Post-doctorat : ‘Late Medieval and Early Modern Literary Culture (French/Dutch)

  • Place:
    Université d'Utrecht

Specificaties – (uitleg)

Locatie Faculty of Humanities
Functietypes Research, Development, InnovationPostdoc positionsEducation
Wetenschappelijke discipline Language and Culture
Uren 32,0 uren per week
Salaris € 2532 – € 3997
Werk-/denkniveau Doctorate
Vacaturenummer 823384
About employer Utrecht University
Short link

The NWO-funded research project ‘Uncovering Joyful Culture: Parodic Literature and Practices in and around the Low Countries (13th-17th centuries)’ (project leader: Dr Katell Lavéant) explores the cultural practices and the literary production of joyful culture (among which parodic texts in French and Dutch), in order to demonstrate the essential role of parody in social cohesion in the pre-modern era. The project will offer a comparative, transnational approach, in order to show how joyful culture helped to bind together various social groups in pre-seventeenth-century society, and how parody was used to reinforce group identity and the sense of belonging to a community, whether at the scale of a regional political entity, a city, or a professional group. To do so, a range of literary texts, products and artefacts will be contextualised with archival material.

As a postdoc, you will carry out the subproject ‘Train your skills and sharpen your pen: parodying notarial documents (15th-17th c.)’. Through this project, you will produce an extensive study of parodic notarial documents and similar texts in French and Dutch (according to your own expertise, you may propose additional or alternative study material in your application), in order to establish how parody was used in the education of the youth, particularly (but not exclusively) law clerks. To evaluate the reach of these texts beyond their milieu of production, you will also analyse their wider circulation in printed books and leaflets and their reception by a broad readership. You will therefore develop coherent methods to analyse the specific features of parodic writing and to contextualize it in relation to social practices. You will of course have the opportunity to fill in the details of this project or expand on it, based on your expertise, the data you gather and you own research ideas, all in consultation with the project leader.

In addition, you will work as a member of the core research team, together with Dr Lavéant and a PhD student. As such, you will participate in conferences and other activities related to the project. As part of the postdoc position you can also be asked to provide a limited amount of teaching, which will enable you to gain teaching experience.

You will be based at the Utrecht Department of Languages, Literature and Communication, section French studies, and will be affiliated to the research institute for cultural enquiries (ICON), both of which provide a stimulating and internationally oriented research environment.

Tasks for the postdoc will include the following:

  • offer active support to the PhD and be an active networker for the international promotion and visibility of the project, both in academic settings and among societal organizations;
  • give regular presentations of intermediate research at workshops and conferences;
  • participate in all training programmes and expert meetings scheduled for the project;
  • co-organize a project conference;
  • prepare a monograph and publish two peer-reviewed articles in established international journals as well as edit the proceedings of the project conference together with the project leader.


  • a PhD in medieval/early modern literature or history, or other relevant discipline, or a PhD dissertation already accepted by the PhD committee;
  • excellent track record and research skills;
  • excellent academic writing and presentation skills;
  • experience in publishing in established international peer-reviewed journals;
  • excellent knowledge of French and/or Dutch, both written and spoken;
  • proven track record in bibliographic and archival research, and knowledge of or affinity with digital methods;
  • ability to work both as a creative and independent researcher and as part of a team;
  • ability and willingness to collaborate across the academic disciplines of literary studies, philology, cultural history, art history and book history;
  • ability to work in an international, interdisciplinary team and environment;
  • problem-solving attitude, commitment and readiness to travel within and outside Europe;
  • excellent organizational, social and communication skills.


We are offering a postdoc-position for 0,8 fte starting 1 September 2016 or soon after. Initially, this is a one-year contract. After a positive evaluation this contract can be extended up to a total of three years. The gross salary will be between € 2,532 and € 3,400 per month on a fulltime basis, depending on experience and qualifications.

Utrecht University offers a pension scheme, a holiday allowance of 8% per year, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3% and flexible employment conditions. Conditions are based on the Collective Employment Agreement of the Dutch Universities. More information: terms of employment.


Utrecht University strives for excellence in teaching and study performance. This also holds for the clearly defined research profiles with respect to four core themes: Dynamics of Youth, Institutions, Life Sciences and Sustainability. Utrecht University has a strong commitment to community outreach and contributes to answering the social questions of today and tomorrow.

The Faculty of Humanities has around seven thousand students and nine hundred staff members. It comprises four knowledge domains: Philosophy and Religious Studies, History and Art History, Media and Culture Studies, and Languages, Literature and Communication. With its research and education in these fields, the Faculty aims to contribute to a better understanding of the Netherlands and Europe in a rapidly changing social and cultural context. The enthusiastic and committed colleagues and the excellent amenities in the historical city centre of Utrecht, where the Faculty is housed, contribute to an inspiring working environment.

Additionele informatie

For further information about the vacancy, please contact dr. Katell Lavéant project

More information about the project: Uncovering Joyful Culture (NWO website) and about the project leader: Dr Katell Lavéant