Postdoc Position in Early Modern Chinese and East Asian History

Catholic University of Leuven Group of Humanities


At the Group of Humanities, Faculty of Arts of KU Leuven, there is currently a vacancy for a 4.5-year 50%-Postdoc position, starting on October 1, 2020, as part of the ERC AdG TRANSPACIFIC (The Structure and Impact of Trans-Pacific Trade, 16th to 18th Centuries: The Manila Galleon Trade Beyond Silver and Silks).


Research in the field of early modern Chinese and East Asian socio-economic and intellectual history. The successful candidate has to focus on the examination of changing and varying concepts and perceptions, over time, of Chinese local elites, intellectuals, and officials towards trans-Pacific trade, the investigation of informal trading networks in (South-)East Asia, and the analysis of the cultural-intellectual and socio-economic impacts of this new global connection on local societies in China (especially in Fujian, but also Guangdong), focusing on contraband trade and ‘piracy’.

Research includes the investigation of Chinese documents from Ryūkyū, Taiwan, and, where necessary, Satsuma and may include documents in Manchu. In absence of own Manchu skills, other project members and external expertise can be consulted.

Further duties: Contribution to the project database, publication of articles and chapters in peer-reviewed journals and books, and active participation in the team’s international activities.


PhD degree in Chinese Studies, with a focus on history. In addition, an excellent command of modern and traditional Chinese and English, and elementary knowledge in Dutch, Spanish, and/or French is required. Basic knowledge of Manchu and Japanese would be desirable but are not a must. Experience in working with excel and data collection is desired.

The successful candidate should be open for new methodological approaches including the combination of textual, cartographic, visual, and archaeological sources, possesses the required language skills and shows capacity for teamwork to contribute to the ERC project. Working languages will be English and Dutch.

Applications, including cv, publication list, 2 reference letters, and a brief research plan (½ to 1 page) in which the applicant introduces his/her research and demonstrates how he/she plans to contribute to the project, should be sent electronically to Deadline is June 6, 2020.


A 4.5-year 50%-Postdoc position, starting on October 1, 2020


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Angela Schottenhammer, tel.: +49 8051 640 27 22; +32 16 33 06 33, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than June 06, 2020 via the
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  • Employment percentage: Deeltijds
  • Location: Leuven
  • Apply before: June 6, 2020
  • Tags: Geschiedenis

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