Job: PhD-Position Media Collections as Conflict Heritage in Central-Eastern Europe, 1930–1960 (Amsterdam)

Research at the Faculty of Humanities is carried out by six research schools under the aegis of the Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research. The Amsterdam School of Heritage, Memory and Material Culture (AHM), one of these schools, currently has a vacant PhD position as part of the NWO VIDI Project ‘Mapping Transnational Conflict Heritage, Radio Collections in Europe, 1930-1960’, led by Dr. Carolyn Birdsall. The University of Amsterdam is uniquely equipped to provide an appropriate interdisciplinary research environment, as it is the only Dutch university that combines research and teaching programmes in Media and Archival Studies, and Heritage and Memory Studies.

Project description

In Mapping Transnational Conflict Heritage, the central aim is to trace the ways in which radio sound collections were archived, circulated and used during and after World War II. This VIDI project takes the impact of conflict on media as its central theme, and proposes to develop a framework for studying how media collections became a form of transnational conflict heritage, namely by examining processes of transformation, relocation and valorisation.

You will investigate case studies in Central-Eastern Europe, and will work closely with two subprojects: the first examines comparable cases in Western Europe (conducted by the PrincipaI Investigator), and the second explores how (meta)data about radio collections across Europe can be best integrated and analysed with the aid of digital methods (conducted by the Postdoctoral researcher).

In your subproject you will:

  • analyse the complex dynamics around recorded radio collections in Central-Eastern Europe (1930-1960), including (East) German, Czechoslovak and Polish contexts;
  • perform in-depth research of historical source materials and explore how/why institutions (and social actors) archived and used radio collections under conditions of war, occupation and reconstruction;
  • collect data about when/where broadcast radio recordings were created and located, and will contribute to the project team’s analysis of these patterns.

Your tasks include:

  • completion and defense of a PhD thesis within 4 years;
  • completion and submission of two journal article manuscripts;
  • participation in meetings of the project research group and contribution to a shared database;
  • participation in knowledge dissemination activities;
  • presentation of intermediate research results at workshops and conferences.


We expect you to have:

  • a (R)MA or MPhil degree in a relevant discipline (e.g. History, Media Studies, European Studies, Cultural Studies, Heritage and Memory Studies);
  • excellent research skills;
  • excellent written and spoken English; at least reading level of German and Czech (or one other Central-Eastern European language);
  • strong cooperative attitude and willingness to engage in collaborative research;
  • a willingness to travel for on-site research in archives, conferences;
  • strong organizational skills.

Further information

For additional information about this position, including a research note on the overall project, please contact:


The appointment will be for 38 hours per week for a maximum period of four years at the Department of Media Studies of the Faculty of Humanities. The research will be carried out under the aegis of AHM. The appointment is initially for a period of 16 months; contingent on satisfactory performance it will be extended by a maximum of 32 months. The intended starting date of the contract is 1 August 2019. The gross monthly salary (on a full-time basis) will range from €2,266 during the first year to €2,897 during the fourth year, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities, supplemented with an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus.

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