Rarer than an eclipse – the funeral and burial of a king

Today, the coffin of King Richard III left the University of Leicester for Leicester Cathedral where it will lie until it is buried on Thursday. Since the bones were discovered under a car park in Leicester in 2012 they have been the subject of a good deal of controversy. In 1485 Richard lost the Battle of Bosworth to the man who would become Henry VII, the first Tudor monarch. At the same time he also lost his reputation as writers of the Tudor period (including Shakespeare) presented him as a wicked, hunch-backed king, a monarch who deserved to lose his throne.

The bones of English monarchs have been reinterred in the past, often to make a political point (they could be reburied in a more or less prestigious place); however, there’s usually not a 500 year gap between burials. Richard’s first burial was an obscure and irreverent one but this time around everyone wanted him and the cities of Leicester (near the battlefield at Bosworth) and York (the home of the king’s family) claimed him. Another quirk of the half-millenium gap is that the bones are being interred in an Anglican cathedral whereas the king had, of necessity, been a Roman Catholic, and perhaps a fairly pious one. Wisely, the Christian churches avoided squabbling over Richard’s remains and ministers of both denominations will have input into the final ceremonies. In the meantime, any internet search will provide you with video footage of one of the most unusual royal funerals in British history (Queen Elizabeth will not be attending, although she has sent a message to be read out), one in which even the mounted, armoured knights accompanying the hearse do not seem out-of-place: Richard’s fate was to live as much in story as in fact.

BBC coverage

Syllabus link: Shakespeare’s Richard III is part of the MA course ‘The Others: Outsiders and Malcontents in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature’.

Richard III
Richard III

PhD Positions at Nijmegen

4 PhD Positions at the institute for Historical, Literary and Cultural Studies (0,8 – 1,0 fte)

Faculty of Arts
Maximum salary: € 2,717 gross/month
Vacancy number: 23.08.15
Application deadline: 30 April 2015


As a PhD candidate you will participate in the research conducted at the institute for Historical, Literary and Cultural Studies (HLCS) in the Faculty of Arts. Projects should be in accordance with one of the institute’s research groups. Descriptions of the HLCS research groups can be found on www.ru.nl/hlcs.

Work environment

Radboud University is strategically located in Europe and is one of the leading academic communities in the Netherlands. Established in 1923, and situated in the oldest city of the Netherlands, it has seven faculties and enrols over 18,500 students in 111 study programmes.
The Faculty of Arts consists of ten departments in the areas of language and culture, history, history of arts, linguistics and business communication, which together cater for about 2,700 students and collaborate closely in teaching and research. Your research will be embedded in the institute for Historical, Literary and Cultural Studies (HLCS) at the Faculty of Arts.

What we expect from you

You should have a Research Master’s degree (or expect to complete the degree before September 2015) or similar qualifications in a discipline related to the institute’s research. You are result-oriented, fluent in English and have excellent writing skills in the language in which you intend to write your dissertation. Demonstrable research experience in the field of your proposal will be considered an advantage.

What we have to offer

We offer you:
– employment: 0,8 – 1,0 fte;
– a maximum gross monthly salary of € 2,717 based on a 38-hour working week (salary scale P);
– in addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
– the gross starting salary amounts to €2,125 per month based on full-time employment, and will increase to €2,717 per month in the fourth year;
– the total duration of the contract is 4 years. You will be appointed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years;
– you will be classified as a PhD candidate (promovendus) in the Dutch university job-ranking system (UFO).

Are you interested in our excellent employment conditions?

Would you like to know more?
Further information on: the institute for Historical, Literary and Cultural Studies

For more information about this vacancy, please contact:
Lisenka Fox, Policy Advisor
Telephone: + 31 24 3612336
E-mail: L.Fox@let.ru.nl

Are you interested?

Please include with your application a motivation letter (attn. of Leon van Mosseveld), CV and any required attachments. You should upload these documents using the button ‘Apply’.
You can apply by writing a proposal according to the guidelines you can download on www.ru.nl/hlcs/PhDpositions. Projects should be in accordance with one of the institute’s research programmes and research groups.
Your proposal must be supported by a declaration of approval written by your intended supervisor at HLCS. (Information on supervisors and their fields of expertise is available on www.ru.nl/hlcs/research-groups/.) You should contact this supervisor well in advance of the deadline.
You should upload the requested documents in one file, using the button ‘Apply’.
Interviews will take place in week 21 and 22.
For more information on your application: +31 24 3612916.

Towards a new university? A debate on the future of the RuG

Thursday 19 March, 17-19h. Marie Loke Room, Harmonie Complex

Last month, students and staff of the University of Amsterdam occupied university buildings and reclaimed their university. This lead to a nation-wide debate, both within and outside the walls of academia, on the way universities are or should be managed (and by whom), on the dominance of ‘efficiency thinking’ (rendements-denken), and on the way bureaucracy and management presses on core tasks of education and research.

It is clear that the issues raised by the Maagdenhuis appropriation reach beyond Amsterdam. How are things at the University of Groningen? Should there be more democracy at the RuG, and if so, how can we think of new management structures? How does the thinking in terms of efficiency affect our education and research, how does this relate to the task of universities in society. What could be workable alternatives?

During this meeting, students and staff of the RuG will share their view on issues such as top-down management, neoliberalization and over-bureaucratization, followed by a debate with a.o. members of the university council.

Statements by: Daan Brandenbarg (Medical Sciences), Trudy Dehue (Behavioral and Social Sciences) Pascal Gielen (Arts), Matthieu Paapst (Law), Judith Vega (Philosophy), and representatives of DNU Groningen.

Debate with speakers, representatives of DNU Groningen, and members of the University Council, chaired by Kristin McGee.

Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant

Ishiguro’s Remains of the Day is a popular novel amongst students. His latest work, just published, is set in a very different world and Ishiguro has joined the debate on the worth of fantasy fiction:

BBC – Culture – Book review: Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant.

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro, book review: This isle is full of monsters – Reviews – Books – The Independent.