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Postes- Four PhD candidates in Asian Cultural Studies or closely related discipline

Faculty of Humanities – Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis

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Four PhD candidates in Asian Cultural Studies or closely related discipline Faculty of Humanities

Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis

The Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA) of the Faculty of Humanities is looking for four PhD candidates in the fields of Media Studies, Cultural Studies or Area Studies. The candidates will be part of the European Research Council (ERC) funded project ’From Made in China to Created in China - A Comparative Study of Creative Practice and Production in Contemporary China’ (ChinaCreative).

ASCA is home to more than 110 scholars and 120 PhD candidates, and is a world-leading international research school in Cultural Analysis. ASCA members share a commitment to working in an interdisciplinary framework and to maintaining a close connection with contemporary cultural and political debates.

Project description

ChinaCreative explores the histories, meanings and implications of creativity in the context of China. With its emergence as a global power, China aspires to move from a ’made in China’ to a ’created in China’ country. Creativity and culture have become a crucial source for innovation and financial growth, but are also mobilised to promote a new and open China to both the citizenry and the outside world. They are part of what is termed China’s ’soft power’. This project aims to analyse claims of creativity in different cultural practices, and to analyse how emerging creativities in China are part of tactics of governmentality and disable or enable possibilities of criticality. Using a comparative, multi-disciplinary, multi-method and multi-sited research design, four PhD subprojects analyse (PhD 1) contemporary art, (PhD 2) calligraphy, (PhD 3) independent documentary cinema (all in Beijing), (PhD 4) Hunan Satellite Television (in Changsha). In addition, one postdoc project studies ’fake’ (shanzhai) art (in Shenzhen). Methods involve a combination of visual and aesthetic analysis, ethnography, mobile methods and cultural mapping. The candidates will be based in Amsterdam and conduct at least ten months of fieldwork in China.


An MA , MPhil or MSc degree in the Humanities or Social Sciences with excellent results ; excellent written and spoken English (IELTS certificate of qualification 7,0) and proficiency in Mandarin (and/or demonstrable research experience in China) ; outstanding research qualities manifested in a high-quality MA thesis or equivalent independent research project ; ability and willingness to carry out empirical research and spend extended periods both in China and in The Netherlands ; keen interest in interdisciplinary research methods and approaches ; ability and willingness to work in a team. Further information For more information on the research project ChinaCreative and the selection procedure, please contact : Jeroen de Kloet, principal investigator


The selected PhD candidates will be appointed full-time (38 hours per week) for a period of four years at the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Amsterdam. The appointment is initially for a period of one year ; contingent on satisfactory performance it will be extended by a maximum of three additional years leading to the completion of a PhD thesis. The gross monthly salary (on a full-time basis) will range from €2,083 during the first year to €2,664 during the fourth year, in accordance with the Collective Employment Agreement of the Dutch universities.

Job application

Applications should include, in a single PDF file : A detailed letter of intent stating your motivation for this position, including a motivation for one of the four subprojects ; a full academic CV and a list of MA grades ; a copy of your MA thesis or another relevant writing sample ; for non-native speakers : IELTS certificate or equivalent ; two letters of recommendation. Shortlisted candidates will be asked to write a short statement presenting their ideas for the project. Applicants must have completed all relevant coursework and examinations for the MA by January 2015. If the list of scores is not yet complete, please submit an overview of your scores at the time of application.

Online application links :

Please submit your application to asca-FGW before 15 August 2014. Candidates will be interviewed in September 2014. The subject of the Email message and the attachment must consist of the text ’ChinaCreative + applicant’s last name’. No agencies please

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