PhD Position in Southeast Asian Pop Music, Leiden University, Netherlands

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Within the NWO funded project ‘Articulating Modernity: the Making of Popular Music in 20th Century Southeast Asia and the Rise of New Audiences’.

This is a joint project with the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV) and the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation (NIOD). The project analyzes the interplay between the production of popular music, the articulation of modernity, and the emergence of new audiences, lifestyles and related processes of social differentiation in 20th century (pen)insular Southeast Asia. We focus on decisive historical junctures where technological innovation, human agency, the consumption of new musical styles and the rise of new audiences came together within particular Southeast Asian urban localities. Two senior researchers have been appointed within the project to study the jazz age (1920-1950s) and Islamic popular music in the digital era (1990s-2000s). There is one PhD position available.

The PhD project advertised covers the period from the 1950s to 1970s. The regional focus is on Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand or the Philippines. We ask candidates to focus on pioneering artists and producers and to explain their emergence within their particular urban context, the kind of audiences the artists addressed, the new genres they created and how their music was disseminated through live performances, vinyl records, audio cassettes and radio broadcasts.

Candidates are expected to have:

  • A MA , MPhil or MSc degree in the Social Sciences or Humanities with excellent results;
  • A good command of English (IELTS certificate of qualification 7,5) and proficiency in a Southeast Asian language;
  • Outstanding research qualities manifest in a high-quality MA thesis or equivalent;
  • Ability and willingness to carry out empirical research and spend extended periods abroad;
  • Keen interest in interdisciplinary research methods and approaches (anthropology, history, musicology) and the ability to work in a team.

Terms of employment
A successful applicant will be appointed as promovendus for a period of one year with an extension of three years after positive evaluation of capabilities and compatibility. The gross monthly salary will be in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities for academic personnel, and will range from 2.042, - per month in the first year, gradually rising to 2.612,- in the final year.

Applications should include:

  • A motivation letter;
  • Curriculum vitae;
  • Degree transcript of the highest degree obtained (or to be awarded this year), in the form of a transcript/grade- sheet from your university;
  • The MA thesis or other major writing sample;
  • Two reference letters;
  • A short research proposal (app. 2.000 words)

For further inquiries, and/or more extensive descriptions of project and subproject, please contact Dr. Bart Barendregt, (barendregt[at]

Applications, including reference number, must be received by May 10, 2010 and can be sent to vacature[at]

Upon receipt of your application we will send you confirmation by e-mail. If you have not received a confirmation within three days after you sent us your application by e-mail, phone us at +3171 527 3427.

Application deadline: May 10, 2010
Vacancy number: 10-038


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