Doctoral Grant (BOF) in Medieval History
University of Antwerp, Faculty of Arts

Doctoral Grant (BOF), Medieval History


The Faculty of Arts is seeking to fill a full-time (100%) vacancy in the Department of History for a


Doctoral Grant by the University Research Fund (BOF) in the area of Medieval History


“Tell me about your East”. Noble European travel narratives and the representation of the Islamic World in the late Middle Ages.



Lands of marvels and wonders, lands of spices and treasures, the East has always fascinated medieval minds. The accounts left by Marco Polo or other Western travelers have greatly contributed to those Eastern constructions and myths. But along this fascination, the East also often appears as threatening: it is the land of Islam, the land of the enemy. A binary vision of the Other — religious or barbaric other — was thus the result. The milieu of clerics and intellectuals has always been given a prime role in the medieval othering process of Islam, yet this to the detriment of other groups. Indeed, many people, usually travelers, have also described their own experience and encounters with the East; contributing in this way to the understanding of West-East/Christian-Muslim relations. If antagonistic representations remain important in these narratives, other elements also appear. The development and construction of these representations is however not properly studied yet. It is therefore important to add these travel accounts — and the tradition to which they belong— to the more theoretical consideration of intellectuals and clerics. Among these travelers, the case of the late medieval nobility is particularly interesting. Indeed, those men, who were close to the power, have produced a whole range of literature informing us of their travels to the East and encounters with Islam. Because of their leading role in society — not in the least their military identity and their involvement in new crusading ideas — their narratives may have had a deeper impact on the way that Europe came to terms with the Islamic Other. The project proposes to investigate travel accounts by late medieval nobles in three distinct political constellations, and to analyze their potential impact on later developments of European discourse on Islam.


Job description

  • You prepare a doctoral thesis in the field of Medieval History.

  • You publish scientific articles related to the research project of the assignment.

  • You contribute to teaching and research in department of History.


Profile and requirements

  • You hold a master degree in History.

  • You can submit outstanding academic results.

  • Students in the final year of their degree can also apply.

  • Foreign candidates are encouraged to apply.

  • Your academic qualities comply with the requirements stipulated in the university’s policy.

  • You are quality-oriented, conscientious, creative and cooperative.

  • Desirable competences and skills : knowledge of Dutch, German and French.


We offer

  • a doctoral scholarship for a period of two years, with the possibility of renewal for a further two-year period after positive evaluation;

  • the start date of the scholarship will be between October 1st 2019 and October 1st2020;

  • a gross monthly grant ranging from € 2.373,36 to € 2.516,73;

  • a dynamic and stimulating work environment.


How to apply?

  • Applications may only be submitted online, until the closing date August 11th 2019 and should include a copy of your CV and a cover letter.

  • A pre-selection will be made from amongst the submitted applications. The remainder of the selection procedure is specific to the position and will be determined by the selection panel.

  • The interviews of the candidates, preselected by a selection panel, will take place between August 20th and September 12th 2019.

  • More information about the online application form can be obtained from

  • For questions about the profile and the description of duties, please contact Prof. Malika Dekkiche (


The University of Antwerp is a family friendly organization, with a focus on equal opportunities and diversity. Our HR-policy for researchers was awarded by the European Commission with the quality label HR Excellence in research.


We support the Science4Refugees initiative and encourage asylum-seeking, refugee scientists and researchers to apply for a job at the University of Antwerp.

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