PhD Position

Ancient Anchors and New Media (PhD)

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Radboud University
Erasmusplein 1
6500 HD Nijmegen

Dr. Suzanne van de Liefvoort
+31(0)24 3611276

Ancient Anchors and New Media:
Valuing Antiquity in 20th- and 21st-Century Culture

PhD Position (4 years, 1,0 fte), Radboud University
Main Supervisor: Prof. dr. Maarten De Pourcq

Anchoring Work Package 12: Modern Europe

Job description

The research programme in classical studies ‘Anchoring Innovation’ studies the way in which people regard and cope with ‘the new’ by looking at the role of ‘the old’ or ‘the ancient’ as an anchoring device in processes of innovation, transition and transformation.

This PhD project deals with classical reception in the 20th and the 21st century from a cultural studies perspective. It concentrates on the field of what people have called ‘popular culture’, ‘the cultural industries’ or ‘new media’, e.g. comics, film, photography, popular music, television, video games. These are all forms of art and cultural production that have significantly changed the outlook of contemporary culture, the infrastructure by which culture is produced and disseminated, and the audiences that participate in the field of art, culture and entertainment.

From a classical receptions perspective, the rise of new media and so-called ‘popular culture’ raises important questions about the role, the value and the representation of the ancient repertoire in the 20th and the 21st century. The aim of this PhD project is to relate one of these questions to the concept of ‘anchoring’ as developed in the OIKOS research agenda.

We invite structured PhD proposals (title, research question, scholarly background, aims, method, corpus) in which candidates may select a specific medium (e.g. videogaming), a specific theme (e.g. time-travels to the classical past) or a specific question (e.g. the role of humour or gender) to explore the use of ancient anchors in one or more new media, and to reflect upon anchoring as a form of reception.

More information about the Anchoring Innovation research agenda of OIKOS can be found on the OIKOS website ( and in an article by Ineke Sluiter, entitled “Anchoring Innovation: a Classical Research Agenda” (Anchoring Innovation: A Classical Research Agenda | European Review | Cambridge Core).

Host institution

Radboud University, Nijmegen, Faculty of Arts, Radboud Institute of History and Culture (RICH). For more information see: Faculty of Arts - Faculty of Arts ( and RICH - Radboud Institute for Culture & History (

Terms and conditions

PhD project, 4 years (1.0 FTE, 38 hrs per week), starting date to be agreed upon, with a preference for September 1, 2022. Initially the employee will receive a one-year contract, with extension for the following 36 months on condition of a positive evaluation. It is possible to extend the position over 5 years at 0,8 fte. The appointment must lead to the completion of a PhD thesis. Salary range from € 2.434 to 3.111 gross per month for a fulltime appointment (pay scale for PhDs, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

Radboud University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3%), training and career development. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.

Tasks of the PhD candidate will include:
  • Completion of a PhD thesis within four years (1,0 fte) or five years (0,8 fte);
  • Participation in meetings of the project research group(s);
  • Presentations of intermediate research results at workshops and conferences;
  • Participation in the training programme of the local Radboud Graduate School and the National Research School in Classics (OIKOS);
  • Participation in staff meetings of the Radboud Cultural Studies programme and the intellectual life of the department and the institute;
  • Some teaching in the second and third years of the appointment.
  • A Research Master, MA or MPhil degree in Classics, Media Studies or Cultural Studies, held by time of appointment, with an MA thesis of high quality with a grade of at least 8.0 on a ten-point scale, or comparable assessment (if the degree is not yet obtained at the time of application, a statement by the applicant’s supervisor should confirm that it will be obtained by time of appointment);
  • Well-developed research skills, including the ability to formulate relevant and creative research questions and hypotheses, descriptive and analytical skills, and a clear and persuasive style of writing;
  • Excellent competence in the methodology of humanities research and in English, as well as a reading competence in French and German;
  • Independent thinker, team player;
  • Grit.

The Anchoring Innovation program is strongly committed to diversity within its team and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.


Enquiries about the position can be addressed to Prof. dr. Maarten De Pourcq, We have deliberately scheduled a long period between this announcement and the deadline for submission so that candidates have ample time to prepare their own versions of the projects outlined above. We know that the design of a good project takes time and effort. Do not hesitate to contact your prospective supervisor about this. Questions about the procedure can be directed to Dr Suzanne van de Liefvoort,


In order to be admissible, applications must include the following information (in the same order), in one PDF file (not zipped):

  • Cover letter;
  • CV, including contact information of two referees;
  • Transcript of records;
  • Research proposal of 1500 words. This does not include the bibliography and (if appropriate) an appendix containing a list of sources (together max. two pages A4);
  • Copy of relevant diploma or statement by master thesis supervisor confirming that the applicant will hold the required degree at the time of appointment.

Please submit your complete application to Dr Suzanne van de Liefvoort, the coordinator of the Anchoring-programme via before April 24, 2022. Interviews will take place in the week of 30 May – 3 June, 2022 and will possibly be held online.