Research Position in Literature
Catholic University of Leuven Department of Literature

Your research finds a home at the University of Leuven’s English Literature Research Group, which is part of the Literature Department, a vibrant, multilingual, and international community of researchers working on a variety of projects in modern and contemporary literature. The department provides all opportunities for collaborative work and for developing a broad range of professional skills. The University of Leuven is one of continental Europe’s top-5 universities in the Arts and Humanities. Located in a historic city in the heart of Belgium, the university is situated 20 minutes from Brussels and less than two hours from Paris, London and Amsterdam.


We offer a fully-funded research position for research on the posthumous career of James Baldwin. In the twenty-first century, Baldwin’s reputation has been on the rise, not only as a key African American writer, but also as a literary celebrity, an exemplary transnational figure, a queer icon, an inspiration for writers, filmmakers, and activists, as well as a touchstone for ethical and political reflection. This project capitalizes on the multifariousness of Baldwin’s oeuvre and posthumous reputation to enrich our understanding of the dynamics of contemporary world literature. The project will allow you to carve out your own research trajectory across the anthologies, film festivals, theater performances, tourist guides, and literary texts through which Baldwin’s multifaceted world literary reputation has been taking shape. You collaborate with the project supervisor, Prof. Pieter Vermeulen, to mobilize your insights about Baldwin’s posthumous career for an innovative understanding of the dynamics of the world literary field.


  •  You are deeply fascinated by literature and its relation to other social and cultural domains 
  •  You want to become an outstanding scholar
  •  You have demonstrable research skills in the field of literary and/or cultural analysis
  •  You possess outstanding English reading and writing skills
  •  You are willing to make research trips to several European and US destinations for the project, and to communicate on your research at conferences, through publications, and on social media
  •  You hold a Master’s degree or an equivalent qualification in literary or cultural studies or a related field


  •  A one-year scholarship that, in case of a positive evaluation, will be renewed for three more years (1+3)
  •  A net month salary of about 2000 euros and an attractive range of benefits
  •  A budget for research-related travel  
  •  An exciting international research context where you can develop your professional and research skills, including a doctoral training program
  •  Collaborations with a range of leading international scholars who support the project


For questions about the position and the full project outline, please get in touch with Prof. Pieter Vermeulen (; +32 16 37 69 76). The starting date for the position is 1 October 2020 or as soon as possible after that. Please apply through the online application tool with a cv, including a detailed list of course marks/grades of bachelor and master studies; a letter of motivation stating your qualifications and reasons for interest in the position; one writing sample (published article, MA thesis, ...); and the contact information of two referees (including information on relationship with the applicant). Selected candidates will be interviewed before mid-August. 

You can apply for this job no later than July 15, 2020 via the
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
  • Employment percentage: Voltijds
  • Location: Leuven
  • Apply before: July 15, 2020
  • Tags: Taalkunde / Letterkunde

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