The research group Cultural History since 1750 of the University of Leuven seeks to cover many aspects of the cultural landscape of the past, ranging from the history of science and universities, the history of historiography and historical culture, heritage and history education to the development of cultural infrastructure and the history of cultural transfers.
Its members study the development of the humanities and the social sciences, the history of modern laboratory culture and of scientific practices in medical societies, the history of hypnosis, the public function of history education, the history of art patronage, shopping culture and many other cultural-historical topics. They aspire to do so in a broad-minded way, considering the various shapes and meanings of scientific and cultural practices.
The PhD candidates will participate in a four-year research project that investigates the ways in which human anatomy gained and/or lost prestige and visibility within the medical and the broader educational and cultural field in Belgium between 1780 and 1930. It will do so by focusing on the ways in which medical anatomical knowledge circulated between these fields and acquired in this process new meanings, and by investigating the role of different forms of visual representation or display of the human body in supporting or weakening anatomy’s legitimacy or authority both in the medical and the cultural field. This general research question will be specified by distinguishing three domains of enquiry. The role of anatomy and visual display of the anatomical human body will be researched in the formation of medicine as a scientific domain between 1780 and 1860, in the increasingly complex scientific field of medical and biomedical disciplines between 1860 and 1930, and in fields of medical education and/or entertainment of children, teachers and the lay public between 1780 and 1930.
The PhD candidates will work in a team with a post-doctoral researcher and four staff members (Kaat Wils, Raf De Bont, Jo Tollebeek, Geert Vanpaemel)
We seek candidates with strong academic abilities and the ambition to become excellent researchers.
You have completed a master in History, Cultural History, History of Science or Science and Technology Studies, or an equivalent degree in which a historical perspective played a prominent role.
You have strong analytical capacities and organisational skills, excellent writing skills, knowledge of (or a willingness to learn) Dutch, excellent reading skills in French, willingness and proven ability to work in a team.
We offer a 4-year full-time PhD contract. (The first year will be a probation period, after a positive assessment the position will be extended with another three years.)
You will be provided with shared office space at the History Department in Leuven.
Any informal inquiries about the position or the project may be addressed to Prof. dr. Kaat Wils, tel.: +3216324971, mail:
Candidates are invited to submit their application, consisting of:
1. A letter with motivation stating the candidate’s qualifications and reasons for interest in the position
2. A CV, including a list of marks/grades of bachelor and master studies.
3. The contact information of two references (including e-mail, phone number, mailing address, and relationship to the applicant)
4. One writing sample (published article, work in progress, or an MA thesis chapter)
You can apply for this job no later than July 28, 2013 via the online application tool :
KU Leuven carries out an equal opportunity and diversity policy.