PhD Researcher in Comparative Literature

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
March 31, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:fixed-term doctoral
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A
PhD Researcher in Comparative Literature

(ref. BAP-2023-98)

Last modification : Tuesday, February 28, 2023

As part of the research project COLLAB, led by Núria Codina, the University of Leuven is recruiting a full-time, fixed-term doctoral researcher for 4 years in the area of Comparative Literature. The position is funded by a European Research Council Starting Grant and is available from 1 September 2023.

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The doctoral researcher will work on the analysis of literary texts written collaboratively by migrants and other authors with different linguistic and cultural backgrounds, with a particular focus on single-authored texts that emerge from encounters with migrants and give voice to their stories, reflecting critically on the act of mediation. Challenging strict distinctions between text and context, the researcher will analyze how the power asymmetries that shape the production of the texts (legal status, geographical location of the authors, etc.) impact on their content and form. Through textual analyses and qualitative interviews, the doctoral dissertation aims to better understand the thematic and aesthetic features of collaborative writing in contexts of migration, the ways in which authors negotiate their linguistic and cultural differences and the textual mechanisms by which the process of retelling and translation is made explicit. The research will center around the genres of the anthology and the short story collection, in which examples of literary mediation are particularly prominent.

The doctoral researcher will conduct innovative research at the intersection of world literature, migration studies, translation theory and authorship studies under the supervision of Núria Codina (KU Leuven). The researcher will be affiliated with the Research Group Translation and Intercultural Transfer at the Translation Studies Research Unit and will work in close collaboration with staff members from the Literary Studies and Translation Studies Research Units.


The doctoral researcher will be part of the research project “Making Migrant Voices Heard Through Literature: How Collaboration Is Changing the Cultural Field” (COLLAB). This five-year interdisciplinary project examines how collaboration expands the range of institutions involved in the making of a text, redefines notions of authorship and community and impinges on migrants' agency. COLLAB will consist of four team members from varied disciplines across the humanities and social sciences who will work under the supervision of Núria Codina. The project aims to promote collaboration as a tool for interdisciplinary research and stimulate open debates about possible challenges and best practices on how to conduct collaborative work in academia.


• You have completed (or are about to complete) a master's degree in the fields of Comparative Literature, Translation Studies or a related area

• You have excellent academic abilities and communication skills

• You are proficient in English and have strong multilingual skills (knowledge of multiple European languages and non-European languages are an asset)

• You are willing to work in Leuven and live in Belgium during the duration of the contract

• You are able to work independently and in a team


• We offer a fully funded, full-time doctoral position for the duration of 4 years. The initial contract will cover 1 year. After a positive evaluation, the contract can be extended for 1 year and subsequently for 2 more years. Scholarship and benefits are in accordance with the university salary scales for PhD students and highly competitive by international standards.

• You will be part of an international, dynamic team and work in a friendly and stimulating intellectual environment.

• You will work on an exciting, relevant and timely topic and benefit from guidance from experts in the fields of literary and translation studies.

• You will be given a work space and the resources to present at international conferences, to publish open access in international peer-reviewed journals, and to cover travel expenses for short research stays abroad.


Applications should consist of the following documents:

- a CV

- a letter of motivation stating the applicant's interest and suitability for the role

- a writing sample (e.g. published article, seminar paper, thesis chapter)

- a short proposal outlining a particular research question or topic that sparks your interest in the context of the job description and the COLLAB project (max. 500 words)

- the contact details of two referees

For more information on the project or the vacancy, please contact Núria Codina ([email protected])

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at [email protected].

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