Two postdoctoral fellowship openings

Applications now open for two postdoctoral fellowships (9 months & 12 months respectively) for the project “Avicenna East & West I: Commentaries on the Qaṣīdat al-nafs” (FRS-FNRS; UCLouvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)
Starting date: Jan. 1, 2020
Review of applications will start on Oct. 1, 2019 and will continue until the positions are filled

Project description
The aim of this project on the commentaries on the Qaṣīdat al-nafs attributed to Avicenna is twofold: (1) to explore the various contexts and aims of these texts, the precise nature of the questions raised, and the types of arguments and references used in the debates emerging in the interpretation of the poem or between commentators; and (2) to document the attitude towards Avicenna’s legacy, and falsafa in general, in Islamic society.
(1) Edition and analysis of the commentaries by ʿAlī b. Sulaymān al-Baḥrānī (m. 672/1274), ʿAfīf al-Dīn al-Tilimsanī (610-690/1213-1291), Dāʾūd al-Qayṣarī (m. 751/1350)
(2) Comparative analysis of the commentaries by Dāʾūd al-Anṭākī (d. 1599) and ʿAbd al-Raʾūf al-Munāwī (d. 1621)
(3) General analysis of the commentary tradition on the Qaṣīdat al-nafs.
The postdoctoral researchers will be responsible for sub-project 2 (commentaries by Anṭākī and Munāwī) and participate in the other sub-projects. They are expected to participate in the intellectual life of the Institut supérieur de philosophie (ISP) and of the Institut orientaliste (INCAL/CIOL) at UCLouvain, and to spend part of her/his time to pursue her/his own intellectual interests and to work creatively to produce new exciting research.

PhD in Islamic studies, philosophy, history or another research area relevant for the research project; excellent knowledge of Arabic and proven expertise in the intellectual history of relevant periods. Candidates with experience in editing texts and/or the study of commentary traditions are particularly welcome. The capacity to teach portions of a BA course on pre-modern Islamic philosophy is a plus.
This position is funded by the Fonds de la Recherche scientifique, Belgium (FRS-FNRS), and is only available for candidates who hold a PhD for no more than 6 years at the time of appointment, and who were not resident of Belgium for more than 24 months in the three years immediately before the appointment. This position is not eligible for relocation assistance. Some funding for travel for research is available.

Starting date
These two positions are available as soon as possible after Jan. 1, 2020 for a period of respectively 9 and 12 months. There is some flexibility in the starting date and in the duration of these positions. Candidates interested to apply for a shorter period or willing to discuss the starting date are invited to mention it in their cover letter. Candidates who are about to complete their PhD can apply but the PhD must be in hand at the start of the employment.
Working location: Institut supérieur de philosophie, UCLouvain, Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium)

Please send your application (letter of motivation, CV, names and contact information of two academic referees, and a sample of your writing) to


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