Vacancy: PhD position Anchoring Innovation at VU University

PhD project, 4 years (1.0fte), starting date to be agreed, with a preference for 1 April 2019. Initially a contract will be given for 12 months, with an extension for the following 36 months on the basis of a positive evaluation.

From Gilgamesh to Gladiator: Anchoring Innovation in the Epic Tradition
(Anchoring Work Package 6, Reception of Antiquity)

€ 2,325 to € 2,972 gross per month (based on 38 hours a week)

Dr M.A.J. Heerink (VU), Prof. Dr I.J.F. de Jong (UvA)

VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Humanities

Job description:
The epic tradition comprises over 4,000 years, from the epic of Gilgamesh to the modern epic movie. This project deals with the reception of ancient epic poetry in the modern epic movie.

In classical antiquity, every epic poem is firmly anchored in literary tradition. Virgil’s Aeneid, for instance, is instantly recognizable as a Homeric epic. At the same time, every epic constitutes an innovation of that same tradition, as a result of a different kind of anchoring, i.e. in the political and/or religious context of production. The Aeneid, for instance, is a very Roman epic, dealing with the origins of the Roman people and the first emperor Augustus in particular.

Epic is more than poems composed in hexameters, however. The concept of Anchoring Innovation makes it possible to understand contemporary epic, i.e. the epic movie, as a continuation of the epic tradition. Although the medium (film) is different, epic movies are recognizable as such and are, just like their ancient predeccesors, firmly anchored in their ideological context. Examples are politically charged movies on classical antiquity such as Spartacus (1960), Gladiator (2000), Alexander (2004), Troy (2004) and 300 (2006), but also movies that only deal with the ancient world implicitly, such as the Star Wars cycle (1977-2017), Apocalypse Now (1979), Avatar (2009) and Inception (2010).

Candidates are invited to write a proposal on how they envisage a project on the way the modern epic movie is a continuation of (i.e. is anchored in) the ancient epic tradition, while at the same constituting an innovation of that same tradition, anchored in its ideological context.

More information about the Anchoring Innovation research agenda of OIKOS can be found on the OIKOS website (, including an article by Ineke Sluiter, entitled “Anchoring Innovation: a Classical Research Agenda”.

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(s)
  • Presentations of intermediate research results at workshops and conferences
  • Participation in the training programme of the Graduate School and Research School


  • A (R)MA or MPhil degree in Classics and/or Ancient Studies or in (with a demonstrable interest in Cultural or Media Studies), or in Cultural and/or Media Studies (with a demonstrable interest in Classics and/or Ancient Studies), held by time of appointment (if the degree is not yet obtained at the time of application, a statement by the applicant’s supervisor should confirm that it will be obtained by time of appointment)
  • Excellent research skills
  • A strong cooperative attitude and willingness to engage in collaborative research
  • Excellent command of English

Job application:

In order to be considered, applications must include the following information (in the same order), in one PDF file (not zipped):

  • Cover letter
  • CV, including contact information of two referees
  • Transcript of records
  • Research proposal of 1500 words. Excluded are the bibliography and (if appropriate) an appendix containing a list of sources (together max. two pages A4)
  • Copy of relevant diploma
  • If necessary (see requirements), statement by supervisor confirming that the applicant will hold the required degree at the time of appointment

Please submit your complete application to dr Roald Dijkstra, the coordinator of the Anchoring-programme via before 1 November 2018.

Interviews will take place in the week of 3 December. For candidates living abroad interviews may be held via Skype.

More information about this position may be obtained from Dr M.A.J. Heerink (


— for English, see below —


DE DEADLINE voor het ontvangen van aanmeldingen voor een ROSANNA Fonds Beurs komt eraan: 1 december 2018!

Het ROSANNA Fonds ondersteunt getalenteerde kansarme vrouwelijke studenten en onderzoekers bij hun carrière aan de Universiteit Utrecht. Het fonds biedt vrouwelijke studenten en onderzoekers financiële steun om hun academische ambities te verwezenlijken. Het ROSANNA Fonds zet zich in om hoger onderwijs toegankelijker te maken voor vrouwen, zodat een getalenteerde wetenschapster niet buiten de boot valt door een tekort aan financiële middelen.

Geïnteresseerd in een beurs? Het ROSANNA Fonds geeft kortlopende beurzen tussen de € 2.500 en € 5.000. Het toegekende bedrag hangt af van de financiële situatie van de kandidaat, de academische loopbaan, en haalbaarheid van de plannen. Een beurs van het ROSANNA Fonds kan per kandidaat verschillen, afhankelijk van de specifieke behoeften van de kandidaat.

Voor meer informatie, ga naar onze website, of stuur een email.

Interesse om donateur te worden? Klik hier.

Met vriendelijke groet, Prof. Rosi Braidotti en Prof. Anneke Smelik


The DEADLINE for the ROSANNA Fund Scholarship applications is coming up: December the 1st, 2018!

The ROSANNA Fund supports talented and disadvantaged women students and researchers who intend to build their careers at Utrecht University. The fund offers women students and researchers financial support to help them achieve academic success. The ROSANNA Fund wishes to make higher education more accessible to women, so that no female researcher has to be excluded because of limited financial means.

Interested in applying for a scholarship? The ROSANNA Fund offers short-term scholarships between € 2.500 and € 5.000. The awarded amount depends on the candidate’s financial situation, academic record, and feasibility of the plans. A ROSANNA Fund scholarship can differ for each candidate, depending on the specific needs of the candidate in question.

For more information, please visit our website or send an e-mail.

Interested in giving a donation? Please click here.

With best wishes, Prof. Rosi Braidotti and Prof. Anneke Smelik


Symposium: News Use in Everyday Life (University of Groningen)

Groningen Centre for Media and Journalism Studies
Friday June 29, 10-12h
Room: H1312-0012 (Harmoniegebouw, Oude Kijk in ‘t Jatstraat 26, Groningen)


Welcome by Marcel Broersma (University of Groningen)

Joëlle Swart (University of Groningen): Haven’t you heard? Connecting through news and journalism in everyday life

Kim Schrøder (Roskilde University): In pursuit of repertoires of news consumption. Analyzing how people use news media in everyday life

Chris Peters (Aalborg University Copenhagen): Beyond the Here and Now of News



The 2nd International Amsterdam Comics Conference: “Drawing Yourself In and Out of It”:

Call for Papers

“Drawing Yourself In and Out of It”: The 2nd International Amsterdam Comics Conference

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
15-17 November 2018

Amsterdam Comics is pleased to announce its 2nd international conference, “Drawing Yourself In and Out of It,” which will take place from 15-17 November 2018 at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Comprised of parallel panel sessions, keynote lectures, and a roundtable discussion, the conference aims to encourage interdisciplinary connections between comics scholars from various disciplines, comics artists, publishers, and cultural workers from museums and other heritage sites.

Keynote Speakers

  • Joe Sacco, comics artist
  • Nina Mickwitz, University of the Arts London

“So, where does a story begin? And if you are inside that story right now, in that situation and it hurts and say you can draw, then you must try and draw yourself out of it.”

-Miriam Katin, Letting It Go

To draw in can suggest an attraction, engagement, or involvement with an object, narrative, or cause, or can point to literally drawing someone or something into a work of art. To draw out can suggest an enticement to speak or act, a revelation of things hidden, or an extension of time, but can also be a literal or figural removal of one thing from another. Thus, drawing in and out speak to an engrossment in and an examination of a politics of affect.

“Drawing Yourself In and Out of It” seeks to explore the notions of drawing in and drawing out in terms of the capacity to affect and to be affected. Such a consideration allows us to interrelate the politics of affect with the reading and production of comics in a variety of genres—including biography, autobiography, memoir, and fiction, and fields—including journalism, history, and the Medical Humanities.

With this conference we aim to encourage an interdisciplinary dialogue from which to further engage with and reflect upon the power of this culturally shifting medium. We encourage papers exploring the notions of drawing in and/or out in relation to, for example:

  • Graphic Medicine
  • Art/Narrative Therapy
  • Journalism
  • (Micro)Politics and/or Art as Activism
  • Individual or Collective Memory and/or Trauma
  • Gender and/or Sexuality Studies
  • Genre Considerations (Biography, Autobiography, Memoir, Fiction, etc.)
  • Style (Abstract, Clear Line, Photorealism, etc.)
  • Poetics and/of/in the Medium of Comics
  • Comics Production Processes

Abstract Submissions

Applicants to the conference are invited to submit a 250 word abstract and short biographical note by 15 July 2018 to the organizers at Accepted participants will receive confirmation no later than 15 August 2018.

Conference Fees

Registration is €75 for full-time/tenured professionals and €50 for students/artists, which includes all conference events. The keynote lectures and roundtable are open to the public. Registration for each event is €10.

About Amsterdam Comics

Founded in 2014, Amsterdam Comics is an independent research consortium that seeks to productively clash theory with practice through several strategies, both academic and public. To read more about our aims and projects, please visit

Organizing Committee

Erin La Cour, Rik Spanjers, Freija Camps, and Nick Burman (intern). Should you have any questions, please contact us at


CLUE+ Research Institute for Culture, Cognition, History, and Heritage and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Soapbox: Practices of Listening

Call for papers – ​Soapbox: Journal for Cultural Analysis​ 1.1 “Practices of Listening”

For the first issue of ​Soapbox​, a graduate journal for cultural analysis, we invite submissions that explore listening as a critical practice. With this topic, we aim to bring together accounts of listening as both a method and object of analysis, including everyday practices and new modes of research that articulate who or what can listen and who or what can be heard.

In an age characterised by overabundant information and a cacophony of voices, attention is increasingly a matter of selection inseparable from politics. Traditional structures that amplify dominant expressions are being contested by the rise of large-scale communication platforms, which complicates the distribution of heard voices. Listening critically, therefore, calls for an examination of the spaces – digital, urban, or discursive – in which the voices of minorities are either muted or amplified.

An attentiveness to the practices of listening also takes seriously the idea that epistemological agency is not limited to the human subject, but extends across biological, technical, and inorganic bodies. By listening to the polyphonic assemblage of humans and non-humans alike, this issue aims to politicise listening not only in the sense of interpersonal communication but also as a broader cultural logic that creates platforms for some and silences others.

We invite students, PhD candidates, and young researchers to submit proposals that discuss practices of listening directed towards, but not limited to, the following themes:

– Methodologies of cultural analysis: listening in/as analysis
– Listening as extending pedagogy beyond the privileged space of the classroom
– Zoopoetics and attentiveness to practices of listening of the non-human animal
– Listening to or with inorganic matter
– Listening and the primacy of language: signs and semiotics
– Contemporary protest voices
– Delistening to dominant voices in contemporary politics
– Listening as alternative to globalized, market-oriented educational discourse
– Prosthetic listening and listening technologies
– Decolonising practices of listening
– Listening and practices of care, able-bodiedness, and hearing loss
– Active or passive listening, listening as labour or consumption
– The body, synaesthesia, the sensory; audiovisual and tactile listening
– Listening to the dead: history, spectrality, occultism and hauntology

Please submit your abstract (max 300 words) to by June 4. The full papers (3000-5000 words) are due August 27. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

We also welcome submissions to our website, where a variety of styles and formats is encouraged. Please get in touch to pitch new ideas or existing projects for us to feature there.