The Institute for Comparative Literature and Society (ICLS) at Columbia University will award one Andrew W. Mellon (Sawyer Seminar) Postdoctoral Fellowship for a one-year appointment beginning August 1, 2017. The Fellow will receive a stipend of $62,000 for the year plus benefits.

The ICLS Sawyer Seminar takes the simultaneity of the dwindling of linguistic diversity and biodiversity as the occasion for a broader set of reflections on the question of language justice. We are interested in a range of questions including: the social effects of English monolingualism; the relationship of language and technology; the question of translation across disciplinary divides, machine translation; and new possibilities for revivifying language communities at the interface of arts activism, legal redress, and digital technologies. This initiative promotes research and pedagogical innovation at the interface of science, humanities, and big data to ask about the life and death of languages on a planetary scale.

The Seminar will include public lectures, workshops as well as the development of undergraduate and graduate courses. In addition to pursuing a research project that speaks to central themes of the seminar, the Fellow will help organize a series of monthly workshops and other activities relating to the theme of the Mellon Sawyer Seminar; and work with two graduate students whose time will be dedicated to the Seminar. There will be a one-course teaching requirement (1/0 or 0/1) in the fellowship year.

Eligibility:

  • Applicants should have completed all their Ph.D. or J.D. requirements (completed and filed the dissertation) no earlier than June 30, 2013 and no later than August 1, 2017.
  • Applicants must have a demonstrable background in the study of cultures, societies, or technologies that relies on a multilingual and comparative or interdisciplinary approach, in linguistic/literary studies, the social sciences, and/or natural sciences.

Selection Process:

Each proposal will be carefully evaluated by the conveners of the Sawyer Seminar comprised of an interdisciplinary group of ICLS affiliated faculty.  The primary evaluation criteria will be intellectual fit with the core ideas of the Seminar, the promise of the proposed research project, including prospects for publication and significant advances in tangible research, as well as the feasibility of the proposed course to be taught in the fellowship year. Applicants will be notified of fellowship decisions in March 2017.

Application Process:

The following list of materials is required for all applicants. Application materials should be submitted via email to icls@columbia.edu with applicant’s name in the subject line by January 20, 2017.

Email these supporting documents to icls@columbia.edu with the applicant’s name in the subject line. PDF format is preferred.

  • 1000-word research project proposal plus one-page bibliography, in language appropriate for a multi-disciplinary panel. Please double-space and use 12-point type. Save the file name as your last name and “research project”, i.e., “SMITH research project.pdf”.
  • 250-word statement of the project’s potential contribution to the Columbia University’s Sawyer seminar. Please save the file name with your last name and “statement.”
  • Curriculum vitae. Save the file name as your last name and “CV.”
  • Course proposal: 2-3 page proposal for an undergraduate course to be offered at Columbia University that must emphasize trans-regional, translingual and interdisciplinary approaches. The course proposal should convey a sense of your teaching interests beyond the special field of your research. Save the file name as your last name and “course proposal.”
  • Two letters of recommendation. Interfolio and other dossier services are accepted. Subject lines of emails should include applicant’s name.
  • Transcript upon request. We will contact you if your transcript is required. Please do not submit it unless asked.

All application materials (including letters of reference) should be submitted electronically on or before January 20, 2017. Candidates may be invited for a Skype interview. All evaluations made in connection with applications received are confidential.

Columbia University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer. There is no citizenship requirement or restriction for this fellowship. Employment eligibility verifications requested upon hire.