Job Opening: Chair in Modern Asian History

job opening - 5Institution:  University of Amsterdam, Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Location:  Netherlands
Position:  Full Professor, Chair in Modern Asian History

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology of the University of Amsterdam, together with the  International Institute of Social History (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences),  is hiring a Chair in Modern Asian History.

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology is one of the departments in the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG). Research and education are carried out by special institutes. The College of Social Sciences (CSS) and the Graduate School for the Social Sciences (GSSS) are responsible for the undergraduate and graduate teaching programmes in the social sciences.

The International Institute of Social History (IISG) is a research institute of the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences, and conducts advanced research on the global history of work, workers, and labour relations.

Research takes place under the aegis of the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR) and the International Institute of Social History (IISG). The AISSR is a multidisciplinary research institute, the biggest one of its kind in the Netherlands. The broad scope and pluralism of our education and research programmes are inspired by and reflect a strong degree of internationalisation. The AISSR Programme Group‘Moving Matters: People, Goods, Power and Ideas’ consists of researchers involved in social anthropology and the sociology of development. These scholars, alongside colleagues from other groups and disciplines, collaborate in various nterdisciplinary centres, as well as the IISG.

The new chair will spend 60 percent of his/her time at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology in the University of Amsterdam, and 40 percent at the International Institute of Social History. At UvA, s/he is currently expected to spend 60 percent of the time on teaching and 40 percent on research. Both activities include administrative tasks and services to the community.

The chair connects the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, notably Program Group ‘Moving Matters’, with the International Institute for Social History (IISG) and combines social anthropology with history. S/he has expertise in both mobility and labour, and possibly also in transnational flows of people, goods and ideas, and border studies.

Job description

  • Contributing to the broad and diverse research and teaching profile of the anthropology in Amsterdam, notably the anthropology of development , as well as the research department of the International Institute of Social History;
  • developing, carrying out and supervising empirical historical anthropological research at a high academic level, further developing international leadership in this field, developing a research line in collaboration with junior staff members and other researchers working at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR) and the social anthropology Program Group ‘Moving Matters’, and the IISG;
  • teaching general, specialist and methodological courses in the Bachelor’s-, Master’s-, Research Master’s- and PhD-programs in anthropology at the University of Amsterdam, and supervising graduate students;
  • acquiring and helping to acquire external funding for research (also on behalf of junior researchers);
  • actively contributing to the development of anthropology in the national and international context by publishing and participating in national and international research networks and educational initiatives;
  • carrying out administrative tasks on behalf of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR) and their interdisciplinary centres, the teaching programs, the IISG, and so forth.


  • Strong general knowledge in the fields of the anthropology of development and history as well as knowledge and experience in combining these and other disciplines;
  • commitment to the research agenda of the AISSR in general and the Program Group ‘Moving Matters’ in particular, as well as the IISG, and commitment to enhance interdisciplinary collaborations in this specific field;
  • outstanding track record in empirical research on such themes as mobility and labour—and possibly also the transnational flows of people, goods and ideas, and border studies—as exemplified in a strong publication record in internationally peer reviewed journals and/or books published by internationally recognized press;
  • research experience in Asia, preferably South Asia or East Asia, and ideally also proficiency in an Asian language;
  • demonstrated ability to acquire research funding from external sources (e.g. the Netherlands’ Organisation for Scientific Research, the European Research Council, or other research councils, the European Union, or other national and international funding agencies);
  • thorough mastery of historical and anthropological research methods, including research using databases;
  • a proven record of high-quality teaching, preferably at Bachelor’s-, Master’s- and PhD-level. Also a commitment to teaching general courses as well as specialist courses in the Bachelor’s and Master’s programs in Sociology and in the interdisciplinary Research Master Social Sciences;
  • track record in administration and commitment to carry out administrative tasks;
  • adequate knowledge of Dutch, or the willingness to learn the Dutch language within two years;
  • in possession of the Dutch Basic Teaching Qualification (or foreign equivalent), or willingness to acquire such a qualification on a fairly short term.


Depending on qualifications and experience, the salary will range from €5,003 to €8,795 in conformity with the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities. Secondary benefits at Dutch universities are attractive and include 8% holiday pay and an 8.3% end of year bonus.

Job application

Applications by email only. These should include:

  1. a concise statement of motivation (2 pages max.);
  2. CV and list of publications;
  3. a statement including research plans (2 pages max.);
  4. a statement including the teaching philosophy (1 page max.);
  5. a list of three references

At this stage of the procedure, please do not send letters of reference or proofs of your academic writing. All documents should be collected and sent as one single pdf email attachment with your name in the title Please mention ‘HL Modern Asian History Application ’ in the subject line.

The deadline for applications is 11 June 2014.

No agencies please

Contact: For additional information, please contact Prof. Mario Rutten (Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Amsterdam) via

About Paula

Paula lives in the vortex of academic life. She studies medieval Japanese history.
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