Project Description

“Slavery and Serfdom in Europe and the New World: Debates in the Early Modern Period”

Fondazione 1563 per l’Arte e la Cultura della Compagnia di San Paolo (hereinafter “Fondazione 1563”) has since 2013 supported research and advanced training in the field of the humanities.

In a wider effort to pursue this goal, in 2020 Fondazione 1563 has launched the Turin Humanities Programme, a research initiative that allows junior scholars to work on interrelated research projects under the guidance of especially appointed Senior Fellows.

THP aims at promoting two-year research projects about relevant global history topics. Under THP in 2020 Fondazione 1563 launched a first call for application for research on the Enlightenmnent legacy: the rights of man in a global perspective, and in 2021 a second call for application for research on Political Thought and the Body: Europe and East Asia, ca. 1100-1650, and in 2022 a third call for application for research on Slavery, ethnicity and race in the Mediterranean. Ideas and attitudes from Homer to Columbus.

Fondazione 1563 is now pleased to launch the fourth call for applications to award up to 4 two-year fellowships for advanced studies on Slavery and Serfdom in Europe and the New World: Debates in the Early Modern Period.

The Director of Studies for this programme (2024-2026) will be Nicholas Cronk, Director of the Voltaire Foundation, Professor of European Enlightenment Studies, and Fellow of St Edmund Hall at the University of Oxford.

For information and questions please email:

Applicants are invited to submit research projects of a maximum of 3000 words, plus bibliography. Projects are expected to engage with one or more aspects of the general research framework Slavery and Serfdom in Europe and the New World: Debates in the Early Modern Period.

Candidates are invited to propose projects dealing with the questions surrounding slavery and serfdom in Europe and the New World within the timeframe of the Early Modern period, defined here broadly as stretching from the sixteenth century to the beginning of the nineteenth.
The project will aim to encourage a comparative perspective, focussing on three key aspects:

  1. Enlightenment debates from race and ethnicity to the rights of man. Debates about enslavement begin with ethical, economic and theological questions, and evolve towards a greater focus on race, ethnicity and discussion of the rights of man.
  2. Serfdom and slavery. Serfdom existed widely across Europe in the Early Modern period. The challenges to serfdom in part overlap with the challenges to enslavement, and it is instructive to compare these parallel debates.
  3. The role of imaginative literature. Literature in the Enlightenment period is used increasingly as a tool to explore the paradoxical fictions of enslavement and to communicate these unresolved questions and concerns to a broader public.

Details of the research framework can be found here.

In addition to the research proposal, applicants must submit their Curriculum vitae et studiorum and:

  • an article-length piece of writing, published or unpublished, which demonstrates innovative thinking (written in English, French, German, Italian, or Spanish) and
  • the contact information of two scholars familiar with the applicant’s work and willing to act as their referees (one of whom can be their PhD supervisor); only the referees of shortlisted candidates will be contacted by the Fondazione 1563.

Successful candidates will carry out their individual research projects under the supervision of the Director of Studies. They will also collaborate to the organization of activities such as seminars, conferences, exhibitions and summer schools, during which they will be invited to share their research projects with a wider community of academics as well as students and the general public.

The call is open to applicants holding a doctorate in History or in any discipline in the Humanities.

Applicants who will be awarded their doctoral title before 30 September, 2024 are also eligible to apply. Applicants should normally be within 7 years of the award of their Ph.D.

They must be fluent in English, both spoken and written. English will be the working language of THP.

There are no nationality requirements.

Fondazione 1563 encourages applications from scholars of all backgrounds. We welcome diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive working environment.

Each of the 4 Fellowships consists of an overall grant of € 60.000 (before taxes) to be paid according to the terms and conditions available here.

The grant covers a period of two years, from November 1, 2024 to October 31, 2026.

These grants may not be held in conjunction with any other award.

Fellows will be required to reside in Turin for at least seven months per calendar year. All the activities of the program will take place in person, and the presence of the fellows is expected.

If a fellow is awarded any other grant during the THP fellowship, Fondazione 1563 reserves the right to withdraw and cancel the remaining part of the grant to be disbursed.

For any further information on the grants please refer to the THP Terms and Conditions of Grant, that can be found here.

Applications must be submitted online by filling in the form available on the website of Fondazione 1563 under THP/Call for applications/THP-2023. Applications submitted by other means will not be considered.

For the application instructions please visit the following page.

Applications must be submitted by February 12, 2024 (11.00 PM CET).

The Scientific Committee of the THP and the Director of Studies of the fourth research cycle of the THP will evaluate eligible applications according to the applicant’s qualifications and the quality and feasibility of the research project proposed.

The committee will make its decisions on the basis of a comprehensive evaluation of the dossiers.

The research proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria (in no particular order):

  1. coherence with the call and the research framework;
  2. originality, quality, and scientific relevance of the research proposal;
  3. clarity of the research questions, methods, and expected outcomes;
  4. contribution to the geographical and chronological remit of the project;
  5. appropriate planning in terms of research and implementation.

Applicants shortlisted after the first selection will be contacted by email in order to arrange on-line interviews that will focus on the research proposal and the applicant’s curriculum.

The interviews will be held in English and will take place remotely in March, 2024.

Once the interview has been scheduled, it will not be possible to reschedule it.

Candidates who do not attend the interview will be deemed to have withdrawn.

The fellowships will be awarded by the Scientific Committee of the THP, by the Director of Studies of the fourth research cycle and with the approval of the Board of Directors of Fondazione 1563.

Successful applicants will be notified in writing via email and will be required to fill out and return the fellowship acceptance form, accepting the terms contained therein, within 7 working days from the notification. Candidates who do not return this form will be deemed to have withdrawn.

Placed On: November 30th, 2023

Closes: February 12th, 2024, 11:00 PM (CET)

For more information please contact us: