Postdoctoral Fellowship Announcement

2016-2017 Andrew W. Mellon (Sawyer Seminar) Postdoctoral Fellowship

“Documentary Media and Historical Transformations”

Receipt deadline: March 1, 2016

The Sawyer Seminar and the Center for Documentary Research and Practice (CDRP) at Indiana University will award one Andrew W. Mellon (Sawyer Seminar) Postdoctoral Fellowship for a one-year appointment beginning July 1, 2016.  The Fellow will receive a stipend of $45,000 for the year as well as health insurance.  This Sawyer Seminar is interdisciplinary in nature, bringing together filmmakers, historians, legal scholars, film and media scholars, anthropologists, cognitive scientists, and journalists.  It will consist of five 2-day conferences, hosted by Indiana University Cinema, and encompass film screenings, lectures, panels, and roundtables.  Each conference will address the relationship between documentary and major historical transformations (colonialism, human/civil rights, neoliberalism, Arab Spring), examining how documentaries both reveal and shape socio-political change.  Among others, we will explore the following questions: How do films made during historical transformations reveal a new understanding of the status of the nonfiction image? How do documentary filmmakers work with and for communities and do so not only during the initial release of the film but over the extended ‘life” of a film?  How does accounting for the circulation of documentary films reveal the historical networks that shaped the reception of the films and the key players’ (individual, institutional, governmental) interests in the films?  How are the dynamics between political urgency and ethical treatment often revealingly reconfigured in moments of historical transition?  How have changes in media technologies related to documentary informed its role in shaping social imaginaries?  In addition to pursuing a research project that speaks to central themes of the seminar, the Fellow will play an active role in the intellectual life of the Sawyer Seminar and help with organization.  There will be a one-course teaching requirement (1/0 or 0/1) in the Fellow’s research area.

Selection Process:

Each proposal will be evaluated by the conveners of the Sawyer Seminar, an interdisciplinary group of IU faculty.  The primary evaluation criteria will be intellectual fit with the core ideas of the Seminar, and the promise of the proposed research project, including prospects for publication and significant advances in tangible research.  We strongly recommend applicants read the seminar proposal before beginning their application.  Applicants will be notified of fellowship decisions in May 2016.

Applicants should either a) have completed a Ph.D. in Cinema and Media Studies no earlier than June 30, 2012 and no later than August 1, 2016 with a demonstrable background in History, Law, History of Science/STS, Anthropology, Sociology, Journalism or related discipline or b) have completed a J.D. or Ph.D. in History, Law, History of Science/STS, Anthropology, Sociology, Journalism or related discipline no earlier than June 30, 2012 and no later than August 1, 2016 and have a demonstrable background in the study or production of documentaries.

The application should include:

  • 1000-word research project proposal and one-page bibliography, in language appropriate for a multi-disciplinary panel. Please double-space and use 12-point type.
  • 250-word statement of the project’s potential contribution to Indiana University’s Sawyer seminar
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Three letters of recommendation

Email application (and direct any questions) to:

Prof. Joshua Malitsky

Director, Center for Documentary Research and Practice

Fellowship recipients cannot currently hold a tenure-track position.
Indiana University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer. Scholars who are members of traditionally under-represented groups are encouraged to apply.
There is no citizenship requirement or restriction for this fellowship. Non-U.S. nationals are welcome to apply.  Employment eligibility verifications requested upon hire.