Three fulltime Assistant Professors in Comparative Literature at Utrecht University (1.0 FTE)

Hours per week: 
38 to 40
Faculty of Humanities
Departement Talen, Literatuur en Communicatie
Application deadline: 

Job description

The Department of Languages, Literature, and Communication is seeking to appoint three assistant professors in Comparative Literature, starting from the academic year 2022-2023. Utrecht University strives towards enhancing the diversity amongst its staff and students. We explicitly welcome applications from a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives.

With 70% teaching and 30% research time, the assistant professors will be involved in high-quality teaching in all related programmes (BA Literary Studies, BA Liberal Arts at University College Utrecht, MA Literature Today, and Research MA Comparative Literary Studies). Their research will be embedded in the Institute for Cultural Inquiry (ICON), and in one or more of the university's research hubs and strategic research themes (the Hub Gender and Diversity within the Strategic Theme Institutions for Open Societies, or the Strategic Theme Dynamics of Youth) or focus areas such as Game Research, Higher Education Research, or Migration and Societal Change. Research in Comparative Literature at Utrecht University ranges widely. It comprises postcoloniality and decoloniality, utopia studies, social activism and cultural memory, creativity and media studies, perpetrator studies, animal studies, experimental literature, life writing, (early modern) book history and cultures, history of science and of education, narratology and emotions in medieval literature, and classical rhetoric. Our research extends from literatures and cultures in Europe, the Anglophone and Francophone worlds to Asia and the Middle East.

The Comparative Literature section at Utrecht University is an international and dynamic, growing community of researchers and students. We operate with a broad understanding of the literary medium and value innovative, theoretical, interdisciplinary, and transcultural approaches to literature. Our BA in Literary Studies offers a module-package on literary history from Antiquity to the 21st century (European and global literatures); a module-package on literary theory and methodology; an advanced module-package on literature as a site of societal debate; and an advanced module-package on world literature and postcoloniality. Our multilingual (Dutch, French, German, Spanish, English) MA programme Literature Today focusses on literary criticism and the literary field (such as publishing in Europe). Our international, English-spoken, Research MA programme Comparative Literary Studies zooms in on literature as a cultural medium from a comparative, theoretical perspective in the modern and contemporary age. For years, our programs have rated very highly in the Dutch BA and R/MA Selection Guides. Staff in the Comparative Literature section co-operates closely with colleagues in the language sections of the department, both in teaching and research (Dutch, English, German, French, Celtic&Classics, Italian, Spanish).


Suitable candidates will have the following general qualifications and job-specific qualifications.
General qualifications:

  • a PhD in a relevant area (by the starting date);
  • high-quality training in the discipline as well as diverse and innovative perspectives on comparative literary studies;
  • excellent research skills;
  • relevant (international) publications;
  • ability and/or willingness to apply for grants in Dutch and European competitive schemes, preferably a track-record in grant writing;
  • openness to inter/multidisciplinarity in research and teaching (such as: environmental humanities, medical humanities, digital humanities);
  • (near) native fluency in English; knowledge of Dutch or readiness to acquire Dutch;
  • ability to teach in English and (in due course) in Dutch;
  • ability to develop and use student-centered, activating teaching strategies in both online and offline settings, aimed at fostering an independent, academic approach to learning in a diverse student population;
  • teaching experience, along with the basic teaching qualifications (BKO) or readiness to acquire these qualifications;
  • good communication skills;
  • flexibility.

Job-specific expertise and teaching experience in one or a combination of the following subject areas:

  • (Early)Modern and Contemporary Comparative Literature in multilingual perspective;
  • knowledge in the fields of our module-packages listed above (literary history; literary theory; literature as medium of social debate; the literary field; world literature; postcolonial studies; intermediality);
  • digital humanities (distant reading, electronic literature, critical digital studies);
  • knowledge of, but also experimental approach to genre (cf. hip-hop, drama, oral forms, sound and visual poetries, electronic literatures, graphic novels).

Utrecht University has a teaching qualification system for university lecturers, and candidates are required to obtain the Basic Teaching Qualification (BKO) within two years, if they are not already in possession of one.


This is an appointment of 1.0 FTE for the duration of 18 months. In case of good performance, employment will be made permanent. The minimum gross salary is € 3,807 and the maximum gross salary is € 5,922 (scale 11-12 of the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities) per month, at a full-time employment.

Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year. In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including an attractive retirement scheme, (partly paid) parental leave and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). More information about working at Utrecht University can be found here.

About the organisation

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.

The Faculty of Humanities has around 6,000 students and 900 staff members. It comprises four knowledge domains: Philosophy and Religious Studies, History and Art History, Media and Culture Studies, and Languages, Literature and Communication. With its research and education in these fields, the faculty aims to contribute to a better understanding of the Netherlands and Europe in a rapidly changing social and cultural context. The enthusiastic and committed colleagues and the excellent amenities in the historical city center of Utrecht, where the faculty is housed, contribute to an inspiring working environment.

The Department of Language, Literature and Communication offers Bachelor's and Master's programmes in Literary studies, Linguistics, Communication studies, Translation, as well as Dutch, English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and (uniquely in the Netherlands) Celtic languages.

Additional information

For more information about this position, please contact: prof. dr. Kiene Brillenburg Wurth, via or dr. Birgit Kaiser, via


Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. To apply, please send your curriculum vitae, including a letter of motivation via the ‘apply’ button below.

Applications should include:

  • a letter of motivation (1 A4 max);
  • a curriculum vitae including contact and personal details;
  • the contact details of two referees (names, affiliations and phone numbers or e-mail addresses).

Interviews with selected candidates will take place as of end of January 2022. Conducting a test seminar will constitute a part of the selection procedure.

Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated.

The application deadline is 12 December 2021.