Research School for Economic and Social History


PhD candidate in South Asian History / History of Slavery (Leiden University) – deadline 3 October 2022

The Faculty of Humanities at Leiden University invites applications for a fulltime PhD position in South Asian History/History of Slavery. The PhD candidate will carry out research in the framework of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) funded project “Forgotten Lineages. Afterlives of Dutch Slavery in the Indian Ocean World” led by Prof.dr. Nira Wickramasinghe.

This project explores the paths through which generations of formally enslaved and their descendants gradually forgot their past of enslavement under Dutch and British imperial rule and became local subjects in Sri Lanka and South Africa. It explores why and how forgetting rather than memory became the basis of belonging and selfhood. Sri Lanka was a crucial node of Dutch slave trade activities in the Indian Ocean world connecting present-day South Africa, Mauritius, and Indonesia. “Forgotten Lineages” re-evaluates early waves of European slavery on the island, questions the role of slave ancestry in (re)fashioning communities in creolizing colonial suburbs and analyses the life courses of Sri Lankan enslaved and their descendants, displaced by imperial powers to Dutch and later British Cape Town from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries.

The PhD candidate will study a specified topic within the project focusing on a particular period. The PhD candidate will be based in Leiden where the cadndidate will join a research team that will consist of four members: two PhD candidates, one post-doctoral researcher, and the project leader. The candidate will participate in regular team meetings and present research findings at scholarly venues, as well as in field trips to Sri Lanka.

Applications should be submitted by 3 October 2022 via the dedicated application portal.

Full info and application