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PhD Fellowships in Anthropology
University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Scholarship / Financial aid: €2,083 in the first year and €2,664 in the fourth year

Date: 4 years

Deadline: 1 July 2014

Open to: applicants with a MA degree in anthropology or closely related discipline

Announcement follows

The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG) is the largest social-science educational and research institution in the Netherlands. The Faculty serves around 9,000 students in numerous Bachelor's and Master's programmes in Political Science, Sociology, Anthropology, Communication Science, Psychology, Social Geography, International Development Studies and Educational Sciences. The academic staff is employed in education as well as research. There are over 1,200 employees at the Faculty, located in a number of buildings in the centre of Amsterdam.

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology is one of the Departments in the FMG. Research and education are carried out by special institutes. Research takes place under the aegis of the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR), a multidisciplinary research institute, the biggest one of its kind in the Netherlands and possibly in Europe. The broad scope and pluralism of our education and research programmes are inspired by and reflect a strong degree of internationalisation.

The AISSR and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam are looking for PhD candidates who will participate in the ERC-funded research project ‘Problematizing “Muslim Marriages”: Ambiguities and Contestations’, directed by Prof. Dr. Annelies Moors.

Project description

This ethnographic project employs the term ‘Muslim marriages’ in a broad sense, as it emerges in public debate and as a form of marriage practice that at least one of the parties concerned considers Islamically valid. It investigates both when and how particular marriage forms have become subject to public debate and what kinds of new (or new uses of old) marriage forms and wedding celebrations are emerging in everyday life. Depending on context, this includes, for instance, unregistered, visiting, temporary, interreligious, transnational, and polygamous marriages. Who are participating in these marriage forms, and how are they performed? Who are able to shape these new forms? How and by whom are such marriages authenticated, authorized or contested as Muslim marriages? Under which conditions do particular forms of Muslim marriages emerge and become licit while other forms become devalued and marginalized? The wider question this project addresses is what economic, political, religious and cultural work these new Muslim marriages do. What subjectivities and socialities do they produce? How do they shape economic relations, group boundaries, religious ethics, and cultural forms? Theoretically, this project intends to contribute to fields such as: Islam, public debate, legal practices, and everyday life; globalization, marriage and reproduction; the family, economy, and intimacy; the body, gender, and sexuality; religion, ethics and aesthetics.

PhD candidates will be based in Amsterdam at the AISSR and will conduct longer term ethnographic fieldwork, preferably in Indonesia, Lebanon, Morocco, the Gulf States and the Balkans. Candidates with strong arguments to do fieldwork elsewhere may also apply.


_Conduct ethnographic field research;
_Write and complete a PhD dissertation within four years and submit articles to refereed journals or edited volumes;
_Collaborate with supervisors and peers on research and publications;
_Participate in conferences, workshops, seminars and other scholarly activities;
_Participate in the AISSR PhD programme;
_10% teaching (contingent upon availability).


Phd Candidates should have the following credentials:

_A completed MA degree in anthropology or closely related discipline (such as Muslim family law);
_Relevant ethnographic fieldwork experience, ideally in the fieldwork locations and/or related to the research themes;
_Knowledge of current theoretical and societal debates on ‘Muslim marriages’;
_Excellent written and spoken English and knowledge of the language(s) needed for fieldwork;
_Ability and interest to work collegially with the other members of the research team.


The full-time appointments will be for a period of four years (12 months plus a further 36 months contingent on a satisfactory performance during the first year), starting 1 September 2014.

The gross monthly salary will be €2,083 in the first year and €2,664 in the fourth year,
based on a full-time position of 38 hours per week, plus 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% end-of- year allowance, in conformity with the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities.

A part-time position may be discussed, but the PhD thesis needs to be completed before 1/9/2018.

Job application

Applications must include, in a single PDF file:

_A motivation letter (maximum 400 words);
_A preliminary proposal including research questions, research location, theoretical approaches and methodologies, and most important literature (maximum 1,000 words);
_A full curriculum vitae;
_Names and contact details of three references;
_In a separate PDF file: two writing samples (thesis and/or essay or and/or article) which provide evidence of ethnographic fieldwork experience and ability to theorize.

All correspondence will be in English. Applications must be sent as attachments before 1 July 2014. The subject of the message and the attachment must consist of the text “MUSMAR + applicant's last name”, the file with the writing samples needs to have ‘sample’ added to the last name.


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