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JHI New Media and Public Humanities Postdoctoral Fellowship

University of Toronto Jackman Humanities Institute
Toronto, Canada
$61,275 CAD + benefits (additional teaching possible)
Posted Date
Oct 1, 2022

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Arts, Other Arts, Humanities, English & Literature, Other Humanities, Science, Technology & Mathematics, Computer Sciences & Technology
Employment Type
Full Time
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Call for Applications

JHI New Media and Public Humanities

Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2023-2024

Application Deadline: 30 November 2022 at 4:00pm EST

The Jackman Humanities Institute (JHI) is pleased to invite applications for a postdoctoral fellowship in New Media and Public Humanities (NMPH), designed to support recent Ph.D. graduates from humanities disciplines who are engaged in new media and/or other journalism initiatives to bring humanities research out of the classroom or academic monograph and into discussion in public fora and across multiple media platforms. One NMPH postdoctoral fellow will be selected for a twelve-month residency at the Jackman Humanities Institute. The NMPH postdoctoral fellow is expected to conduct active research on the theme of “Absence” and to propose, write, and publish innovative media projects that take humanities research into the public domain.

2023-2024 Annual Theme: Absence

Absence takes many forms - absence as loss, abandonment, and omission; absence as exile, separation, and unbelonging; and, paradoxically, absence as boundless, infinite, and transcendent. Ways of knowing, communal memory, as well as personal and cultural identities are all shaped, challenged, and even denied by various types of absences. Voids, silences, privations, gaps and solitudes are forces in themselves. What is not there can be even more powerful than what is there. How does absence affect our views of and place in the world? What meaning can we make of those “blank void regions”? What happens when absence is present? How are today's technologies and our networked world challenging the binary distinction of presence and absence?

The Fellowship

The postdoctoral fellowship is an award of $61,275 CAD plus benefits. The NMPH postdoctoral fellowship is tenable for one academic year (1 July 2023-30 June 2024), and the holder is expected to be in residence September 2023 to May 2024. As a residential fellow, the New Media and Public Humanities postdoctoral fellow will be provided with an office at the JHI on the 10th floor of the Jackman Humanities Building. The NMPH postdoctoral fellow will be expected to participate in activities with faculty, postdoctoral, graduate and undergraduate fellows, including weekly lunch seminars and occasional other workshops and lectures.

Moving expenses are not provided. The JHI will provide an office, University of Toronto Library access, faculty mentoring, and administrative support. Teaching is not a component of this fellowship, but incumbents may apply for sessional positions in their home disciplines as available.


  • Doctoral degree in humanities, writing, media studies, or journalism completed between 1 July 2013 – 30 June 2023. If you graduated before 1 July 2013, you are not eligible to apply. If you will be enrolled as a full or part-time student during the period of the fellowship, you are not eligible to apply. If you hold a tenured or tenure-track position already, you are not eligible to apply.
  • A public media record going back to at least 1 July 2021.
  • Fellowships are open to citizens of all countries. The University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from visible minority group members, women, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, members of sexual minority groups, and others who may further expand the range of ideas and perspectives.
  • Doctoral candidates and Ph.D. recipients from the University of Toronto are eligible to apply.
  • The Jackman Humanities Institute interprets “Humanities” as a broad category, including political theory, interpretive social science, music, and the arts. 

Selection Criteria

We are seeking individuals whose intellectual scope moves between formal academic research and professional journalism. The JHI is a site for interdisciplinary humanities research conversations, and we are therefore interested in candidates who have a record of publication in non-academic venues as well as an academic background in the humanities or qualitative social sciences. Selection will be based upon accomplishment according to career stage, evidence of public media engagement, and the relevance of the applicant’s interests and media record to the annual theme of “Absence.”


You will be asked to provide the following documents, compiled into a single pdf file. Please see the FAQs below for directions on length and formatting.

  1. A full resumé with demonstrated background in the Humanities that includes a full listing of both academic and non-academic publications and media endeavours.
  2. A project proposal that outlines a media project or series of projects centred on the 2023-2024 annual theme, Absence, to be undertaken at the Jackman Humanities Institute (Maximum length 1000 words)
  3. A writing sample (published, non-academic preferred; an academic article or dissertation chapter may be provided if necessary)
  4. (Optional) For online materials such as audio or video files, please include URL links and a brief description for each.
  5. 100-word research description
  6. 100-word biographical statement

You will be asked to provide the names and email addresses of two referees who can provide confidential letters of reference. Your referees will receive an automated request for their letters, which will be due on 7 December 2022.  Please ask your referees to watch for our request email.

If you SAVE your file without clicking SUBMIT, you will be able to edit your application and replace your application document until you click SUBMIT. Please submit your application before the deadline. If you SAVE, you will receive a secret number that will enable you to re-enter your application. Please record this number; JHI staff will not have access to this information.


All applications must be submitted by 30 November 2022 at 4:00 p.m. (EST). Faxed, emailed, and paper applications will not be considered.


  • For questions relating to the scope and expectations of this fellowship, email JHI Director, Professor Alison Keith
  • Technical questions about the application: email Sonja Johnston


Frequently Asked Questions About Applying for the New Media and Public Humanities Postdoctoral Fellowship

What are JHI’s expectations in terms of length, format and content for my submitted documents?

ANSWER:  You MUST submit all files as a single, compiled pdf file.  This is necessary in order to ensure that your application will be readable.  Please do not send files that with security settings that prevent printing. Beyond that, here are some general suggestions and guidelines.

JHI receives applications from across many disciplines and from around the world. Standards vary, and we prefer not to set rigid rules in the matter. Please know that you will not be disqualified from applying if your documents do not comply with the following guidelines.

Make your documents easy to read: use 11- or 12-point type, and 1.5 or double spacing. Avoid unnecessarily complicated fonts.

  1. Curriculum Vitae (as long as necessary): this is your full academic record. Please include all publications (both peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed), research presentations, and previous public facing writing of any nature. The focus here is more on research than on teaching.
  2. Project Proposal (4-6 pages): Explain in detail what you would like to accomplish while you are a fellow. Your project should be relevant to the annual theme of Absence. Tell us about your anticipated goals and timeline for this project, and about the methodology that you will use to do it. It is perfectly acceptable to propose a thesis-to-book overhaul.
  3. Writing Sample (length varies with content): This could be a chapter from your thesis, or a published article, or an example of public-facing writing. You can include a sample of your writing or provide a brief introduction and a URL (or multiple URLs) that show your public-facing writing in your application document.

Can I save a partial application and then go back into it, or swap my application document for an updated version later?

ANSWER: Yes.  You can SAVE but not SUBMIT your application until the deadline. If you click SAVE, you will be given a numerical code and be emailed a link. Record this code (it will not be sent with the email). You will have to enter the code to continue your application. JHI staff members do not have access to your code and cannot generate a new code if you lose it. When you are finished, remember to SUBMIT your application before the deadline.

I will be finishing up my thesis in the spring, and I am not sure if my defense will take place before or after 1 May.  How will this affect my eligibility?

ANSWER:  If you receive an offer of this fellowship, it will be contingent on your having completed all outstanding doctoral work before 1 July 2023.  This means that if you apply but have not defended, we will be in touch with your Chair or supervisor to confirm your defense date (it must be before 1 May) and post-defense status. If you defend and have revisions to make, you must complete them successfully before 1 July.

I graduated from my doctoral program in June 2013.  Am I eligible to apply? Does a month matter?

ANSWER: You are not eligible to apply.  This fellowship is offered with a ten-year eligibility that tracks from the date when the fellowship begins on 1 July 2023.

When will I be required to be in Toronto? Can I do research off-site at certain times during the year?

ANSWER:  The JHI will require your attendance at a fellows’ lunch each Thursday 12-2 from the beginning of September until the end of April (there are two weeks in December when the University will close for the holidays). If you are also teaching, please check for the dates when you must be in Toronto with your unit.

Is any funding beyond the award for this position available for travel, moving expenses, or research?

ANSWER:  There is a small amount ($500 CAD) of research or travel funding available upon request to the Director. There is no funding for moving expenses. You are welcome to apply for up to two one-semester courses of sessional teaching in any unit appropriate to your field of doctoral study. Sessional job postings will appear on the CUPE 3902 (Unit 3) Opportunities web page.

Who can I contact if I have other questions?

ANSWER: For questions relating to the scope and expectations of this fellowship, email JHI Director Professor Alison Keith; for questions about the application process, email Associate Director Dr. Kimberley Yates; for questions about the web application form, email Communications Officer Sonja Johnston.

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