The Greek Section of the Department of Literary Studies of Ghent University is seeking one well-qualified research fellow at the level of PhD student. The successful candidate will work in the framework of a project on the reception of the Psalms as poetry in late antique and Byzantine literature. The project is generously funded by the Flemish Research Foundation (FWO) and involves the collaboration of a team of scholars affiliated with several institutions: Ghent University (prof. Floris Bernard, prof. Kristoffel Demoen, dr. Rachele Ricceri), KU Leuven (prof. Reinhart Ceulemans), the Austrian Academy of Sciences (PD dr. Andreas Rhoby, dr. Anna Gioffreda).
Research project and job description
The overarching project aims at studying the afterlife of the Psalms in Byzantine poetry. A major focus of the project is the analysis of the reception of the poetic nature of the Psalms, and of the appreciation of their literary qualities by Christian poets. A first step of the research will be collecting and discussing sources in prose that indicate if and how Byzantine readers appreciated the poetic nature of the Psalms. Patristic and exegetic literature is actually an intermediate step between the biblical text and its Byzantine reception, as well as an important part of the cultural background of Byzantine poets, as they are meant to provide the reader with indications on how to read the Bible. The research also includes the study of the actual influence of the Psalms on Byzantine poetry. Special attention will be devoted to the identification of peculiar elements related to the self-expression, as to be found in some Byzantine poems (e.g. catanyctic and eis heauton poems). An important goal of the research will be the investigation of the role played by the Psalms (and the Psalm-related literature) in the composition of such poems.
Within the framework of this project, the PhD candidate will be expected to complete a doctoral dissertation after four years of research. The topic of the dissertation will tie in with the candidate’s interests and will be determined in dialogue with the supervisors. (S)he will also be expected to actively contribute to the scholarly activities of the research group (co-organizing conferences, participating in joint publications, etc.) The dissertation will be supervised at Ghent (prof. Floris Bernard and dr. Rachele Ricceri; main institution) and Leuven (prof. Reinhart Ceulemans; additional institution).
The successful candidate will have:
- an MA degree in Classics (with an emphasis on Greek) or in Byzantine philology;
- a broad competence in classical, biblical and/or Byzantine Greek literature;
- a strong command of classical Greek, and at least good notions of medieval Greek;
- demonstrable interest in (research into) late antique and Byzantine poetry, and/or in patristic and exegetic literature;
- very good knowledge of English and at least good reading skills of several other languages relevant to the field (primarily German, Italian, French, Modern Greek);
- the attitude to contribute to a research team.