The Center for African and African American Studies at Rice University in cooperation with the Departments of Anthropology and History invites applications for a one-year non-renewable postdoctoral fellowship as part of the 2021-2022 Mellon Sawyer Seminar entitled “Diasporic Cultures of Slavery: Engaging Disciplines, Engaging Communities.” We seek to foster innovative approaches to diasporic cultures of slavery with attention to community engagement, physical spaces, and the materiality of social worlds in Texas, Ghana, Brazil, and Jamaica. The seminar will explore the ways that scholarly engagement with the physical spaces of social, cultural, political and economic performance can help us gain a better sense of how racialization and its enactment(s) have shaped and have been shaped by the material content of African and African American social worlds. It will focus on the way that material worlds of historic African and African Diaspora communities have enduring meaning and power in the contemporary world. These material “sites” remain highly-contested places through which descendants and residents seek to make sense of the past and present. The seminar will engage with scholars, descendants, residents, and heritage managers, to explore how the history of enslavement is and should be represented through places and materials today.
The successful applicant will have research and teaching interests that center on the roles that Atlantic slavery played in the histories, cultures and representations of the peoples of sub-Saharan Africa and its Diaspora. We are especially interested in scholars working on questions involving some of the following: the cultures of slaving and slavery, the memory and memorialization of Atlantic slavery, the material cultures of the Diaspora, and the connections between scholarly and public understandings of the slave past. The Mellon Fellow will work with the Sawyer Seminar organizing committee in planning seminar events, and will of course participate in all aspects of seminar meetings.
The successful candidate will be expected to work on their research project and may have the opportunity to team teach a graduate course with a Rice faculty member.
We hope that the state of public health will allow the Mellon Fellow to begin residency at Rice the summer of 2021. If that is the case, then the Fellowship will run from July 2021 to June 2022, and the Fellow will participate in travel and planning for the seminar meetings during the summer and fall of 2021. Seminar meetings will begin in January 2022 and run through the Fall 2022 semester. Given the Fall 2022 meeting are outside of the appointment dates, we are merely requesting that the Mellon Fellow participate in them.
The Fellow will receive a salary of $60,000 and a research budget of $3,000 (which may be used for relocation), as well as standard benefits. S/he must have a PhD in hand by July 1, 2021, any discipline in the Humanities or Social Sciences in hand by the beginning of the Fellowship.
Only electronic applications will be accepted, via the Rice University RiceWorks website:
https://jobs.rice.edu/postings/25555. Applicants will submit the following materials with their application: cover letter describing their interest and presenting the research project they intend to pursue while a fellow, a C.V., a writing sample of no more than 30 pages, and a list of three references from whom we can request letters of recommendation. All application and all materials must be submitted by February 28, 2021.
Rice University, located in Houston, Texas, is an Equal Opportunity Employer with commitment to diversity at all levels, and considers for employment qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status.
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