HealthScaping traces the development and impact of preventative healthcare policies, medical discourses and social and religious practices in the continent’s two most urbanized regions in the later Middle Ages, Italy and the Low Countries. The project taps numerous written, material and visual sources and archaeological data from several sites, and examines them also by critically engaging the insights of governmentality studies, cultural-spatial analysis and actor-network theory. A multidisciplinary team, also working in a Geographical Information Systems environment and generating innovative urban health maps, will recover earlier societies’ struggles with domestic and industrial waste, travel and labor hazards, food quality, and social and religious behaviors considered harmful or dangerous.
Within this framework, a PhD candidate proficient in Latin and the relevant vernacular/s will chart and analyse the dissemination of medical knowledge pertaining to prophylactic healthcare passed along several textual and visual conduits beyond the boundaries of traditional medical literature and in two distinct spheres. First, it will track the transmission of medical knowledge among the urban population – identifying medical arguments bearing upon the non-naturals (including quality of air and water, diet, evacuations, motion and rest), hygiene and the senses and their interpretation of physical and spiritual wellbeing in schoolrooms, from the pulpit as well as in urban households. Secondly, it will contextualize the dissemination of prophylactic knowledge and its application in normative sources regulating behaviour, for instance in municipal and guild statutes, regulations of brotherhoods and monastic regulae produced especially in cities in Italy and/or the Low Countries. Researching the interplay of arguments between medical knowledge, good citizenship and social hygiene in diverse behavioral scripts, this research will identify and study the specific urban milieus where medical knowledge was adapted and disseminated, thereby offering a unique insight into the levels of public health awareness and responses thereto, both of compliance and resistance, beyond academic environs.
The PhD candidate’s tasks will include:
- completion and defence of a PhD thesis within 4 years;
- writing two peer-reviewed scholarly articles in major journals;
- contributing to the project database;
- active participation in and organization of project activities.
The successful applicant must have:
- a completed Research MA or equivalent in medieval history or a related field in the Humanities;
- knowledge of premodern health and urban history;
- research experience in archives and manuscript libraries;
- a thorough command of Latin and relevant vernaculars (Middle Dutch and/or Italian), excellent English and a working knowledge of pertinent modern languages, e.g. French, German, Italian, Spanish;
- enthusiasm for collaborative, multidisciplinary research;
- strong organizational skills.
For further information, please contact:
The appointment will be for 30.4 hours per week (0.8 FTE) for a maximum period of four years at the Department of History, European Studies & Religious Studies of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Amsterdam. The research will be carried out under the aegis of ASH. The appointment is initially for a period of 16 months; contingent on satisfactory performance it will be extended by a maximum of 32 months. The intended starting date of the contract is 1 September 2018. The gross monthly salary (on a full-time basis) will range from €2,222 during the first year to €2,840 during the fourth year, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.
Applications should include the following information, in one PDF file (not zipped):
- a letter of motivation;
- a full academic CV;
- a writing sample of c. 10.000 words (the equivalent of an article or book chapter);
- the names and contact details of two referees who may be approached by the selection committee.
Applicants must have completed their RMA before the start of this PhD project.
Please submit your complete application no later than 15 February 2018 to solliciteren2018-FGW@uva.nl.
Only complete applications submitted as one PDF file to this email address will be considered.
Please state vacancy number 18-025 in the subject line of your application.
Interviews will take place in the first two weeks of April. For candidates living abroad, interviews may be held via Skype.
No agencies please!
You can see the original announcement here.