PhD Tourism Literature and Travel Writing in Contemporary Spain
KU Leuven French, Italian and Spanish Literature research group, Leuven

Phd Tourism Literature And Travel Writing In Contemporary Spain



Are you interested in doing a PhD on literature, travel and tourism in contemporary Spain?

The University of Leuven (one of continental Europe’s top 5 universities in the Arts and Humanities) is looking for a PhD candidate on this subject.


The Hispanic Literatures and Cultures group ( clusters all research in the field of Hispanic literatures, film and digital culture at KU Leuven. Particular research interests are: the transnationality of Hispanic cultures, specific genres such as the essay and the road movie, space and mobility, memory studies and the study of tourism. The members of the HLC group all belong to the department of Literary and Cultural Studies.

This project implies a collaboration between the KU Leuven HLC group and ViDi (Visual and Digital Cultures Research Center) of the University of Antwerp, which studies a wide range of media (film, television, print, internet) and media aspects (production processes, representational issues, context of use) using a variety of specialised methods (textual analysis, audience research, visual ethnography, visual data production).

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The PhD project "Tourism literature and travel writing in contemporary Spain" is part of a larger project entitled "Traveling words and images". Funded by the Flemish Fund for Scientific Research (FWO) and supervised by Nadia Lie, Dagmar Vandebosch and Paolo S.H. Favero, this project focuses on the impact of tourism on contemporary fiction and non-fiction in the Hispanic world. While both Spain and Latin America can boast a long tradition of travel writing, the recent impact of tourism in these fields has gone largely unnoticed. This absence may depend upon the persisting prejudices concerning tourism as a superficial, mass-consumption driven and hence inferior practice compared to traveling. The project remedies this gap by focusing on tourism imaginaries of both fictional and non-fictional nature in literature and film. It also aims to provide an interdisciplinary approach to this cultural production by collaborating with a cultural anthropologist specialized in tourism. Questioning the extent to which travel writing can actually be considered dead, this project interrogates whether tourism can be blamed for this. While the research project as a whole examines both film, literature and digital culture in three key-research areas (Spain, Cuba, and the Southern Cone), the PhD project will focus exclusively on fictional and non-fictional discourses on tourism and travel in contemporary Spain.


- You hold a MA in Literary Studies, Philology or another MA degree in which you have acquired strong skills in literary and/or discourse analysis.

- You have a solid background regarding the literature and culture of Spain.

- You have an excellent command of Spanish and English.

- You have a passion for literature and other (including digital) forms of culture and you are interested in learning more about tourism and mobility.

- You are willing to become an excellent scholar, to complete a PhD dissertation within four years and to disseminate your research through conferences, publications and social media.

- You are a team-player but are also able to work in a more independent manner under supervision.

- You will work at KU Leuven and are free to choose between Leuven or Kortrijk as main campus, traveling between Leuven, Kortrijk and Antwerp when required.

- You are happy to take on duties of academic service (web-site maintenance, literature-related teaching assistance) up to an average of 20% at Leuven campus.

- The capacity to dialogue with other disciplines and research methods (anthropology, sociology, ethnography, visual and digital culture) is an asset.




We offer a full-time one-year scholarship (doctoraatsbursaal) that is renewable up to 48 months and is to lead to a doctoral degree in Literary Studies at KU Leuven, co-supervised by the Antwerp partner. A limited budget for research-related expenses will be available. The scholarship will start on 1 October 2019.


Upload the following information:

- CV

- a short motivation letter (max. 1 page)

- one reference letter

- one proof of your writing and research skills (paper, article or thesis of which you are the single author) in the areas addressed by the project

- evidence of language knowledge

- a preliminary sketch of how you would lay out the PhD research. This sketch must be 2 pages long and as concrete as possible (including a concrete topic to be proposed within the general frame-work).


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Nadia Lie, tel.: +32 16 32 55 65, mail: or Prof. dr. Dagmar Vandebosch, tel.: +32 56 24 60 46, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than June 24, 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 relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Educaloxy


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