WP 12: Cultural Change and the Classics in 20th- and 21st-Century Europe

(Postdoc) Anchoring Change in Classical Studies

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Radboud University
Erasmusplein 1
6500 HD Nijmegen

Dr. Sven Betjes

Postdoc project (3 years, 1.0 fte), Leiden University
Anchoring Work Package 12: Cultural Change and the Classics in 20th- and 21st-Century Europe

Prof. Dr. Ineke Sluiter (Leiden); Dr. M. Flohr (Leiden)

Salary range
A minimum of € 4.332,- and a maximum of € 5.929,-, including full benefits.

Job description

New ideas and inventions that affect social life cannot thrive unless they are somehow embedded in the society for which they are intended. Innovation will always be connected somehow—both in the ways it is communicated and perceived, and in terms of content—to what people know, believe, want, value, and can understand. This is true even of radical, path-breaking, ‘revolutionary’ ideas and insights. This phenomenon of ‘anchoring’ is central to the current research agenda of the Dutch classicists.

A crucial aspect of that research agenda also concerns the anchoring of innovations in classics and classical studies itself: in recent decades, scholars of Greek and Roman antiquity have substantially broadened their approach to the ancient world by focusing on people and perspectives that traditionally played a marginal role in the field. Thus, classicists and ancient historians have increasingly studied women, non-elite people, such as migrants and craftsmen, and the enslaved, while there has been a growing interest in non-urban environments, and in places outside the classical heartland of Greece and Italy. These new perspectives often started from the margins of classics, moving gradually towards the center of the field. The process through which these new approaches ‘anchored’ themselves in the scholarly community is fundamental to our understanding of the recent history of classical studies – and the Anchoring Innovation programme offers an ideal context to study them.

We invite proposals for original research on the ways in which one or more of the non-traditional perspectives that emerged in classical studies since the late 20th century have attempted to anchor themselves in the field, the types of debates this sparked, possibly forms of resistance and failure, and analyses of those forms that are now firmly embedded in the discipline. There is ample space for intellectual creativity and input from the successful candidate. We envisage projects to be thematically focused and to explore developments in the field as a whole or to focus on one of its disciplinary subfields (e.g. philology, ancient history, classical archaeology).

Candidates are invited to design a structured research proposal around these issues. They are free in choosing their thematic and disciplinary emphasis, depending on their expertise and interest. In their proposals, candidates should outline their suggested approach, main research question, and expected original contribution to the field.

More information about the Anchoring Innovation research agenda of OIKOS can be found on the website (www.anchoringinnovation.nl) and in an article by Ineke Sluiter, entitled “Anchoring Innovation: a Classical Research Agenda”.

Host institution

The Faculty of Humanities of Leiden University is a unique international center for the advanced study of languages, cultures, arts, and societies worldwide, in their historical contexts from prehistory to the present. The faculty is home to more than 6,000 students and 800 staff members. For more information see https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/humanities.

The Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS) is one of the seven Research Institutes of the Faculty of Humanities. LUCAS is dedicated to ground-breaking research that explores the multifaceted relationships between the arts and society.

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, 2024. Initially the employee will receive a one-year contract, with extension for the following two years on condition of a positive evaluation. Salary range from of a minimum of € 4.332,- and a maximum of € 5.929,- (salary scale 11) gross per month for a fulltime appointment (pay scale for Postdocs, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities). This includes medical and pension benefits. If desired, the position may be held part-time and thereby extended in length to 31 December 2027 at the latest.

Leiden 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. 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 PD candidate will include:

  • To develop and carry out an innovative research project within the framework described above;
  • To present research results at national and international conferences and workshops (individual and/or co-authored);
  • To submit research results for several publications in peer-reviewed journals or books (individual and/or co-authored);
  • Some teaching (to be discussed);
  • To participate in the host institutions, the national research school OIKOS, and the wider Anchoring Innovation program.


The project seeks to employ a highly motivated and proactive candidate who will need to work both independently and as part of a larger team.

A successful PD candidate should preferably have:

  • A PhD in Classics, Ancient History or Classical Archaeology;
  • Knowledge of Greek and/or Latin;
  • Preferably some years of (independent) research experience;
  • An excellent track record of research and publication in relation to the career stage;
  • A commitment to team science within an international context;
  • Very good oral and written skills in English;
  • 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 Prof. dr. I. Sluiter, i.sluiter@hum.leidenuniv.nl, and Dr. M. Flohr, m.flohr@hum.leidenuniv.nl. Questions about the procedure can be directed to Dr. Sven Betjes, anchoring@let.ru.nl.


In order to be considered, 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 distinctions, and the contact information of two academic referees;
  • Research proposal of 1500 words. This does not include the bibliography and (if appropriate) an appendix containing a list of sources;
  • Transcript of records (i.e. a list of BA and MA courses);
  • Copy of relevant diploma or statement by PhD- supervisor confirming that the applicant will hold the required degree at the time of appointment.

Please submit your complete application to Dr Sven Betjes, the coordinator of the Anchoring-programme via anchoring@let.ru.nl before April 15, 2024. If you are invited for an interview, this takes place on May 28th, 2024 (presumably online).