PhD in French Literature
University of Leuven French, Italian and Spanish Literature, Leuven



Doctoral Fellowship (4 years) - La Fabrique des pays. Collections of phototextual country portraits (1945-1980) - 20th century French literature, University of Louvain (KU Leuven).



The purpose of this full-time position is to complete a doctoral thesis that will be part of the La Fabrique des pays research project. Collections of phototextual country portraits (1945-1980). This project, led by David Martens in collaboration with Jean-Pierre Montier (Rennes 2 University), François Vallotton (University of Lausanne) and Galia Yanoshevsky (Bar-Ilan University), is funded by the FWO (Flemish Scientific Research Fund). : It is part of the research of the MDRN group ( of the University of Louvain (KU Leuven), in particular the Literary Knowledge project ( -knowledge-1890-1950-Modernisms-and-science-europe).

This research project consists of analyzing, on a historical and theoretical level, a series of collections of "country portraits" made up of books combining texts and images: "Les Beaux Pays" (Rey then Arthaud, Grenoble and Paris, 1924-1975) , "Countries and Cities of Art" (Nathan, Paris, 1947-1972), "Escales du monde" (Les Documents d'art, Monaco, 1951-1952), works of this type published in La Guilde du Livre sans to be integrated into a collection (Lausanne, 1950-1977), the "Albums des Guides bleus" (Hachette, Paris, 1954-1965), "Little Planet" (Le Seuil, 1954-1981), "Espaces" (La Baconnière, Neuchâtel, 1957-1960), "What I like ..." (Sun, Paris, 1960-1980) and "The Atlas of Voyages" (Meeting, Lausanne, 1962-1969).The project focuses on the study of the functions of these series of works in the context of the emergence of mass tourism and the democratization of access to culture and knowledge, especially after the Second World War.
On a historical level, this project aims to study the history of these collections in their relations with the overall literary and cultural context of the period. These collections offer a particular format, combining texts and photographs. They appear as a specific ecosystem within the editorial world of this period. On a theoretical level, it is a question of studying the way these volumes are elaborated, not only in terms of the interaction between the different actors (authors - writers and photographers -, publisher ...), but also at the level of representations involved and the material and communicative parameters that make up these works.
The candidate may receive teaching or administrative responsibilities related to the collective research projects in which his / her thesis will be written and / or as part of the activities of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Louvain (KU Leuven).


We are looking for a particularly motivated candidate with a keen interest in research related to twentieth-century literature, the relationship between texts and photographs, and the history of publishing. Candidates must have obtained a Master's degree (or equivalent) in Literary Studies or Languages and Literatures. Their training should have given a central place to French literature of the twentieth century. Knowledge in speech analysis, visual studies, and / or book history will be important assets in obtaining the mandate.
Students in their last year of Master's degree interested in this research project are also invited to submit their application.
A perfect knowledge of French is essential. A good knowledge of English and / or Dutch will be welcome.
Candidates should be particularly keen to work as a team, as they will actively collaborate with other members of the MDRN group and the project's international partners.


The candidate will have to carry out a doctoral thesis on the collection "Little planet" (Editions du Seuil). This thesis will be carried out at the University of Louvain (KU Leuven). The thesis will be jointly supervised by David Martens (KU Leuven - MDRN) and Jean-Pierre Montier (Rennes 2 University). The research will aim to study the specifics of the "Little Planet" collection in the system of collections of this type by making history and proposing an analysis of the particular way in which the designers of these works develop these books, on the plans textual and iconographic. The research will also be based on an in-depth examination of the editorial archives of the collection, kept at the IMEC (Memory Institute of Contemporary Publishing:



Further information on this research project can be obtained by e-mail (contact:

The deadline for submission of applications is 1 October 2019. The term of office will begin on 1 January 2020.

This file should include a cover letter, a detailed CV, and a digital copy of the Master's thesis (or possibly a written work of at least ten pages).

You can apply for this job no later than October 01, 2019 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 regarding accessibility or support, please contact us at

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