Doctoral student, cultural history - ref. BAP-2018-367

The position is offered in the framework of the project “B-magic. The Magic Lantern and its Cultural Impact as Visual Mass Medium in Belgium (1830-1940)”.

B-magic is a four-year EOS-funded project which will be conducted at two Flemish (UAntwerp and KU Leuven) and two French-speaking universities (ULB and UCL), in collaboration with an art college (KASK Ghent) and an international partner (UUtrecht). The project will write the history of the magic lantern as a mass medium in Belgium. The lantern was the first visual mass medium to contest the printed word as a primary mode of information and instruction. The B-magic consortium will research the pivotal role of the magic lantern in Belgian society from the country’s independence in 1830 up to 1940, when its use declined. To this end, it brings together an interdisciplinary team of researchers from Performance Studies, Cinema and Media Studies, Urban History, History of Science and Knowledge, Communication Studies, Semiotics and Narratology. For more information and other available vacancies see

The successful candidate will work on a sub-project entitled ‘Between Instruction and Delight: the Magic Lantern in the late 19th-and early 20th century Belgian Visual Media Landscape’. In order to better understand the changing role of the magic lantern in the rapidly transforming Belgian media landscape of the late 19th and early 20th century, this project will investigate its distinct contributions and links with other visual media in three different multi-modal contexts: it will explore the magic lantern’s relationships to wall charts and maps in education, and analyze the stylistic, technical and narrative interplay with dioramas, pre-film animation and early film in entertainment and in science.