The Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography
In July 2017, Rare Book School received a $1 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support a new RBS program, the Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography. Building on the success of the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in Critical Bibliography, the Society has been formed for the purposes of advancing the study of texts, images and artifacts as material objects through capacious, interdisciplinary scholarship, and enriching humanistic inquiry and education by identifying, mentoring, and training promising early-career scholars. The Society’s members endeavor to integrate methods of critical bibliography into their teaching and research, to foster collegial conversations about historical and emerging media across disciplines and institutions, and to share their knowledge with broader publics.
Current RBS-Mellon Fellows have been invited to join the Society as Senior Fellows, responsible for the governance of the Society, for planning the Society’s annual meeting and other programs, and for recruiting and selecting Junior Fellows. The Mellon Foundation’s support will enable eight cohorts of Junior Fellows to join the Society over a period of ten years.
Overview of Fellowship Program
Each year, ten Junior Fellows are selected to join the Society through an open application process. After two years of membership in the Society, Junior Fellows in good standing become Senior Fellows. Program activities for Junior Fellows include:
- two Rare Book School courses: Fellows will study with Rare Book School’s distinguished international faculty during the School’s weeklong seminar-style courses, once per year for two years. During their courses, fellows will receive hands-on, expert instruction by RBS faculty on interpreting the material forms of textual artifacts, from medieval manuscripts and early American hand-press books to born-digital materials. In these 30-hour courses, fellows will have the opportunity to handle, analyze, and interpret materials from RBS’s c.80,000-item collection, from the University of Virginia’s Special Collections, and, in some cases, from the Library of Congress, Yale University, and other major special collections in the United States. One course, on the topic of descriptive or textual bibliography, will be required; the other course will be chosen by fellows to suit their research interests. Fellows’ tuition for their two RBS courses will be waived by the fellowship.
- seminars on critical bibliography: Fellows will discuss bibliography and its potential place in humanities teaching and research during their cohort’s orientation and attendance at the SoFCB annual meeting. Fellows will continue to consider the questions raised during these seminars during their bibliography course at RBS. Fellows will receive travel support to attend the orientation at the University of Virginia.
- symposia on critical bibliography: Fellows will each be assigned $500 for use in hosting symposia on topics relating to critical bibliography. These symposia will enable fellows to invite distinguished scholars who are model practitioners of bibliography, book history, and related fields to enrich the ongoing critical conversations at their home institutions. Fellows will be encouraged to collaborate with each other and their local departments, centers, and programs in planning and hosting events.
- bibliographical field school: Fellows will be invited to attend one optional three-day “bibliographical field school,” a targeted visit to major special collections, antiquarian bookstores, conservation labs, auction houses, and private collections in New York City. The field school will be tailored to fellows’ research interests, and will provide them with opportunities to speak with leading professionals regarding resources pertinent to their research.
Eligibility and Application Process
The Society invites applications for the Junior Fellows program from early-career scholars and researchers from all fields, with preference given to first-time Rare Book School participants. We welcome applications from tenure track faculty, Ph.D. candidates, curators, librarians, those in postdoctoral research and teaching positions, and independent scholars. We ask that applicants be Ph.D. candidates or possess the terminal degree appropriate to their field (Ph.D., M.L.I.S., &c.). The Society especially encourages applications from individuals from underrepresented backgrounds, individuals from under-resourced institutions, and individuals working on topics currently underrepresented in the fields of book history and bibliography.
Applicants must be available for an orientation at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA on 23 and 24 May 2018. Applicants must commit to participating in two RBS courses before 31 December 2019.
The following classes of applicants are not eligible for membership in the Society of Fellows: scholars who received their terminal degrees (Ph.D., M.L.I.S., &c.) ten or more years prior to the fellowship application deadline; students and faculty from institutions located outside the United States; tenured faculty; tenured scholarly professionals, and professionals hired at equivalent levels (e.g., full-time professional curators, associate directors of institutes, &c.); and individuals who have served on RBS’s full-time, year-round staff.
Applications are now available and are due on 1 November. To begin the application process, please log into your myRBS account. On the Home screen, click the “Apply for a Scholarship or Fellowship” button on the left side of the page. If you have trouble with myRBS, see the FAQ page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications will only be accepted through our online portal (not by email or via paper, except in cases of disability requiring accommodation). We recommend preparing your answers in advance, and entering and submitting your completed application in a single online session. You may, however, leave and return to an application that is in progress, as long as you use the same computer and browser, and have not cleared cookies in your browser.
You may choose to automatically request letters of recommendation as part of the application submission process, or may contact your recommenders in advance on your own.
For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.
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