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University Lectureship in the Digital Urban Studies of East Asia, Leiden University – Deadline for applications 16th April 2023

The Leiden University Institute for Area Studies (LIAS) invites applications for a

University Lectureship in the Digital Urban Studies of East Asia (1.0fte)

The Faculty of Humanities at Leiden University invites applications for a fulltime University Lectureship in the digital urban studies of East Asia, with a specific focus on Japan and/or Korea.

The University Lecturer will hold a position within the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies (LIAS) and teach courses in the institute’s relevant BA programmes and minors, and the (Res)MA Asian Studies. They will supervise BA and MA theses in all these programmes. Applications are invited from scholars with a strong background in area studies, humanities, and social science research and teaching, with a focus on the digital processes that shape contemporary urban developments in East Asia. Candidates should be able to teach on methods and theory in urban and digital studies, broadly defined. They should be comfortable adopting interdisciplinary approaches and be able to apply this knowledge to cities in the East Asian region, particularly Japan and (South) Korea.

In their research, candidates should demonstrate an ability to combine mixed-method approaches, ranging from qualitative to computational research techniques, and integrate such approaches with research approaches in area studies, driven by linguistic knowledge, cultural expertise, and a general curiosity for diverse human interactions in digital and urban spaces. Candidates should be able to communicate this focus to a wide audience and should demonstrate an ability to engage with students and colleagues of Asian studies more broadly. Thematically, we are specifically interested in candidates who are able to teach and research on topics such as the following (in alphabetic order):

  • critical infrastructure studies, logistics, and (re)development;
  • digital labour and the gig economy;
  • socio-cultural diversity, inclusion and heritage, and demographic shifts in contemporary Asian cities;
  • urban innovation, sustainability, and green cities in the face of the climate crisis;
  • urban technology, artificial intelligence, platform urbanism, and ‘smart city’ paradigms.

Key responsibilities

  • Original research and regular dissemination of the results through appropriate channels;
  • Teaching courses on digital technologies and urbanism at BA and MA level;
  • Teaching courses on one or more contemporary East Asian societies, especially Japan and/or Korea, with additional attention to interactions within the region.
  • Acquisition of external project funding;
  • Co-supervision of PhD research;
  • Active contributions to the development of the curriculum of Asian Studies and related programmes and minors;
  • Administrative duties in the institute’s area studies programmes;
  • Taking the initiative to connect disciplinary expertise with area knowledge, both in course work and in thesis supervision.


  • A completed PhD degree in area studies, urban studies, urban planning/design, architecture, human geography, development studies, science and technology studies, or a similar relevant field, including digital humanities and computational social sciences. Candidates with other disciplinary expertise will be considered providing they can amply demonstrate the relevance of their teaching and research to digital and urban developments in East Asia. Candidates nearing completion of their PhD will be considered.
  • A research and publication record commensurate with career stage.
  • A strong foundation in digital studies and methods (qualitative, quantitative, or mixed), and an ability to teach digital and spatial methodologies to students at all levels. Working knowledge of data analytics would be welcome;
  • A vision for the further development of Asian Studies in the context of contemporary digital and urban developments in East Asia;
  • Knowledge of at least one contemporary East Asian language;
  • An explicit and demonstrable interest in the urban politics, societies, and cultures of (digital) East Asia;
  • Commitment to high-quality research,publication, and dissemination;
  • Strong affinity with, and capacity for, team-work;
  • Excellent command of English;
  • If the lecturer does not speak Dutch, they will be expected to learn Dutch in the first two years of their appointment; this language acquisition will be supported by the Institute.

Our organisationThe Faculty of Humanities is rich in expertise in fields such as philosophy, religious studies, history, art history, literature, linguistics and area studies covering nearly every region of the world. With its staff of 995, the faculty provides 27 master’s and 25 bachelor’s programmes for over 7,000 students based at locations in Leiden’s historic city centre and in modern buildings in The Hague. For more information:

The Leiden Institute for Area Studies ( is comprised of a School of Asian Studies, a School of Middle-Eastern Studies and a School of Religious Studies, with international staff and student populations. The institute is committed to a present-day vision of area studies, integrating disciplinary and regional-historical perspectives on a solid foundation of excellent language skills. Current staff in LIAS has expertise in the fields of Anthropology, Archaeology, Art Studies, Buddhist Studies, Film Studies, History, International Relations, Language Pedagogy, Law, Linguistics, Literary Studies, Material Culture Studies, Performance Studies, Philology, Philosophy, Political Economy, Religious Studies, Sociology, and Visual Culture.

The School of Asian Studies at the LIAS is a vibrant community of scholars devoted to researching and teaching the ancient and modern languages and cultures of Asian societies as well as historical and contemporary developments in the politics, societies, cultures, and economies of the region. The outstanding collections of the Leiden University Library, the National Museum of Antiquities, and the Netherlands Institute for the Near East (NINO) offer an unmatched setting for research and teaching in these fields.

Terms and conditionsWe offer a fulltime position for 38 hours per week, to be taken up as soon as possible, but no later than 1 January 2024. Salary ranges from €3.974 to €5.439 gross per month (pay scale 11), in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The university lecturer may start at the appropriate step in scale 10 until they fully meet the requirements for scale 11 as specified by the Faculty of Humanities, particularly with regard to the number of years of relevant work experience.

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. For international spouses we have set up a dual career programme. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. More at

InformationEnquiries can be made to dr. Florian Schneider at

DiversityLeiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.

ApplicationsPlease submit online your application no later than 16 April 2023 via the blue button in our application system.

Applications should be in English. Please ensure that you include the following documents in a single PDF document named ‘FAMILY NAME – Given name – vacancy number and in this order:

  • A letter of motivation including a personal vision for the study of digital urbanism in East Asia, the future of this field, and the possibilities to relate the field to research and teaching in (modern) area studies. We encourage prospective candidates to reflect on how their teaching and research connects with the LIAS mission statement ‘Where is here?’.
  • A CV including education and employment history, publications, and courses taught to date and planned;
  • A research agenda with clear potential for applications to funding bodies such as the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) and the European Research Council (ERC) (max. 2 pages);
  • A teaching statement that explains the candidate’s pedagogic philosophy and approach (1 page);
  • A course description (intro + outline of 12 two-hour weekly sessions) on a topic of choice in digital urbanism and East Asia, aimed at second-year BA students in an area studies programme (e.g., Japanese studies, Korean studies, etc.);
  • A course description (intro + outline of 12 two-hour weekly sessions) on a topic of choice in digital urbanism and East Asia, aimed at MA-students Asian Studies;
  • Names, positions, and e-mail addresses of three referees (no reference letters).

The interviews with shortlisted candidates are tentatively scheduled for the second week of May 2023.