Vacature promovendus Images and Ideas of China in the Dutch golden age

The Amsterdam Centre of Cultural Heritage and identity (ACHI) of the Faculty of Humanities is looking for a PhD candidate in Cultural History as part of the project The Chinese Impact: Images and Ideas of China in the Dutch Golden Age (NWO-Vidi).This project explores the mutual perceptions that resulted from the cultural exchange between China and the Low Countries (Northern and Southern Netherlands) in the seventeenth century. 

Project description

During the first period of intensive contacts between China and Europe, Dutch traders were the main importers of Chinese mass-produced goods. Amsterdam and Antwerp were central nodes in the transfer of information, making China better known to a wide European public through publications, translations, and illustrations. This lively exchange ensured that only in the Netherlands, Chinese-style ceramics became available to all layers of society; moreover, the Low Countries were at the forefront of the intellectual reaction to China, which resulted in the first European translation of the writings of Confucius (in Dutch). The research program The Chinese Impact includes two PhD projects, in cultural history and art history, to explore written and visual images of China.
The PhD candidate in Cultural History will explore selected textual sources from the Low Countries. The research will identify and analyze statements regarding Chinese civilization in a range of relevant documents, from journals and travelogues to poetry, drama, and scientific texts.


  • The applicant must have a completed MA degree in a relevant field such as history, literary studies, theatre studies, or classics, before the start date of the fellowship;
  • the applicant’s CV illustrates familiarity with Early Modern cultural history, preferably complemented by demonstrable interest in the Low Countries or China;
  • The applicant has an excellent command of English in reading, writing, and speaking; and an excellent reading competence in Dutch.

Further information

For more information on the research project The Chinese Impact and the selection procedure, please contact:


The selected PhD candidate 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:
  • a detailed letter of intent stating your motivation for this position;
  • a copy of your MA thesis or another relevant text;
  • a full academic CV and a list of MA grades;
  • two letters of recommendation.
Applicants must have completed all relevant coursework and examinations for the MA by September 2014. If the list of scores is not yet complete, please submit an overview of your scores at the time of application. Please submit your application to before 16 March 2014.
Candidates will be interviewed in April 2014.