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PhD Fellowship in Humanities 2017, University of Groningen, Netherlands

Publish Date: Apr 10, 2017

Deadline: May 07, 2017

PhD position In Readers’ Hands: Early Modern Bibles from a Users’ Perspective


The Faculty of Arts is a large, dynamic faculty in the heart of the city of Groningen. It has more than 5000 students and 700 staff members, who are working at the frontiers of knowledge every day. The Faculty offers a wide range of degree programmes: 15 bachelor's programmes and over 35 master's specializations. Our research, which is internationally widely acclaimed, covers the following fields: Archaeology, Cultural Studies, History, International Relations, Journalism, Language and Literary Studies, and Linguistics.

Job description

Applications are invited for one PhD position (AIO) in the research project “In Readers’ Hands: Early Modern Bibles from a Users’ Perspective” funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO).

The research team will consist of two project leaders (Prof. Sabrina Corbellini and Prof. Wim François) and two PhD candidates (one at the University of Groningen and one at the University of Leuven). This research project offers a fresh approach to the production, dissemination and actual use of sixteenth-century Bible translations – key texts in the religious, cultural, social, and political transformations of the sixteenth-century Low Countries. By studying the surviving copies of vernacular Bibles printed by Willem Vorsterman, Jacob van Liesvelt, and Henrick Peetersen van Middelburch (372 from a preliminary overview), the project will provide a unique insight into the interaction between the biblical text and its readers, while also revealing the influence of current devotional practices, pastoral concerns, and theological beliefs in the often centuries-long periods that they were in use. In order to gain an understanding of the 'Wirkungsgeschichte' of these texts, the proposed research will analyze the traces of use, ownership marks, content-related annotations, and even the censorship interventions found in the copies under scrutiny. The research will give a fresh look at the cultural dynamics of a key period in the history of the Low Countries. The approach also testifies to a significant ’turn’ in the attitude to vernacular Bible translations, characterized by a more nuanced view of the reaction of the (Catholic) Church and intellectuals to the issues of Bible translation and dissemination, as well as by a stronger focus on the ‘human factor’ and the agents involved in this process (translators, printers, users, readers, commentators, and in some cases, censors). The Groningen PhD candidate will study the extant copies of Bibles printed by Jacob van Liesvelt (107) as well as the copies of Peetersen van Middelburch’s editions (54).
The text of the research proposal, with a complete description of the PhD research projects, is available via Prof. Sabrina Corbellini.


• ReMa or MA degree in Early Modern History, Early Modern Dutch Literature, Religious Studies (focus Reformation studies), Book History or equivalent
• good knowledge of Middle and Early Modern Dutch
• good working knowledge of modern languages (German, English and French)
• good working knowledge of Latin
• ability to read late medieval and early modern handwriting (paleography)
• interest in methodological and theoretical discussions in the field of religious and book history
• a strong motivation to complete a PhD dissertation in 4 years
• proactive attitude
• ability to work independently whilst also a team player.

Conditions of employment

The University of Groningen offers a salary of € 2,191 (salary scale Dutch Universities) gross per month in the first year to € 2,801 gross per month in the fourth year (figures based on full employment). The 1.0 fte appointment is temporary for a specified period of four years. The candidate will first be appointed for 12 months. After six months, an assessment will take place of the candidate's results and the progress of the project to decide whether the employment will be continued.

The appointment will be effective from 1 October 2017.


The PhD candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School for the Humanities, affiliated with the Research Institute for the Study of Culture Groningen (ICOG), and based at the Department of History.

Applications should be in English or Dutch and should contain the following:
• a short statement (c. 1000 words), explaining your motivation for the application. The text of the research proposal, with a complete description of the PhD research projects, is available via Professor Sabrina Corbellini
• a curriculum vitae (including date and place of birth, copies of MA-degree and -grades, also - if applicable - titles of publications)
• copy of MA thesis
• copy of passport
• email and postal address of two academic referees.

Please send your entire application in only two pdf-files (one for the MA thesis and one for all other documents) until 7 May 23:59 pm / before 8 May 2017 Dutch local time by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below the advertisement on the university website).

The interviews with the selected candidates will be held on 16 and 17 May 2017.

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.

This opportunity has expired. It was originally published here:

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