The Mahindra Humanities Center invites applications for one-year postdoctoral fellowships in connection with the Center’s Andrew W. Mellon Foundation seminar on the topic of migration and the humanities.
Migration plays as critical a role in the moral imagination of the humanities as it does in shaping the activist vision of humanitarianism and human rights. Too often, the humanities are summoned merely as witnesses to the spectacle of the significant currents and crises of contemporary life. Literature and the arts are viewed as iconic presences whose primary aesthetic and moral values lie in their illustrative powers of empathy and evocation. Yet the intellectual formation of the humanities—their very conception of the nature of meaning, knowledge, and morals—is deeply resonant with the displacement of values and the revision of norms that shape the transitional and translational narratives of migrant lives.
Built around pedagogies of representation and interpretation—textual, visual, digital, political, ethical, ecological, etc.—the humanities engage with the history of shifting relations between cultural expression, historical transition, and political transformation. The ethics of citizenship in our time are defined as much by migration and resettlement as by indigenous belonging, and the humanities play a central role in defining the terms and the territories of cultural citizenship as it creates innovative institutions and identities in the making of a civil society.
We welcome applications from scholars in all fields whose work innovatively engages with migration and the humanities. In addition to pursuing their own research projects, fellows will be core participants in the bi-weekly seminar meetings for both academic terms of the fellowship. Other participants will include faculty and graduate students from Harvard and other universities in the region, and occasional visiting speakers.
Terms and Conditions
Fellows will receive stipends of $65,000, medical insurance, additional research support of $2,500, and (for those not already in residence in Greater Boston) $1,500 in moving expenses. Fellows are expected to be in residence at Harvard for the term of the fellowship.
Eligibility and Deadline Information
Applicants for 2020-21 fellowships must have received a doctorate or terminal degree in or after May 2017. Applicants without a doctorate or terminal degree must demonstrate that they have completed all requirements for a terminal degree (i.e. dissertation defense) by August 1, 2020. International scholars outside the United States are appointed under either the J-1 visa (Research Scholar status) or F-1 OPT (Optional Practical Training), depending on their circumstances. If awarded a fellowship, the term of appointment for international scholars is September 1, 2020-August 31, 2021. The Mahindra Center reserves the right to cancel awards if the recipient is unable to meet these conditions of completion and visa status.
The application deadline for applicants to submit their materials is November 15, 2019. The deadline for receipt of letters of recommendation is December 6, 2019.
Please apply using our online application.
In addition to biographical and professional information, applicants are asked to submit:
1. A curriculum vitae.
2. A statement of the research project (1,000-3,000 words) that provides a detailed description of what the applicant proposes to do during the fellowship year.
3. One chapter- or article-length writing sample (no longer than 40 pages).
4. Names and contact information of three referees, who will be asked by a system-generated email to upload a letter of recommendation once the candidate’s application has been submitted. Three letters of recommendation are required, and the application is considered complete only when three letters have been received. Recommendations may be those included in the applicant’s placement dossier, but they must specifically address the proposed research project. Letters should be uploaded to the electronic application.
Please contact Dr. Andrea Volpe with questions about applying for a fellowship.