PhD position in Heritage Studies: the cultural and political presentation of the Roman period (1.0 FTE)

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 16 Apr 2021

We are seeking a candidate for a PhD position in the NWO-funded NWA project Constructing the limes: Employing citizen science to understand borders and border systems from the Roman period until today. C-Limes is a large interdisciplinary project studying the border of the Roman Empire, and more specifically the so-called Lower German Limes. The project not only investigates how the border functioned in antiquity, but also examines how the limes have become cultural heritage, influenced our contemporary views on borders, and was mobilized to support collective identities since the early modern period. The project is unique in its kind due to its strong attention for citizen science and close collaboration with societal partners. For more information, see the website Constructing the Limes . 

The work package Limes as Heritage analyses how the Roman limes have become cultural heritage and defined our conception of borders. For this work package we are looking for a PhD Researcher who will study the political and cultural mobilization of heritage from the Roman period during the nineteenth and twentieth century. The focus is on the Netherlands within an comparative European context. The PhD will study the politics and cultural dimensions of archaeology and heritage formation during this period, using both archival sources and scientific and public discourse. The anticipated start date is 1 September 2021.

Since archaeology and heritage management of the Roman period during this period is multifaceted, it is possible to focus on one key theme in the project (e.g. colonialism, nationalism, intellectual history) or a particular period (e.g. late eighteenth century use of the Batavians or late nineteenth-century constructions of the Roman past). We invite the prospective candidate to submit a 1,000 word project proposal that outlines a potential research focus.


As the project is participatory in nature and operationalizes open science principles, the candidate will be expected to actively engage with societal partners, contribute to non-academic deliverables (exhibition and TV documentary), and regularly present findings of the project to the public. The Researcher will be based at the Cultural History section at Utrecht University and will be a contributing member of the Utrecht Heritage and Public History Lab.


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