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Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities and Humanistic Sciences

CAS 02/10/2012

Institution: Center for the Humanities / Institute for Research in the Humanities, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Location: Madison, WI (USA)
Date: 2013-2015
Deadline: 20.11.2012


The University of Wisconsin-Madison invites applications for its postdoctoral fellowship program in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, it will provide 3 two-year postdoctoral fellowships for recent PhD recipients starting on August 26, 2013. Fellows will be affiliated with a department in the College of Letters and Science, as well as the Institute for Research in the Humanities and the Center for the Humanities. They will teach one undergraduate course per semester in one of the humanities or humanistic social science departments in the College of Letters & Science.

The theme for 2013-2015 applicants is DEMOCRACY. We invite scholars to reflect upon democracy as a focus of historical, philosophical, literary, cultural, or aesthetic analysis. We seek projects that consider democracy from within the humanities and that understand democracy as concept, practice, or mode with bearing on politics, law, and society, as well as literature, language, and the arts.

Democracy — whether conceived as the legitimation of power or its exercise, as “the reign of the limitless desire of individuals in modern mass society” or the opening of politics and society to a
plurality of voices — is at once contested and coveted. Democracy is implicated in nationalism and cosmopolitanism, war and peace, justice and reconciliation, and freedom and enslavement, that is, who is included in or left out of the social contract and civic life.

We welcome cutting-edge work from scholars across the humanities and humanistic social sciences focused on any aspect of democracy, from Ancient Greece to the contemporary Middle East; from the emergence of print to the rise of digitization; from social movements (new and
old) to liberalism (new and old); from the avant-garde to popular culture. Research may focus on any region of the world, any period of history, and any language, medium, genre, or form. We especially encourage work that challenges disciplinary or methodological boundaries. Applicants should explain in their proposals how their research relates to this theme.

In an effort to foster disciplinary diversity in our program of six postdoctoral fellows, we are not likely to award fellowships to candidates whose teaching would be in the departments of Anthropology, Communication Arts, and English. Doctoral candidates and those holding PhDs or other doctoral degrees from the UW-Madison are not eligible.


In 2012-2013 the stipend for postdoctoral fellows was $55,157 per academic year, with a $2,000 per year research allowance, $3,000 per year travel allowance, and $2,500 computer allowance in the first year. Fellows are eligible for health insurance (www.uwsa.edu/hr/benefit/gradben.pdf).


- Applicants must be scholars who are not yet tenured and who are no more than five years past receiving their PhD. To be eligible for this competition, degree must be received between August 2008 and August 2013.

- Applicants must hold a PhD in a humanities discipline or in the humanistic social sciences.

- Applicants who do not yet hold a PhD but expect to have one by the time the fellowship begins must provide a letter from their home institution (department chair, head of graduate studies, or advisor) corroborating the degree award schedule.

- Doctoral candidates and those holding PhDs or other doctoral degrees from UW-Madison are ineligible.

- In an effort to foster disciplinary diversity in our postdoctoral program, we are unlikely to award fellowships to candidates who would be teaching in Anthropology, Communication Arts, or English.

- The fellowship has no nationality requirements. If accepted, international candidates will be responsible for securing their own paperwork, visas, etc. as needed, though the university can provide some support in that process.

- Selected recipients may not hold another fellowship simultaneous with this one.

Application materials

In addition to basic career information, your application must include the following:

- Confidential reference letters from three writers. Reference letters should address the significance and feasibility of the proposed research; quality of the proposal; qualifications for the
project; past work; and potential contributions to and benefits from being a Mellon postdoctoral fellow at UW-Madison.

- 100 word abstract of dissertation.

- Proposal of up to 2,000 words. The proposal should outline completed research (including dissertation); work in progress; research that will be conducted as a Mellon Fellow; an explanation of how that research relates to the Mellon theme; a description of professional goals and plans for publication; an indication of the undergraduate courses you might teach; and other relevant information. Include how you believe you would benefit from being at UW-Madison, including the faculty associations you would like to develop.

- Curriculum vitae; include work forthcoming and in progress.

- Writing sample of up to 25 pages.

- Optional: Statement of teaching philosophy and/or sample syllabi or descriptions of courses you have taught or would like to teach.

Application submission

Applications must be submitted via Interfolio.

- When you begin your application, you will be asked to upload your curriculum vitae, proposal, and writing sample as separate documents.

- If you would like to including teaching information and/or you have a letter corroborating the degree award schedule, upload these as additional documents.

- You must also use Interfolio to submit your three confidential reference letters.

- All materials, including reference letters, must be submitted by November 20, 2012 to ensure full consideration.

Because this fellowship includes teaching, a criminal background check may be required of fellowship recipients.

For a full description of the fellowship, including application information, go here:
Apply via Interfolio here: https://secure.interfolio.com/apply/16525


Jessica Courtier
Center for the Humanities
University of Wisconsin-Madison
3rd Floor, University Club Building
432 East Campus Mall
Madison, WI 53706
Phone: +1 608 516-8109
Fax: +1 608 890-0779

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