USC Society of Fellows in the Humanities Postdoctoral Fellowships
The USC Society of Fellows in the Humanities supports advanced research by postdoctoral fellows and faculty members by promoting intellectual exchange and interdisciplinary approaches to research and teaching in the humanities and humanistic social sciences.
The USC Society of Fellows in the Humanities is an interdisciplinary community of postdoctoral scholars and faculty members in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. Fellows meet regularly in formal and informal settings to present and discuss advanced scholarly research. Postdoctoral fellows are affiliated with the Society as well as with a USC department of their choice, and have faculty mentors in both. Postdoctoral fellows in the humanities engage with each other as well as humanities departments, institutes, and centers at USC and in the broader Los Angeles area.
Each year the Society admits up to five postdoctoral fellows, who are appointed for two-year terms during which they pursue research and teach three courses over four semesters, with one semester for full-time research. They are expected to reside in the Los Angeles area during the academic year and to participate in the scholarly life of the Society, the host department, and the university. The salary for postdoctoral fellows is $57,500 per year plus fringe benefits, with an additional research and travel account of $6,000 per year.
The Society has several goals:
- To support advanced scholarly research in the humanities and humanistic social sciences.
- To build on USC’s commitment to interdisciplinary enquiry.
- To further the professional development of junior scholars by providing time for research and writing, the opportunity to establish a teaching portfolio, and mentoring to help them prepare for careers as tenure-track faculty.
- To add new voices from other institutions to conversations within and across disciplines in the humanities and humanistic social sciences at USC, as well as to conversations about the value and place of the humanities within the university and in society at large.
- To recognize and reward faculty excellence in research and mentoring.
- To contribute to the intellectual and professional development of doctoral students in the humanities and humanistic social sciences.
Launched in Fall 2016, the Society of Fellows in the Humanities emerged from a previous program, the Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellows in the Humanities. The Society builds on other programs sponsored by the Office of the Provost that champion the importance of the humanities for USC’s academic community, including Visions & Voices, faculty grants for Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences, and expanded support for outstanding humanities Ph.D. students through Provost’s Ph.D. Fellowships.
To apply for the 2018–2020 cohort, candidates must have received their Ph.D. no earlier than July 1, 2014 and must have completed their doctoral degree by July 1, 2018. Scholars who received their doctorates from the University of Southern California are not eligible to apply. Non U.S. citizens are eligible to apply for this program.
Applicants’ research and teaching must be in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. We adhere to the guidelines provided by the ACLS:
“the humanities and humanistic social sciences include but are not limited to American studies; anthropology; archaeology; art and architectural history; classics; economics; film; geography; history; languages and literatures; legal studies; linguistics; musicology; philosophy; political science; psychology (excluding clinical or counseling psychology); religious studies; rhetoric, communication, and media studies; sociology; and theater, dance, and performance studies. Proposals in the social science fields listed above are eligible only if they employ predominantly humanistic approaches (e.g., economic history, law and literature, political philosophy, history of psychology).”
Proposals are welcome from applicants with interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary projects. Proposals may focus on any period and geographic region.
Applicants will be evaluated based on their academic accomplishments, the significance and intellectual merit of their research project, and their potential to contribute to the intellectual life of the Society of Fellows, their host department, and the community of scholars at USC. Up to five positions may be awarded each year.
Applicants should submit:
- A finished and complete online application
- A cover letter, which should indicate the applicant’s primary field of research and desired departmental affiliation. Scholars working across disciplines may indicate the various fields their research addresses and, if desired, additional possible departmental affiliations. In addition to the Society of Fellows, the University of Southern California is home to multiple institutes, centers, and programs in the humanities. If your research interests align with those of any of these programs, please indicate this on your cover letter. If the dissertation has not been completed, the letter should detail its progress, timeline to completion, and scheduled or proposed defense date should the fellowship be awarded.
- A CV
- A writing sample of one dissertation chapter or article
- A research proposal describing the applicant’s plans for the period of the fellowship. This may include revising the dissertation for publication and/or plans for the candidate’s next academic project (up to three pages double-spaced).
- A teaching statement
- The names of three faculty members who can supply letters of reference directly to USC. Referees will be contacted by email and should submit letters of reference electronically. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure the submitted email addresses for referees are accurate.
Please submit PDF files. Candidates are responsible for ensuring that all accompanying documents are properly uploaded and open correctly.
The application cycle for postdoctoral fellowships for 2018–2020 will open Monday, October 9th, 2017.
The deadline to submit an application is Monday, November 27, 2017, noon PST.
Note: If you are using a third-party dossier service provider or your institution’s recommendation letter service, please use the “electronic delivery” option. For instance, some third-party dossier service providers assign a unique email address for every referee on your account; please enter this unique email address in the application site, and an email will be sent to the service provider with a request to upload a specific reference letter on your behalf.