Postdoc Computational Literary Studies at Huygens ING, Amsterdam, NL

The Humanities Cluster of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) is a collaboration between three research institutes: the Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands, the International Institute for Social History and the Meertens Institute for Ethnology and Linguistics. The institutes are committed to groundbreaking research in the humanities, in which innovative (digital) methods play an important role.

For the Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands we are looking for

a postdoc literary studies

(full time, 38 hr/w)

General description

The postdoc position is part of the project ‘ImpFic: The Impact of Fiction’. Within this project we investigate the impact fiction can have on readers. We use a large corpus of electronically available Dutch-language (original and translated) novels and a large collection of online book reviews. The aim of the project is to translate concepts of literary theory about how literature works into a computational form suitable for computational analysis of books and book reviews.

The postdoc we are looking for can operationalise literary concepts in terms of observable or measurable textual characteristics. He/she will also play an important role in annotating texts to prepare them for Machine Learning. For the computational analysis the postdoc will cooperate closely with an eSceince engineer based at the Netherlands eScience Center, and researchers in the Huygens Institute.

A project description is available on request.

Job requirements

The successful applicant must:

  • have a completed PhD in the field of (Dutch) literary studies;
  • must have a substantive publishing record;
  • have a strong cooperative attitude and willingness to engage in collaborative research;
  • have good knowledge (C1/C2) of Dutch or the willingness and ability to acquire that knowledge within a year;
  • be well-read in modern fiction;
  • have a strong interest in and ideally already experience with quantitative and computational approaches to literary questions.


The appointment at the KNAW for the benefit of the Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands concerns an employment contract of 1 fte for a period of one year with a view to an extension of another two years. Startdate is September 1st, 2021.

Terms of employment

Depending on relevant work experience, the gross monthly salary ranges between € 3.746,- and € 5.127,- based on a fulltime appointment (salary scale 11 CAO Dutch Universities). The salary is supplemented with an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus. The Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities is applicable.

KNAW offers an attractive pension scheme, 6 weeks of holiday per year, the possibility to buy or sell holiday leave, as well as career development opportunities.


You can send your application to the Personnel & Organisation department by e-mail: sollicitaties @ before May 25. The application consists of a motivation letter, a curriculum vitae, a publication list and where available links to digital projects that you have participated in, and/or a profile on GitHub or other public code repositories.

For more information about the vacancy and the project, please contact the project leader dr. Peter Boot (peter.boot @, and/or dr. Marijn Koolen (marijn.koolen @ and Joris van Zundert
(joris.van.zundert @

The Humanities Cluster is an equal opportunities employer, aiming for diversity in e.g. age, gender and cultural background. We especially welcome applications by candidates who can increase the Academy’s diversity.

Job Type: Full-time

Salary: €3,746.00 - €5,127.00 per month