Department: Antwerp Research Institute for the Arts
Regime: Full-time

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The Antwerp Research Institute for the Arts in the Faculty of Arts is looking for a full-time (100%) postdoctoral researcher in media history, art history or cultural history.

The candidate will collaborate in an interdisciplinary ERC project called “Science at the Fair: Performing Knowledge and Technology in Western Europe, 1850-1914”, coordinated by Prof. Nele Wynants. The EU-funded SciFair project will perform pioneering research on the role itinerant show people played in the circulation of information about scientific and technological advances at fairs in North-Western Europe between 1850 and 1914. For more information, see:

The successful candidate will work on the subproject Panorama, Diorama and Cosmorama: Performing History and Geography.

This subproject will study how show people appropriated images from around the world and in what ways they contributed to a growing visual literacy amongst ordinary people across the social spectrum. Travelling entertainment ‘opened up’ the world to a distinctively broad population regarding the gradual globalisation of capitalism, imperial routes and new means of transportation, and the consequent unprecedented mobility of artists, materials and knowledge. Popular attractions such as panoramas, dioramas, cosmoramas, magic lantern shows and wax museums introduced people to pictures of faraway times and places, as well as international heroes both contemporary and historical. History and modernity often mixed in these spectacles, which featured historical monuments, legendary battles, and illustrated travel stories. While these displays were meant to exoticise and entice, they also familiarised audiences with certain tropes related to the world’s history and present, captured in particular visual strategies and supported by carefully scripted viewing experiences.


  • Your research will be conducted within the framework of the EU-funded SciFair project.
  • You will publish minimally 4 scientific articles related to the research project. These publications can be co-authored with other project members and external researchers.
  • You are involved in the valorisation program of the SciFair project, communicating the results to different target audiences (including the media and the public), share the findings of your research at international academic conferences and co-organising an international conference.
  • You participate in the research activities of the SciFair project, as well as relevant activities of ARIA.
  • You will assist in the supervision of PhD students and other team members.


  • You hold a PhD in media history, art history or cultural history or related field of the humanities (or you will have obtained it by the time you start work) and have a clear interest in popular culture and the history of science.
  • You have an international academic portfolio and you conduct high-quality
  • academic research. 
  • You have an affinity for working with historical sources and applying textual and/or visual analysis to large corpora of historical data.
  • Demonstrable experience with digital methods to transcribe historical sources and analyse textual and visual source materials is a strong plus.
  • You are willing and able to work and communicate within a broader team of international researchers.
  • You are willing to occasionally conduct research in archives abroad.
  • You can speak and write fluently in English.
  • You have a good command of at least one of the following languages: French or German.
  • You demonstrate organisational skills.
  • You act with attention to quality, integrity, creativity and cooperation.
  • Your research qualities are in line with the faculty and university research policies.

What we offer

  • We offer a full-time appointment as a postdoctoral scholarship holder for a period of 2 years, with a possibility of renewal for an additional year.
  • The planned starting date is 15 October 2022 or as soon as possible after that date.
  • Your monthly scholarship amount is calculated according to the scholarship amounts for postdoctoral scholarship holders on the pay scales for Contract Research Staff (Dutch: Bijzonder Academisch Personeel, BAP).
  • You will do most of your work at UAntwerp City Campus in a dynamic and stimulating working environment.
  • Find out more about working at the University of Antwerp here.

Want to apply?

  • You can apply for this vacancy through the University of Antwerp’s online job application platform up to and including 14 July 2022 (by midnight Brussels time). Click on the 'Apply' button, complete the online application form and be sure to include the following attachments: (1) a motivation letter, including a statement explaining your motivation for the relevant vacancy, (2) your academic CV, including a biosketch, (3) your five most important publications or achievements in the area of scientific research (maximum one page).
  • The selection committee will review all the applications as soon as possible after the application deadline.
  • Shortlisted candidates, selected to take part in interviews, will be notified by 15 August 2022. The interviews will take place on 30 August 2022. Candidates will be expected to propose a research plan based on the proposed subproject at the interview.
  • If you have any questions about the online application form, please check the frequently asked questions or send an email to If you have any questions about the job itself, please contact Prof. Nele Wynants:

The University of Antwerp received the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award for its HR policy. We are a sustainable, family-friendly organisation which invests in its employees’ growth. We encourage diversity and attach great importance to an inclusive working environment and equal opportunities, regardless of gender identity, disability, race, ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age. We encourage people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse characteristics to apply.