PD Position

(PD) Stylistic Anchoring in Flavian Epic

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Radboud University
Erasmusplein 1
6500 HD Nijmegen

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

Stylistic Anchoring in Flavian Epic

Anchoring WP10: Cultural Common Ground in the Roman Empire (31 BCE-200 CE)

PD Position (3 years, 1.0 fte), University of Amsterdam

Main Supervisors: Dr Mark Heerink and Prof. dr Caroline Kroon

Salary Range: between € 3.974 and € 5.439 gross per month

Project Description

The Flavian epics of Statius, Valerius Flaccus and Silius Italicus are often described as baroque or manieristic and thus as completely different from the “classicism” represented by the Aeneid of Virgil. At the same time, however, Flavian epic is usually seen as Virgilian in language as well as content. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the “Silver” Latin Flavian poems were therefore dismissed as epigonic, and although the epics have been rehabilitated and are currently enjoying an upsurge of scholarly interest, they are precisely appreciated because of their creative imitation of Virgil. This sits uneasily with the widespread idea that Flavian epic is also baroque and manieristic.

Is there such a thing as a Flavian style? To what extent is Flavian epic stylistically anchored in previous epic and to what extent is it innovative? And are all the Flavian epics the same in this regard or do they differ?

This project aims to address these questions by looking at the style of Flavian epic as a whole from a fresh, interdisciplinary perspective, combining the theoretical framework of Anchoring Innovation with modern stylistic theory as well as intertextuality, narratology and discourse-linguistics to see if there is a distinctive Flavian style, and if so, what it looks like.

For this postdoctoral project we welcome structured proposals (title, research question, scholarly background, aims, method, corpus) for research that will increase our understanding of the anchoring of stylistic innovation in Flavian epic. The project will be executed as part of the ‘Anchoring Innovation’ research agenda of OIKOS, the National Research School in Classical Studies of the Netherlands, more specifically Work Package 10 (Cultural Common Ground in the Roman Empire). Anchoring Innovation investigates innovation processes through the concept of anchoring, i.e. the various ways in which ‘the new’ could (or could not) be connected to what was already familiar. More information about this program can be found on the website (www.anchoringinnovation.nl). Another good starting point to get acquainted with the research program is an article by Ineke Sluiter, entitled “Anchoring Innovation: a Classical Research Agenda”.

Terms and Conditions

Postdoc project, 3 years (1.0 fte, 38 hrs per week), starting date to be agreed upon, with a preference for September 1, 2023. Initially the employee will receive a one-year contract, with extension for the following 2 years on condition of a positive evaluation. Salary range (depending on education and experience) of a minimum of € 3.974,- and a maximum of € 5.439,- (salary scale 11) gross per month for full-time employment, (pay scale for postdoctoral researchers, in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities). This includes medical and pension benefits. If desired, the position may be held part-time and thereby extended in length.

The University of Amsterdam 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. Please note that if the successful candidate is not already registered as living in the Netherlands, it is required that the candidate will officially relocate to the Netherlands on the starting date of the contract at the latest.

Tasks of the Postdoc will include

  • Completion of a monograph or, alternatively, at least three substantial articles within the contract period;
  • Participation in meetings of the project research group(s);
  • Presentations of intermediate research results at workshops and conferences;
  • Participation in the academic community of the national research school OIKOS, and the wider Anchoring Innovation project;
  • Participation in staff meetings of the Amsterdam Classics team and the intellectual life of the department and the institute;
  • Organization of at least one workshop.


  • A PhD in Latin Literature and/or Linguistics, held by time of appointment;
  • Thorough expertise in linguistic and/or literary research;
  • An excellent research and publication record in relation to stage of career;
  • A strong cooperative attitude and willingness to engage in collaborative research;
  • Excellent command of English;
  • Some organizational experience;
  • Willingness to move to the Netherlands for the duration of the position.


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 Dr Mark Heerink (m.a.j.heerink@uva.nl) or Prof. dr Caroline Kroon (c.h.m.kroon@uva.nl). Questions about the procedure can be directed to Dr Suzanne van de Liefvoort (anchoring@let.ru.nl).


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 a list of publications and contact details of two academic referees;
  • Transcript of records (i.e. a certified copy of your BA and MA courses and results);
  • Copy of PhD diploma or a statement by the PhD supervisor confirming that the applicant will hold the required degree at the time of the appointment.
  • 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);

Please submit your complete application to Dr Suzanne van de Liefvoort, the coordinator of the Anchoring-program via anchoring@let.ru.nl before April 24, 2023. Interviews will take place in the week of 22-26 May 2023 (online).