Doctoral Fellowship in Early Modern History: The Dutch Revolt
KU Leuven, Early Modern History (15th-18th Centuries)




The Leuven Research Unit Early Modern History epitomises a driven and empirical approach to research. Its members foster an interest in an extended range of topics, but particular attention is given to the study of the Low Countries (and its surrounding regions) within their global context, from roughly the late fifteenth until the eighteenth century. Their research confronts the material on both the political and cultural level as well as examining socio-economic and religious implications, and is not limited to a sole method or theoretical approach. On the contrary, the researchers purposely strive toward a multi-disciplinary approach of the Early Modern city and state, based on thorough research of available sources. This breadth of interest and diversity permits staff to teach a plethora of methodological, theoretical and historical courses within the History program of KU Leuven. Moreover, members of our research unit are involved in various international research networks. Through this website, the Research Unit Early Modern History would like to reach a broader audience by informing on current research projects and activities. Check out our Twitter @EMHLeuven and Facebook as well!



"Rest in peace". The management of death and burial during the Dutch Revolt.

Burials were highly explosive matters in the sixteenth-century strife between Catholics andProtestants. When Catholics continued to insist on the sacrament of the LastAnointing, a funeral mass led by the priest and a burial in sacred ground, Protestantsrejected this ‘ritual industry’, and came to defend a sober ars moriendi and a plain burial indesignated though not sacred cemeteries. For the Holy Roman Empire, the BritishIsles and France, it has been extensively documented how burials thus inducedconfessional disputes and even religious violence, but strikingly sources in theearly modern Low Countries do not register similar outbursts in or aroundcemeteries. Hence, this research project examines this absence of outspokenreligious violence, by testing the hypothesis that it was eventually preventedthrough a remarkable management of death at different levels. This managementconsisted of the multi-level prescriptions of local, central and ecclesiasticalauthorities on the crucial rite depassage, as well as the engagement of local citizens with the manner inwhich burials could and should take place. Moreover, it argues that this top-downand bottom-up management of death led to the unforeseen outcome that at leastfrom 1576 onwards, regulation systematically included provisional pacificationmeasures for the ‘other’ confession, a procedure eventually surviving in theDutch Republic. The project thus aims to explain why the Low Countries were anexception to the rule, and why and how bereaved during the Dutch Revolt could rest in peace. 


We are looking for an additional doctoral student in this project, examining the impact of public and secret executions, both on royal and rebel side. Dra. Louise Deschryver examines the emotional and sensorial repertoires of death duing the Dutch Revolt within the  framework of this project. 



Master in history, with excellent study results 
You have experience in working with early modern historical sources, and you dispose of good paleographic skills
A good command of English, French and Dutch - you are not scared to read archival sources in (church) Latin, Middle French or Middle Dutch
You are prepared to carry out research abroad, eg. in Spain (Simancas)
You love communicating about your research, whether by (co-authored) articles, papers at international conferences, social media and education
You are creative and a team player (giving the team work behind the project's database and its members)




A doctoral fellowship (the initial contract is one year, extended when succesful)



For more information please contact Prof. dr. Violet Soen, tel.: +32 16 32 49 88, mail: or Mrs. Louise Deschryver, tel.: +32 16 37 42 67, mail:


Please add to your cv and cover letter, the following information:


- a diploma supplement listing the seperate results of your courses during both BA and MA.


- a pdf-version of your MA-thesis


- two names of referees who have supervised your earlier papers.


The interviews will take place on September, 20 in the Faculty of Arts, Erasmushuis.


Applicants will be asked to prepare a presentation according to the task set by the selection committee.


You can apply for this job no later than September 14, 2018 via the online application tool

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at

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