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Postdoc in digital humanities for conceptual history research project (0.6 FTE) (V23.0586)

Job description

We are seeking a highly motivated candidate for a postdoc position within a project funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO). We offer a part-time contract of 0.6 FTE for 2 years.

The project is entitled “Culture Wars and Modern Worldviews: A Transnational Conceptual History” and is located in the Department of Christianity and the History of Ideas. The core research team will consist of the PI, Prof. Dr. Todd H. Weir, and two future postdoctoral scholars, one responsible for the implementation of digital humanities databases and techniques, the second undertaking research in the history of anthropology and/or religious studies (for that position, please see the separate advertisement here:

The aim of this project is to develop a model of the formative power of culture wars in shaping modern thought, politics and religion by investigating the history of the concept of “worldview.” It is a transnational and multilingual project, that traces the history of worldview from its popularization in nineteenth-century Germany, to its invocation by Dutch and North American Christian thinkers, to its use by political ideologies such as National Socialism, to its contemporary usage in Latin America in the context of arguments about indigenous right.

The DH postdoctoral scholar will bring to the project experience with digital humanities techniques that can be used to analyze the history of concepts in multiple languages and in multiple religious and political camps, as well as in the history of social scientific disciplines. Together with the PI and the other postdoc researcher, this DH specialist will help create relevant corpora and be responsible for selecting software and running analyses. For example, we may utilize word collocation to uncover the relationship between “worldview” and religious ideas or new epistemological concepts, such as “paradigm” or “ontological difference.” We may need data visualizations that help map the different definitional strands of worldview across social space. We may also engage in metadata analysis to reveal what role factors, such as party affiliation, religion and gender of historical actors, played in positions taken in the culture wars.

Tasks and responsibilities:

  • Setting up DH infrastructure for the project
  • Selecting and tailoring techniques and software need to undertake research
  • Training other team members in use of these DH techniques
  • Close involvement in historical research: joint analysis, writing and publishing of academic articles
  • Creating and maintaining corpora to be used in project research
  • Working with national and local DH consortia, such as the Groningen DH Lab, Clariah, the eScience Center
  • Presenting research results at conferences and workshops
  • Participating in regular meetings with the other project team members
  • Assisting in communication tasks, such as co-managing project website.

The University of Groningen is a research university with a global outlook. Quality has had top priority for four hundred years, and with success: the University is currently in or around the top 100 on several influential ranking lists. The Faculty of Religion, Culture and Society is an ambitious, interdisciplinary research hub with a dynamic and accomplished staff drawn from around the world (58% international), and a Graduate School with 60 PhD students. For more information about the Faculty, please check the link


We are looking for candidates who meet the following requirements:

  • a PhD degree (or evidence that you can complete prior to the start date) in digital humanities or in a cultural studies or humanities field, in which you have gained extensive experience in the application of DH techniques
  • knowledge or familiarity with corpus linguistics, natural language processing, data wrangling, and big data approaches is an advantage
  • a relevant publication record, demonstrating your ability to publish international academic publications
  • a clear interest in collaborative, interdisciplinary research
  • excellent command of the English language and ability to work with one or more of the other target languages: German, Dutch, Spanish
  • ability to work independently and manage joint research activities
  • a team player with strong communication skills.


Conditions of employment

We offer you in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

  • a starting salary depending on qualifications and work experience between

€ 3,226 and € 4,332 (salary scale 10.0 to 10.7) gross per month for a full-time position

  • a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income an 8.3% end-of-the-year allowance
  • attractive secondary terms of employment
  • a two-year contract (24 months).

Intended starting date: 1 February 2024


You may apply for this position until 5 October 2023, 11:59pm Dutch local time/Central European Time. Only submissions via the application form will be considered.

The selection interviews will take place the week of 30 October 2023.

Please submit your application by clicking on the blue ''Apply'' button at the bottom of this page.

Applications should include:
1. a letter of motivation (about 1000 words), in which you describe your background in the anthropology, religious studies, history of science, cultural history, digital humanities or a related discipline
2. a curriculum vitae, including a list of publications and (if applicable) other research output clearly showing your expertise in relevant areas
3. the text of one publication (or piece of writing, e.g., a chapter from your dissertation) you find particularly relevant.
Please do not use the contact details below for applications, but rather use the blue "Apply" button below.

Additional information
For a better understanding of the approach taken by Prof. Weir to the conceptual history of worldview, please see the following publications:
Todd H. Weir, “Hitler’s Worldview and the Interwar Kulturkampf” Journal of Contemporary History 53:3 (2018), 597–621. (Open Access)
Todd H. Weir, “The Apologetics of Modern Culture Wars: The Case of Weimar Germany” in Defending the Faith: Apologetics and Politics in the Global Twentieth Century, eds. Todd Weir and Hugh McLeod, Proceedings of the British Academy, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020), 19-37.

The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage:

Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers:

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For information you can contact:

  • Prof. dr. Todd Weir,

Please do not use the e-mail address(es) above for applications.