A. W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities and Humanistic Social Sciences 2018-20 - Truth, Fact, and Ways of Knowing

Publish Date: Aug 29, 2017

Deadline: Nov 01, 2017

A. W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities and Humanistic Social Sciences, 2018-20

The University of Wisconsin-Madison invites applications for its postdoctoral fellowship program in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, it will provide 3 two-year postdoctoral fellowships for recent PhD recipients starting on August 20, 2018. Fellows are members of the Institute for Research in the Humanities and Center for the Humanities, and are also affiliated with a humanities or humanistic social science department in the College of Letters & Science, where they will teach a total of three undergraduate courses over two years with no teaching in the first semester of the fellowship.



  • Fellows must hold a PhD in a humanities discipline or in the humanistic social sciences.
  • Applicants must be scholars who are not yet tenured and who are within 5 years of having received their PhD. To be eligible for this competition, the degree must be received between August 2013 and August 2018.
  • Applicants who do not yet hold a PhD but expect to file their final thesis prior to the begin date of the fellowship (August 20, 2018) must provide a letter from their home institution (department chair, head of graduate studies, or advisor) confirming the degree award schedule.
  • Doctoral candidates and those holding PhDs or other doctoral degrees from UW-Madison are ineligible.
  • In an effort to foster disciplinary diversity in our program of six postdoctoral fellows, we are not likely to award fellowships to candidates whose teaching would be in the Departments of History, English, or Geography.
  • The fellowship has no nationality requirements. If accepted, international candidates will be responsible for securing their own paperwork, visas, etc. as needed, though the university can provide some support in that process.
  • Selected recipients may not hold another fellowship simultaneous with this one.


The theme for 2018-2020 is Truth, Fact, and Ways of Knowing. We seek applications from scholars whose research addresses conceptions of truth (or lie), fact (or fiction) as well as questions of epistemology, representation, and evidence.  Scholars may take up these themes directly as the topic of their research in fields that could include philosophy, literature, the arts, cultural studies, politics, or media studies, among others, or through methodological approaches that reflect novel ways of thinking about evidence, proof and argument. We also are interested in scholars who are concerned with the ways in which truth is manipulated, whether by groups, individuals, or discourses. Projects may focus on any area of the world, including cross-regional analyses, at any historical or prehistorical moment.

We welcome applications from scholars who work in philosophy, literary studies, cultural studies, rhetoric, religious studies, art history and visual cultures, sound studies and musicology, history of science and technology, critical and political theory, legal studies, critical race studies, gender studies, linguistics, film and media studies, and other core and emerging fields in the humanities.

Interdisciplinary scope across these fields as well as between the humanities, arts, sciences, and social sciences is encouraged. Likewise, the selection committee welcomes projects that employ innovative methods. However, in 2018, we are unlikely to appoint fellows in the Departments of History, English, or Geography.


In 2018-2020 the stipend for postdoctoral fellows will be at least $62,090 per academic year, with a $5,000 per year research allowance. Fellows will be furnished with office space and computer equipment. 

Your application must include the following:

  • 100 word abstract of dissertation or book project.
  • Proposal of up to 2,000 words. The proposal should outline completed research (including dissertation); work in progress; research that will be conducted as a Mellon Fellow (please give the main project a title); an explanation of how that research relates to the theme of Truth, Fact, and Ways of Knowing; a description of professional goals and plans for publication; an indication of the undergraduate courses you might teach; and other relevant information. Include how you believe you would benefit from being at UW-Madison, including the faculty associations you would like to develop.
  • Curriculum vitae; include work forthcoming and in progress.
  • Writing sample of up to 25 pages double spaced. The writing sample should be in English. References/images/endnotes may be in reasonable excess of the 25 pages.
  • Confidential reference letters from three writers. Reference letters should address the significance and feasibility of the proposed research; quality of the proposal; qualifications for the project; past work; and potential contributions to and benefits from being a Mellon postdoctoral fellow at UW-Madison.
  • Optional: Statement of teaching philosophy and/or sample syllabi or descriptions of courses you have taught or would like to teach.

Application submission

Applications must be submitted via Interfolio. Submit your application: https://apply.interfolio.com/44129

  • When you begin your application, you will be asked to upload your curriculum vitae, proposal, and writing sample as separate documents.
  • If you would like to include teaching information and/or you have a letter corroborating the degree award schedule, upload these as “additional documents.”
  • All reference letters must be submitted through Interfolio.
  • All materials, including reference letters, must be submitted by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 to ensure full consideration.

Because this fellowship includes teaching, a criminal background check may be required of fellowship recipients.

Questions can be directed to:
Megan Massino
Assistant Director of Scholarly and Academic Programs
Center for the Humanities
University of Wisconsin-Madison

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