Ghent University (UGent) and Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium
PhD positions in the field of gender, culture & migration
Deadline for application: 1 May 2015
Ghent University (UGent) and Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) are offering two vacancies for doctoral research within the framework of the FWO (Fund for Scientific Research Flanders) research project 'Harmful Cultural Practices: A critical analysis of cross-cultural discourses and moral understandings of gender, sexuality and embodiment'.
Both researchers will work closely together under the joint supervision of Prof. Dr. Gily Coene (VUB) and Prof. Dr. Chia Longman (UGent). One researcher will be based at the Centre for Research on Culture and Gender at UGent, the other will be based at Rhea, Centre of Expertise in Gender, Diversity and Intersectionality at VUB.
The concept of ‘harmful cultural practices’ is increasingly used in development and human rights discourse to refer to practices such as female genital cutting, honour related violence or forced marriages. The aim of this project is:
• to critically question the analytical viability and the strategic potential of the notion of harmful cultural practices;
• to gain a better insight into the way in which women in a migration context experience and negotiate moral and cultural understandings concerning gender, sexuality and embodiment, and
• to develop an alternative framework that incorporates different cultural perspectives and epistemologies and that allows to question, explain and challenge gender inequalities and discriminatory practices.
The project is situated at the crossroads of ethics and anthropology and draws on theoretical insights from feminist ethics and epistemology, the anthropology of moralities and contemporary theories of religion and secularism. It involves a conceptual and empirical inquiry applying discourse, narrative and intersectional analysis. The project includes different case studies on moral and cultural understandings of gender, sexuality and embodiment in a migration context in Belgium.
• have a master degree in the social sciences or humanities, such as gender studies, cultural sciences, anthropology or ethics and philosophy.
• have a clear interest in gender analysis, critical theory and qualitative research.
• have excellent qualifications at undergraduate and masters level.
• have a high level of proficiency in spoken and written English and language capabilities in one or more languages spoken in the area under study to enable them to undertake the necessary field research (e.g., Dutch, French, Turkish, Arabic …)
• are prepared to work in Belgium (Ghent or Brussels).
• are prepared to travel abroad on a regular basis.
• Write and complete a PhD dissertation and submit articles to refereed journals or edited volumes in collaboration with supervisors.
• Participate in and co-organize conferences, workshops, seminars and other scholarly activities of the two research centers and elsewhere.
• Assistance in teaching and administration (contingent upon availability).
• A full time position as a pre-doctoral researcher for four years, starting in September or October 2015.
• Support for methodological training and for participating in various national and international conferences.
• A dynamic research context, with teams that are well embedded in national and international networks.
How to apply
Please submit applications before 1 May 2015 including the following documents:
• Cover letter outlining your academic interests, research experience and motivation (max 400 words);
• A preliminary proposal including research questions, theoretical approaches and methodologies, and most important literature (maximum 1000 words);
• Names and contact details of two references;
• Two writing samples (thesis and/or essay or and/or article) that provide evidence of research on gender and diversity and/or ability to theorize;
• Documents that can prove excellent qualifications at undergraduate and masters level.
Please submit your application in paper copy by 1 May 2015 (stamp date) with the reference ‘PhD Application HCP’ stated on the envelope to:
Prof. Dr. Gily Coene
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Dept. Philosophy and Ethics
Prof. Dr. Chia Longman
Dept. of Languages and Cultures
Further information on the vacancies:
Prof. Dr. Gily Coene, Tel. +32 (0)2 629 26 64, firstname.lastname@example.org
Prof. Chia Longman, Tel. +32 (0)9 264 38 18, email@example.com
By the end of May, you will be informed about the outcome of the first selection. If positive, you will be invited for an interview. The interviews take place in June in Ghent or Brussels. By the end of June you will be informed about the outcome of the selection procedure.