PhD Position: Contemporary artistic practices reflecting on colonial heritage

Updated: about 2 months ago
Job Type: Temporary
Deadline: 24 May 2021

This four-year PhD student position is based at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam’s (VU) Faculty of Humanities (Department of Art & Culture, History, and Antiquity), within the framework of the NWA funded project “Pressing Matter. Ownership, Value and the Question of Colonial Heritage in Museums”. This collaborative, interdisciplinary project responds to the growing contestation over what to do with the colonial heritage held in museums.

This PhD position will be part of work package 4b of Pressing Matter that explores questions of reconciliation, Specifically work package 4b: New Relationships approaches the project’s themes from the perspective of creative practices. The PhD research will consist of an in-depth analysis of contemporary artistic and curatorial practices that have experimented with (and/or reflected on the possibility of) different modes of repairing colonial injustice and envisioned various forms of reconciliation. It will explore these strategies in relation to the different types of museums that act as custodians of colonial heritage, and on different types of collections within museums. Alongside writing their dissertation, the PhD student will be involved in the organization of the artist in residence program to be done collaboratively with the Rijksakademie Amsterdam, and the Repair Labs (TRL) that form part of the overall project.

The PhD student will be employed by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands and enrolled in its doctoral programme, which is part of the Graduate School of the Humanities. They will be supervised by dr. Katja Kwastek (Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History, at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) and dr. Chiara de Cesari (Associate Professor in European Studies and Cultural Studies at the University of Amsterdam).

Your duties

  • submit a PhD thesis on the abovementioned topic within the period of appointment
  • complete and submit at least one article for an international, peer-reviewed journal within the period of appointment
  • participate in meetings, conferences, and labs organized in the framework of the Pressing Matter project
  • co-organise the project’s Repair Labs
  • co-organise and work with the artist in residence program developed in the framework of the project
  • contribute to authoring reports and other documentation in the context of the Pressing Matter project
  • participate in the PhD training programs of the Graduate school of Humanities
  • assist in teaching during the 2nd and 3rd year of the appointment (max. 0,2 FTE per year)

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