PhD Candidate: Apocalypticism in Contemporary Indigenous Literatures: Ways of Knowing the End of Times

Research / Academic

Today’s complex global questions require new scientific talents, whose fresh insights can shift the frontiers of research. As a PhD Candidate at Radboud University, you can become an expert in apocalypticism in contemporary Indigenous literatures. We’ll also offer you a stimulating environment that will help you to develop into a skilled academic.

We offer you the opportunity to develop and carry out your own PhD project within the areas of expertise of your supervisors: Dr Laura M. De Vos, Dr Chris Cusack, Prof. Marguérite Corporaal, and Dr Mathilde Roza. The project will be funded by a Starters Grant from the Faculty of Arts awarded to Dr Laura De Vos and Dr Chris Cusack.

The notion of apocalypse remains a central heuristic for making sense of crisis. Cataclysm, however, is not by definition an equaliser, as demonstrated by the inequitable impact of the climate emergency and epidemic disease, the enduring legacies of colonialism, and the often-localised manifestation of geopolitical conflict through war, displacement, and hunger. The project we invite you to propose will seek to highlight this by exploring the notion that one group’s (self-claimed) golden age might be another’s end times.

Indigenous peoples around the world have been decimated by the operations of (settler) colonialism, which reduced many populations by 90% or more and displaced or even erased entire cultures and languages. As a result of this ’settler apocalypse’, Lawrence Gross has suggested, many Indigenous communities suffer from ’Postapocalyptic Stress Syndrome’ (Gross 2014: 33). At the same time, the cultural memory of apocalypse can also figure as a productive instrument for exploring and defining identities.

For this project, you are invited to consider together fields such as Indigenous Studies, Environmental Humanities, Postcolonial Studies, Settler Colonial Studies, and American Studies, through literary studies methods. Your project will focus on authors from the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and/or Australia, for instance Louise Erdrich, Waubgeshig Rice, Siku Allooloo, and/or Alexis Wright. It will examine how texts by authors with different Indigenous positionalities and perspectives engage with and narrativise past, present, and/or future experiences and figurations of apocalypse. Moreover, your project will explore how they resist, interrogate and intervene in contemporary eschatological discourses, which often engage with or co-opt Indigenous ways of being and knowing.

As such, you are also invited to consider meta-critical questions about the interrelation of the considered fields and the critical concerns of the field of Apocalypse Studies. Among other things, your project could focus on a critical analysis of the issue of genre, epistemologies of ’the End’, the role of the more-than-human in anglophone Indigenous apocalypse literature, and the interrelation between such writing and environmental or other social movements on the ground.


  • You hold an MA degree in Indigenous Studies, Literary Studies, North American Studies, Settler Colonial Studies, Environmental Humanities, or in a closely related discipline.
  • You have demonstrable interdisciplinary interest in fields such as Literary Studies, Indigenous Studies, American Studies, and/or Environmental Humanities. Ideally, you will already be familiar with apocalypticism as a cultural and/or literary phenomenon.
  • You have proven ability to conduct independent academic research and work in a collaborative research environment.
  • You have an excellent command of English (CEFR C2+) and outstanding writing skills.
  • You are willing to perform teaching and service duties.

Salary Benefits:

  • We will give you a temporary employment contract (0.8 FTE 5- year contract - 1.0 FTE 4- year contract) of 1,5 years, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, your contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4-year contract) or 3.5 years (5-year contract).
  • You will receive a starting salary of €2,770 gross per month based on a 38-hour working week, which will increase to €3,539 from the fourth year onwards (salary scale P).
  • You will receive an 8% holiday allowance and an 8,3% end-of-year bonus.
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Support Service. The Dual Career Programme assists your partner via support, tools, and resources to improve their chances of independently finding employment in the Netherlands. Our Family Support Service helps you and your partner feel welcome and at home by providing customised assistance in navigating local facilities, schools, and amenities. Also take a look at our support for international staff page to discover all our services for international employees.
  • You will receive extra days off. With full-time employment, you can choose between 30 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the statutory 20.

Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.

Work Hours:

30.4 - 38 hours per week


Houtlaan 4