Three full-time doctoral candidates in the fields of history, digital humanities, childrens literature studies and/or visual criticism
University of Antwerp

Three full-time doctoral candidates in the fields of history, digital humanities, childrens literature studies and/or visual criticism

Belgium 07 Jun 2021


University of Antwerp
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State University
Host Country
07 Jun 2021
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Department: Department of History
Regime Full-time

Let’s shape the future - University of Antwerp

The University of Antwerp is a dynamic, forward-thinking, European university. We offer an innovative academic education to more than 20 000 students, conduct pioneering scientific research and play an important service-providing role in society. We are one of the largest, most international and most innovative employers in the region. With more than 6000 employees from 100 different countries, we are helping to build tomorrow's world every day. Through top scientific research, we push back boundaries and set a course for the future – a future that you can help to shape.

The Departments of History, Literature and Philosophy in the Faculty of the Arts are looking for

three full-time (100%) doctoral candidates in the fields of history, digital humanities, children’s literature studies and/or visual criticism

The three PhD candidates will collaborate in an interdisciplinary GOA project called “Understanding Ideological Bias through Data-Driven Methods”. Ideological bias concerning age, gender, ethnicity and social class is one of the most important ethical concerns in contemporary society. From racism in social media, over sexism in advertising, to ageism and class prejudice in societal governance: all human interaction is structured by bias on explicit and implicit levels. Recent studies have demonstrated that novel machine learning methods (from A.I.) not only capture but amplify the ideological biases in the data they are trained on. The current project aims to strategically turn this undesirable property to our advantage. By analyzing a large corpora of historical data (c.1800-c. 1940) through state-of-the-art digital humanities methods, we aim to elicit implicit patterns and trends relating to ideological bias and confront these with received knowledge. By being embedded in recent cognitive studies, the project will be able to make claims on how implicit bias functioned in the past, understanding better what people thought and how such thinking structured behavioral interactions with their surrounding world.

Recent cognitive studies make clear how ideological biases largely result from processes of social learning. To study the construction and dissemination of ideological bias through history we put forth three work packages (WP) in crucial areas of social control: education (children's literature), mass communication (magic lantern slides and performances), and regulation (police reports). We offer a PhD position for each of these three work packages respectively. The PhD students will be supported by two supervisors and a postdoctoral researcher with expertise in Digital Humanities.

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The University of Antwerp received the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award for its HR policy. We are a sustainable, family-friendly organisation which invests in its employees’ growth. We encourage diversity and attach great importance to an inclusive working environment and equal opportunities, regardless of gender identity, disability, race, ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age. We encourage people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse characteristics to apply.

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