PhD Resisting Enslavement

04 May 2023 - 15:18

Location: IISG 
Max hours per week: 38
Max salary: € 2.541,-
Duration: 4 years (first 1 year; prolongation after approval)
Apply here t/m 25-06-2023

The International Institute of Social History (IISH) is searching for the research project Resisting Enslavement

Two PhD students (0.8 to 1.0 fte)

The project Resisting Enslavement: A Global Historical Approach to Slavery in the Dutch Atlantic and Asian Empire (1620-1815) investigates forms of resistance in relation to enslavement and slavery. It uses testimonies and personal accounts from court records from across the early modern Dutch colonial empire in the Indonesian archipelago, the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic to explore how this resistance by enslaved people had an impact on enslavement, slave trade and slavery.

What you will do
Within the research project you will work independently on your PhD research. As part of this, you will also collaborate with the team on collective aspects of the project, such as creating data sets, organising meetings and public stories.

What you bring in
You have enthusiasm for research and writing. You are independent, but also like to collaborate. You have knowledge of and affinity with the history of slavery, colonialism and/or resistance. It is highly recommended if you have experience with social history, the use of court cases, early modern (colonial) archives or other aspects of research.

What do we offer?
You will work in the research department of the IISH. Within the framework of the project, you will participate in the research school for socio-economic historians (NW Posthumus Institute) and connect to ongoing scholarly projects, such as Exploring Slave Trade in Asia, the Global Labour Conflicts Hub and GLOBALISE.

This is what we expect from you:

  • A completed research master's or master's degree in history, or another discipline that is relevant to this research;
  • Affinity with the history of slavery; or with history from 'below', the history of colonialism and/or resistance;
  • Experience with historical (source-based) research;
  • Good writing skills;
  • An active and independent working attitude.

It is recommended if you:

  • Have good proficiency in Dutch and English.


You can apply by sending:

- curriculum vitae
- completed questionnaire
- a short motivation letter

Questionnaire for applicants

A maximum of 100 words applies to each answer.

  • What do you find interesting in this research project?
  • Why do you want to complete a PhD?
  • How would you approach the research of one of the subprojects?
  • What do you think makes you suitable: what skills or experiences do you have that would be useful for this project and research?

In the selection procedure, we may ask for a sample of a text written by you (thesis; publication; otherwise) that gives a good impression of your writing skills.

For more information about the vacancy you can contact Matthias van Rossum (projectleader and supervisor, please click on the name for sending the request). The project description in pdf can be found at the bottom of this page.

Responses can be submitted until 25 June via the application button.

Resisting Enslavement
Diorama of a Du by Gerrit Schouten, 1830 (Rijksmuseum Amsterdam). A du was a type of role play with music and dance that was held on plantations to vent criticism on the colonial authorities.