PhD candidates study and work in a diverse range of fields, connected by a culture of curiosity.


The Faculty of Humanities provides education and conducts research with a strong international profile in a large number of disciplines in de field of language and culture. Located in the heart of Amsterdam, the faculty maintains close ties with many cultural institutes in the capital city. Research and teaching staff focus on interdisciplinary collaboration and are active in several teaching programmes.


Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.




Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:


Job application


If you feel the profile fits you, and you are interested in the job, we look forward to receiving your application. You can apply online via the link below. The deadline for applying for this vacancy is 01 September 2022.


Applications should include the following information (submitted in one pdf):

  • A letter of motivation.
  • A research proposal of 800-1000 words, explaining how you would approach the project thematically, conceptually and methodologically, within the timeline of the 2-year appointment.
  • A full academic CV, including a list of publications.
  • The names and contact details of two references who may be approached by the selection committee.


Only complete applications received within the response period via the link below will be considered.


The interviews will be held in the first weeks of September 2022.


The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.


If you encounter Error GBB451, reach out to our HR Department directly. They will gladly help you continue your application. 


No agencies please.