We offer two vacancies for doctoral research within the framework of the FWO
(Fund for Scientific Research Flanders) research project “Harmful Cultural
Practices : A critical analysis of cross-cultural discourses and moral
understandings of gender, sexuality and embodiment”. Both researchers will
work closely together under the joint supervision of Prof. Dr. Gily Coene
(VUB) and Prof. Dr. Chia Longman (UGent).
One researcher will be based at the Centre for Research on Culture and
Gender at Ghent University (http://cici.ugent.be/)
One researcher will be based at Rhea, Centre of Expertise in Gender,
Diversity and Intersectionality, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
The concept of ‘harmful cultural practices’ is increasingly used in
development and human rights discourse to refer to practices such as female
genital cutting, honour related violence or forced marriages. The aim of
this project is (1) to critically question the analytical viability and the
strategic potential of the notion of harmful cultural practices ; (2) to gain
a better insight into the way in which women in a migration context
experience and negotiate moral and cultural understandings concerning
gender, sexuality and embodiment, and (3) to develop an alternative
framework that incorporates different cultural perspectives and
epistemologies and that allows to question, explain and challenge gender
inequalities and discriminatory practices.
The project is situated at the crossroads of ethics and anthropology and
draws on theoretical insights from feminist ethics and epistemology, the
anthropology of moralities and contemporary theories of religion and
secularism. It involves a conceptual and empirical inquiry applying
discourse, narrative and intersectional analysis. The project includes
different case studies on moral and cultural understandings of gender,
sexuality and embodiment in a migration context in Belgium.
Profile of the candidates :
· The candidates have a master degree in the social sciences or
humanities, such as gender studies, cultural sciences, anthropology or
ethics and philosophy.
· The candidates have a clear interest in gender analysis, critical
theory and qualitative research.
· The candidates have excellent qualifications at undergraduate and
· The candidates have a high level of proficiency in spoken and
written English and language capabilities in one or more languages spoken in
the area under study to enable them to undertake the necessary field
research (e.g., Dutch, French, Turkish, Arabic …)
· The candidates are prepared to work in Belgium (Ghent or Brussels).
· The candidates are prepared to travel abroad on a regular basis.
· Write and complete a PhD dissertation and submit articles to
refereed journals or edited volumes in collaboration with supervisors.
· Participate in and co-organize conferences, workshops, seminars and
other scholarly activities of the two research centers and elsewhere.
· Assistance in teaching and administration (contingent upon
We offer :
· A full time position as a pre-doctoral researcher for four years,
starting in September or October 2015.
· Support for methodological training and for participating in various
national and international conferences.
· A dynamic research context, with teams that are well embedded in
national and international networks.
How to apply :
Please submit applications before May 1st 2015 including the following
· Cover letter outlining your academic interests, research experience
and motivation (max 400 words) ;
· CV ;
· A preliminary proposal including research questions, theoretical
approaches and methodologies, and most important literature (maximum 1,000
· Names and contact details of two references ;
· Two writing samples (thesis and/or essay or and/or article) that
provide evidence of research on gender and diversity and/or ability to
· Documents that can prove excellent qualifications at undergraduate
and masters level.
These are to be sent by post to :
Please submit two applications in paper copy only by May 1st 2015 (stamp
date) with the reference ‘PhD Application HCP’ stated on the envelope to :
Prof. Dr. Gily Coene, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Dept. Philosophy and
Ethics, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels AND Prof. Dr. Chia Longman, Ghent
University, Dept. of Languages and Cultures, Rozier 44, B-9000 Gent.
Further information on the vacancies :
Prof. Dr. Gily Coene, Tel. +32 (0)2 629 26 64, firstname.lastname@example.org
Prof. Chia Longman, Tel. +32 (0)9 264 38 18, email@example.com
By the end of May, you will be informed about the outcome of the first
selection. If positive, you will be invited for an interview. The interviews
take place in June in Ghent or Brussels. By the end of June you will be
informed about the outcome of the selection procedure.