PhD-scholarship in contemporary history

Updated: 3 months ago

The Faculteit Letteren en Wijsbegeerte, Department History, Archeology, Arts, Philosophy and Ethics, is looking for a PhD-student with a doctoral grant

More concretely your work package, for the preparation of a doctorate, contains: 

The Faculty Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, Department HARP, is looking for a PhD-student with doctoral grant for the ERC Starting Grant project “FORAGENCY. Foraging, Fishing and Hunting as Agency in Colonial Central Africa (c. 1885- c. 1960)”. You will be joining a team of researchers who will study how communities in the Congo basin managed to counter, alleviate or minimize their encroachment by colonial actors through the maintenance and adaptation of vernacular, non-agricultural uses of the environment. The main questions to be addressed are:

[1] Which techniques are mobilised for hunting, fishing and foraging?

[2] Which strategies are used to trade and consume hunted and foraged products against colonial laws and values?

[3] How are economic structures such as marketplaces and money mobilised outside of colonial capitalism?

[4] Which knowledge is necessary to hunt, forage and transform natural products?

They will be answered through four thematic sub-studies: on intoxicating substances; on hunted and foraged foodstuffs; on curative uses of nature; and on vernacular environmental agency.

Each sub-study will consider the ecological interactions between four colonial cities and their hinterland: Kinshasa (Léopoldville), Brazzaville, Kisangani (Stanleyville) and Bujumbura (Usumbura).

The study will combine archival research, the study of material culture, oral history and participatory observation.

The project will be coordinated by Benoît Henriet at the Department of History at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB).

Although Brussels is the home base of the project, there will be several months of fieldwork required in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo and Burundi.

 More concretely your work package, for the preparation of a doctorate, contains: 

  • You are responsible for the project’s sub-study on Hunted, fished and foraged foodstuffs in colonial Central Africa (c. 1885-c.1960)
  • You complete a PhD dissertation under the supervision of the project coordinator
  • You play a role in the development of future research possibilities in the line of the project
  • You contribute to other work packages and sub-studies by assisting with data collection or dissemination
  • You assist the team with logistical and administrative support
  • You contribute to the project’s visibility by (co-)authoring scientific publications, by participating to and helping organise scientific events, and by updating the project’s website and social media accounts
  • You contribute to the life and activities of the research group Social History of Capitalism (SHOC)

For this function, our Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering Campus (Elsene) will serve as your home base. 

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