Postdoc History and Theory of Architecture and Urbanism (1.0 FTE)

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University of Groningen

This postdoc is primarily a research position (although postdocs are expected to spend a maximum of 20% of their appointment on education). The candidate will:

  • collect historical, contemporary and analytical maps of the landscapes (including the settlement patterns, their use and their dynamics over time) of Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe
  • analyze these maps in terms of the information they contain, the purpose for which they were made, their origin and (cultural) setting, etc.
  • process these maps in order to integrate them in a digital map application, for which the Historical Map Archive (Tokyo Jisou Maps) is the principal example. The app should run on mobile phones and provide its users information on the landscape and the historical setting of the places they visit
  • provide assistance during the development and test phases of the app.

Apart from that, the candidate:

  • shares the concept underlying the work of the Section of History and Theory of Architecture and Urbanism, and sees knowledge of the past as crucial for the evolution of architecture and urbanism today
  • has in-depth knowledge of the architectural and urban history of Europe from the Middle Ages until the present time
  • knows the professional vocabulary of architecture and urbanism in English and Dutch, and knows the ways architecture and urbanism is represented (different types of drawings, maps, etc.), and has the skill to teach these issues (theoretically as well as on site)
  • knows how to link architectural and urban history to landscape history and art history, and is willing to teach classes in these sections
  • has the capacity to connect architectural and urban history to current practices (including, but not limited to, those of cultural heritage professionals, monument preservation offices, architectural firms, municipal planning offices, management professionals working in spatial planning and related fields)
  • is willing to work with professionals from other Departments and Faculties, notably the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies (which shares the responsibility for a joint minor program), the participants in the Expertise Center Architecture, Urbanism and Health: the Faculty of Spatial Sciences, and the University Medical Center of Groningen, and the Expertise Center Landscape History
  • knows, within this context, how to continue work in his/her own distinctive field
  • is prepared and qualified to contribute to the educational activities of the Section.


The Faculty of Arts is a large, dynamic faculty in the heart of the city of Groningen. It has more than 5,000 students and 700 staff members, who are working at the frontiers of knowledge every day. The Faculty offers a wide range of degree programs: 16 Bachelor’s programs and over 40 Master’s tracks. Our research, which is internationally widely acclaimed, covers the following fields: Archaeology, Cultural Studies, History, International Relations, Journalism, Language and Literary Studies, and Linguistics.

In combination with the chair groups of landscape history and art history, the chair group architectural and urban history forms the Department of History of Art, Architecture and Landscape, which is part of a Cluster that also accommodates the Departments of Arts, Culture and Media, and Media studies. The Department uniquely combines the history of the visual arts, urbanism, architectural history and landscapes, and examines the relationships between these domains. Within this setting, the Section of History and Theory of Architecture and Urbanism positions a classical, object-based approach as the basis for addressing contemporary issues, notably in cultural heritage and issues related to the health impacts of architecture, urbanism and public health; the chair group hosts the Expertise Center Architecture, Urbanism and Health, a joint venture of the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Spatial Sciences, and the University Medical Center of Groningen. The Section hosts the Abe Bonnema Chair on that has as its mission ‘a thorough analysis (…) regarding the position and spatial potential of the regional urban centres and their surrounding countryside outside of the polycentric conurbation of the Randstad, with a specific emphasis on Friesland and Groningen (…), focusing on design and research for spatial redevelopment and revitalisation strategies of these rural-urban territories.’ The chair is a joint venture of Groningen University and Delft University of Technoly; Prof. dr. Zef Hemel is the first to hold this position.

The Section History and Theory of Architecture and Urbanism is hiring a postdoc who will be affiliated with the Abe Bonnemachair.

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

  • a starting salary depending on qualifications and work experience between € 2,960 and € 3,974 (salary scale 10.0 to 10.7) for a full-time position
  • in addition, the university offers an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% year-end bonus
  • a temporary full-time appointment for a period of 24 months.

Starting date preferably 1 September 2023 or as soon as possible.

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