Research School for Economic and Social History


PhD position ‘Hidden Sustainability: Non-Western Perspectives for an Actionable Historiography’ (TU/e) – deadline 1 September 2024

The History Lab (Technology, Innovation & Society group, School of Innovation Sciences, TU/e) is looking for a PhD candidate who likes to combine studying cultures of making and maintaining in Asia and Africa, engagin◙3 with “sustainability” as a critical humanities scholar, and doing historical research while contributing to debates on pathways to more inclusive, sustainable futures.

The starting point for the PhD research is the idea that the Non-Western world offers a wealth of long-established practices that are based on the efficient and sustainable use of resources. The PhD candidate will contribute to this emerging debate with an own case study, as long as it, first, includes dedicated historical research as a major component and, second, puts its geographical focus on Africa or Asia (multi-sited research is possible). The PhD project will investigate how highly adapted, resource-efficient practices have evolved and transformed over time.

This PhD project will critically engage with the concept of “sustainability”– a term that is problematic as an analytical concept in the humanities, but also allows to connect research to key societal debates of today. The PhD will also explore how historical knowledge can become actionable for the development of more inclusive sustainable future imaginaries. Next to the research, resulting in a PhD thesis, the candidate will be teaching in courses taught by the Technology, Innovation and Society group (~15% of the time).

Applications should be submitted ultimately 1 September 2024.