PhD candidate 'Publishing houses as brokers of knowledge in Indonesia'

University of Amsterdam
April 20 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

The Faculty of Humanities has a vacancy for a PhD candidate 'Publishing houses as brokers of knowledge in Indonesia'.

This PhD project is part of the project Decolonizing knowledge. Postcoloniality and the making of modern Indonesia's knowledge culture, 1945 - 1970. The aim of the project is to investigate the development of ‘knowledge cultures' in Indonesia during the late-colonial and immediate post-colonial period (1945 -1970). In those decades, Indonesians faced the task to establish an infrastructure for education and the transfer of knowledge, and a formulation of the role and aims of knowledge in postcolonial society. The researchers of the three closely related research projects (the others looking at tertiary education and the transfer of knowledge in large businesses) will investigate the legacies of colonialism, the influence of nationalist discourses and the concrete policies in establishing a knowledge culture. This project looks at the role of the publishing industry in Indonesia from the 1940s to 1960s in producing and distributing knowledge. It draws its methodology from the discipline of book studies, which investigate the production, distribution and consumption of books. The researcher will investigate the networks of publishing houses and their publication strategies. At the core of this project is the investigation of the publishing house Van Hoeve, which specialized in books on science and technology and became a pivot in the publication of Indonesian scholarly work and educational publications. In order to chart the national book production the researcher will use bibliographies, library catalogues, journals and newspapers, publishers' archives. If possible, interviews and personal collections will provide an additional source. The PhD candidate will make at least two research trips to Indonesia. She/he will closely cooperate with the other researchers and share data with them. She/he will also contribute to conferences, a training course to junior Indonesian historians, and to an (real and online) exhibition on the history of publishing in the age of decolonization. Tasks of the PhD candidate will include amongst other completion and defense of a PhD thesis within four years and participation in meetings of the project research group as well as contribute to teaching courses in book history during the second or third year.

Tasks of the PhD candidate will include:

  • completion and defence of a PhD thesis within four years;

  • participation in meetings of the project research group;

  • presentations of intermediate research results at workshops and conferences;

  • participation in the training program of the Graduate School / Research School;

  • contribute to teaching courses in book history during the second and/or third year.

The successful applicant must have:

  • a completed (R)MA or MPhil degree in Book History, History, Indonesian Studies, or other relevant field in the Humanities, and have an interest in intellectual history;

  • a thorough command of Dutch and good working knowledge in English and Indonesian;

  • excellent research skills;

  • experience in archival research, and preferably also fieldwork, including oral history;

  • excellent academic writing and presentation skills.

This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and Euraxess