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PhD in History on CRA-funded project RE-MEMBER (UCL)

Offre d'emploi mise en ligne le 22/05/2020

About the position

The first step of this general research will be completed by a PhD candidate in History who will focus on the first main variable described above: the degree of stigma (context). She/he will examine the evolution of public perception (and the level of social blame in particular) in the Belgian State and society towards collaborators since 1944 and colonists from 1960 until today.
The study will survey official speeches from all levels of government (legislative and executive; the federal state and federal institutions) as well as references to collaboration and colonisation in textbooks used in general French and Dutch-speaking secondary schools. In addition to the data obtained from these sources, the PhD candidate will also carry out an analysis of press coverage based on a sample of French- and Dutch-speaking newspapers reflecting various ideological views within the country.
Through various methods (archival work, critical discourse analysis…) the research aims to measure shifts in attitude over time and to better grasp the factors influencing the diversity of perceptions in the two main linguistic communities in the country. The ultimate objective is thus to establish a systematic inventory of fluctuations in the level of stigma associated with each phenomenon (collaboration and colonisation) according to time and linguistic affiliation. This will constitute a benchmarking framework which will be used by other members of the research team during the next steps of the general project, as described above.

Research environment and working conditions
The PhD candidate in History will be supervised by a bi-disciplinary team (one professor in history and one in political science). The candidate will collaborate closely with psychology and political science researchers working on the other dimensions of the project, as well as with their international networks. Team spirit is thus crucial as the candidate will be joining an enthusiastic and dynamic team of researchers.
She/he will be employed full-time for the duration of 48 months by the UCLouvain, Belgium, starting on September 1st, 2020. Presence on site will be required, as archives centers are located in Belgium.
By the end of this period, she/he will have to submit a PhD dissertation.

The candidate must hold a master degree in history.
He/she must be able to demonstrate strong synthesis, argumentation and scientific writing skills, as well as a keen interest in teamwork.
Methodologically, the candidate must demonstrate experience in archival research; qualitative and/or quantitative data analysis, proficient use of discourse analysis software are an asset.
Previous research in colonial history, history of memory or history of the Second World War is an asset as well.
The candidate must have a strong command of English and be proficient in French and Dutch.

Selection process
The application deadline is June 1, 2020.
Candidates are asked to submit their application (in French or English) in one PDF file to :

  • a cover letter
  • a detailed CV; please include your level of French and Dutch across 3 disciplines (speaking, writing, and reading).
  • one PhD project/research proposal laying out a plan, structure and work methodology based on the content of this call, as described above (max. 1000 words).
  • one writing sample (chapter of master thesis, article, paper, book chapter…)
  • one letter of recommendation

Interviews will be scheduled at the end of June 2020 in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium (or by Skype/Teams, depending on the evolution of the containment measures). The invited applicants will receive further information about this meeting in June.