Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Last application date: Apr 30, 2018 23:59
LW07 - Department of Literary Studies
Contract: Limited duration
Degree: a PhD in literary studies (or another discipline that has allowed them to develop demonstrable expertise in this area)
Occupancy rate: 100%
Vacancy Type: Research staff

Job description

The Department of Literary Studies at Ghent University, Belgium, wishes to recruit a postdoctoral research fellow for a four-year term starting on 1 October 2018 within the framework of a “Concerted Research Action” (GOA) titled “Literature, Nature, and Ecology: An Ecopoetic Approach to Contemporary Narrative Prose in French, German, English, and Italian” (director: Pierre Schoentjes; co-directors: Benjamin Biebuyck, Stef Craps, and Sabine Verhulst). Building on existing research on ecopoetics, the team, which will also employ four PhD students, will explore the role of the literary imagination, with a special focus on textual complexity and the tension between the global nature of ecological problems and local cultural specificities.

Adopting a comparative and contrastive perspective, the project aims to examine the ways in which fictional prose—novels, novellas, and stories—forges new cultural connections with nature and the environment via the imagination in a world in which ecological awareness occupies an increasingly prominent place.

The postdoctoral research fellow to be hired on the project will focus primarily on studying how an extensive corpus of ecologically inspired fiction reflects on and gives narrative shape to contemporary scientific knowledge, ranging from historical, psychological, economic, and sociological knowledge to knowledge produced by the natural sciences, particularly geography, ethology, and biology.

Profile of the candidate

Applicants are required to have the following qualifications and skills:

  • - a PhD in literary studies (or another discipline that has allowed them to develop demonstrable expertise in this area)
  • - a strong international scholarly publication record
  • - (near-)native proficiency in French and good knowledge of academic English; proficiency in (one of) the other two corpus languages would be a plus
  • - a thorough knowledge of contemporary literature
  • - a talent for teamwork
  • - good organizational skills (conferences and seminars) and communication skills (contacts with other research groups and the media)
  • - the ability to supervise (junior) research staff (running a reading group, research development support)


Candidates for this position must be willing to reside in the Ghent area during the teaching terms.

How to apply

The deadline for submission of applications is 30 April 2018. Applications should consist of a cover letter, a two-page CV, an annotated list of the candidate’s five most important scholarly publications and transcripts of all degrees earned, to be submitted as a single PDF file to . Candidates will be notified of the outcome of their application by 30 June 2018. For more information, please contact Pierre Schoentjes.