Candidature – Doctorant “Kairós, or the Right Moment. Nachleben and Iconology”

Appel à candidature pour une bourse de doctorat en histoire de l’art à la KU Leuven dans le cadre du projet “Kairós, or the Right Moment. Nachleben and Iconology”

Date limite: 25 novembre 2017

Description de l’offre:

The Department of Art History of the KU Leuven (Belgium) invites applications for a full time 4-year PhD scholarship. The successful candidate will participate in the project ‘Kairós, or the Right Moment. Nachleben and Iconology’, funded by the Internal Funds of KU Leuven and supervised by prof. dr. Barbara Baert (KU Leuven) and dr. Han Lamers (KU Leuven / University of Oslo). See:


The Greek term kairós expresses a complex notion of ‘grasping the right moment’, which travelled through art, literature, and philosophy. Combining perspectives from classical reception studies and iconology, this research initiative deals with the reception of kairós in the visual medium from antiquity to the Renaissance. How was kairós visualized in ancient, medieval, and Renaissance art? And how did text and image work together to transform the idea of ‘grasping the right moment’ in various contexts? Topics of interest dealt with by current members of the research team include the biblical, theological, and liturgical interpretations of kairós and their relevance to the visual arts; the role of kairós in early medieval art and in Annunciation scenes; kairós as pseudomorphosis, etc. The research team will gather and analyze the largely disconnected ‘textual’ and ‘visual’ research traditions in order to explore, more systematically than has been attempted before, the Nachleben of this motif in the visual realm. To achieve this, it will build an exhaustive database, or ‘Bilderatlas’, of visual representations of kairós.

The successful candidate will write a PhD thesis on an original topic of specialization which relates to project’s general research questions as explained above. S/he will be expected to finish her/his PhD within the time span of four years, to regularly present intermediate results at workshops and conferences, and to publish on the topic of specialization in international scholarly journals. As a member of the kairós research group, the successful candidate will also participate to all project meetings and contribute the project’s visual research database (‘Bilderatlas’).

Your profile

  • You hold an (R)MA or MPhil degree in one or more relevant fields, preferably including Art History
  • You have excellent research skills
  • You show an independent, cooperative, creative attitude
  • You have excellent command of English (both active and passive)
  • You have good reading skills in at least two additional foreign languages (preferably French, German, and/or Italian)
  • You show willingness to move to Flanders for the duration of the fellowship and participate in academic life at the KU Leuven campus
  • You are familiar with reference management software (Zotero) and asset management software (Cumulus) is a pre

Our offer

We offer you a full time salaried PhD position for four years and the chance to work in a challenging, international and interdisciplinary work environment. The initial contract has a duration of one year, and will be renewed after positive evaluation (max. 4 years).

Job applications

Interested candidates are warmly invited to submit the following information in one PDF-file (not zipped):

  1. letter of motivation / cover letter;
  2. curriculum vitae, with contact details of two referents;
  3. research proposal of max. 1500 words, explaining your research topic, method, and work plan, with specific emphasis on the ways in which visualisations of kairós were transformed from the Middle Ages onwards (special interest/expertise in the Renaissance and/or early modern context is particularly welcomed);
  4. academic transcript and certified overview of your study results (per year).

Please submit your complete application to Han Lamers via before 25 November 2017.

At a later stage, you may be asked for a pdf-version of your MA-thesis (if you have not yet finished your thesis, you are expected to include a chapter of your thesis with a copy of your BA thesis).