Mahindra Humanities Center Postdoctoral Fellowships, 2015-16


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 violence and non-violence. The call to arms and the politics of non-violent resistance are often represented as polarities. There are, however, many gray areas that define the dialectical relationship between violence and non-violence. The Mellon seminar, in which the postdoctoral fellows play a central role, explores a different dimension of the interrelationship between violence and non-violence—as disciplinary formation, historical event, ideological or ethical discourse—each year.

Following on this year’s topic of war, in 2015-16 the seminar will focus on everyday violence. We welcome applications from scholars in all fields whose work innovatively engages with the “everyday” in relation to some of the following areas and issues: domestic violence; identity-based violence; crime (including white collar crime); incarceration; ritualized violence, institutions and legal instruments of international civil society; protests; civil disobedience; the question of how violence blurs the boundaries between public and private actors and spaces.

The aims of the seminar are twofold:

1) To study violence/non-violence in a comparative global context to advance our knowledge of their complex relationship and with a view to understanding the role played by violent and non-violent engagements in different historical, cultural, and political contexts.

2) To provide an occasion for a pedagogical inquiry into the construction of knowledges of violence/non-violence relative to the scholarly disciplines—to consider the double movement by which disciplines are both compelled to conserve their authority and impelled by historical and institutional change to open up to emergent, interdisciplinary forms of knowledge.

In addition to pursuing their own research projects, fellows will be core participants in the bi-weekly seminar meetings. Other participants will include faculty and graduate students from Harvard and other universities in the region, and occasional visiting speakers.

Fellows will be joined at the Center by postdoctoral fellows from Germany, who will be coming as part of a collaboration between the Mahindra Humanities Center and the Volkswagen Foundation. Fellows are expected to be in residence at Harvard for the term of the fellowship.

Fellows will receive stipends of $60,000, individual medical insurance, moving assistance of $1,500, and additional research support of $2,500.

Eligibility and Deadline Information

Applicants for 2015-16 fellowships must have received the PhD after May 2012. Applicants without the Ph.D. must demonstrate that they will receive the Ph.D. in or before August 2015. Applications must be completed by December 1, 2014.

Application Instructions

Please apply via our online application.

In addition to biographical and professional information, applicants are asked to submit:

1. A curriculum vitae.

2. A detailed 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. Three letters of recommendation. 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 note we no longer require an application fee.

Please contact Suzanne Smith with questions about applying for a fellowship.

Sponsored by the Volkswagen Foundation

The Volkswagen Foundation sponsors several fellowships at the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard. These fellowships are intended to give young German scholars the opportunity to take advantage of Harvard's libraries, archives, and other facilities, thereby providing opportunities for research and interdisciplinary exchange. Fellows will be able to strengthen their research knowledge and profile in a specific field of the humanities in an international perspective. Fellows are expected to be in residence at Harvard for the term of the fellowship.

Applicants should have finished their PhD with outstanding results two or three years (maximum five years) before. The selection of the fellows will be jointly organized by the Foundation and the Mahindra Humanities Center in a two-step procedure.

Further information about Volkswagen Foundation Fellowships at the Mahindra Humanities Center can be found here.