About the Princeton Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts
The Princeton Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts, a group of postdoctoral and faculty fellows, is dedicated to promoting innovative interdisciplinary approaches to scholarship and teaching. Each year the Society chooses a new cohort of Cotsen Fellows, recent recipients of the Ph.D. in the humanities and selected social and natural sciences, who are appointed for three-year terms to pursue research and to teach half-time in a home department or program at the University. The Cotsen fellowships were established in 1999 through the generosity of Charter Trustee Lloyd E. Cotsen, an alumnus who has long been a devoted supporter of Princeton, and under the leadership of the Council of the Humanities.
About the Society
The Princeton Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts, comprised of recent Ph.D. recipients in the humanities and selected social and natural sciences, seeks to promote innovative interdisciplinary approaches to scholarship and teaching. Fellowships are awarded to candidates who are at the beginning of their academic career and have already demonstrated both outstanding scholarly achievement and excellence in teaching. Three to five postdoctoral fellows are appointed each year for three-year terms in residence to pursue research and teach half-time in their academic host department, in the Program in Humanistic Studies, or in other university programs. The total number of postdoctoral fellows is between 12. The fellowships carry with them an appointment as Lecturer in the fellow's host department. Fellows are provided with a shared office, a personal computer, a research account and access to university grants, benefits and other resources.
The Cotsen Postdoctoral and Faculty Fellows meet for social and intellectual events that include a weekly seminar which fellows are expected to attend regularly, and where they present their work-in-progress. 2015-2016 included seminars on subjects such as “Saudi Arabia: Official History and its Contestation”; “Writing the Conceptual, Legal, and International History of Statelessness”; "The Timurid Book of Histories”; "Rousseau's Genealogy of Self-Love”; "The Tang Frontier"; "James Bond's Queer Role in Domestic and Foreign Affairs.” In addition, the Society sponsored lectures on the arts, readings of new scholarship, and informal lunches with editors, journalists, and visiting scholars in the humanities.
The Society gratefully acknowledges the generous sponsorship of fellowships by Charter Trustee Lloyd E. Cotsen, and additional fellowships by the family of A.William Haarlow III '63 as well as several Princeton academic programs and faculty members: The Humanities Council (Behrman, Perkins Fellowships and The Cone Fund for the Humanities); Fund for Reunion/Princeton BTGALA (LGBT Studies); President and Dean of the Faculty at Princeton University (Race and Ethnicity Studies); Programs in East Asian Studies, Hellenic Studies, Judaic Studies, Latin American Studies; the Woodrow Wilson School (International Development); Woodrow Wilson Foundation (Link Fellowship); Mellon Foundation through grants to Professors Anthony Grafton (History of the Book), Peter Schäfer (Judaic Studies) and Ben Elman (East Asian Studies); and the Department of Astrophysical Sciences (Russell, Spitzer, and NSF Fellowships).
Disciplines Represented in the Society of Fellows
Host departments (you must choose one)
African American Studies, Anthropology, Architecture, Art and Archaeology, Classics, Comparative Literature, East Asian Studies, English, French and Italian, German, History, *Music, Near Eastern Studies, Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Slavic Languages and Literatures, Sociology, Spanish and Portuguese.
* PhD candidates in the following areas may apply: Musicology, Music Theory, Ethnomusicology. DMA recipients are not eligible.
Programs of Study (optional - you may choose one, two, or none)
African Studies, American Studies, Ancient World, Architecture and Engineering, Classical Philosophy, Contemporary European Politics and Society, Environmental Studies, European Cultural Studies, Film Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Hellenic Studies, History of Science, Italian Studies, Judaic Studies, Latin American Studies, Latino Studies, Linguistics, Media and Modernity, Medieval Studies, Political Philosophy, Population Studies, Renaissance Studies, Russian and Eurasian Studies, South Asian Studies, Theater and Dance, Translation and Intercultural Communication, Urban Studies, Values and Public Life
Natural sciences: Astrophysics only (Spitzer and Russell Fellowships)
For fellowships in this field only, candidates should apply directly to the Astrophysical Sciences department. Please note that deadlines for this fellowship are later than those in the Humanities and Social Sciences.
2017-2020 Fellowship Competition
The Princeton Society of Fellows, an interdisciplinary group of scholars in the humanities, social sciences, and selected natural sciences, invites applications for the 2017-2020 Fellowship competition.
Four three-year Postdoctoral Fellowships will be awarded this year. The stipend for each of the three years of the fellowship will be approximately $84,500. In addition, fellows are provided with a shared office, a personal computer, a research account of $5,000 a year, access to university grants, benefits and other resources.
Fellows are expected to reside in or near Princeton during the academic year in order to attend weekly seminars and participate fully in the intellectual life of the Society.
If you have already applied to the Princeton Society of Fellows, you may not apply a second time.
All candidates will be informed of the status of their application by the end of January, 2017. Interviews will take place in early February. The Society will reimburse the cost of travel and lodging associated with the interview. Names of fellowship winners will be posted on the Society of Fellows' website in July 2017.
Applicants may apply for one or more fellowship(s) pertinent to their research and teaching.
1. Open Fellowship in the Humanities and Social Sciences (OPEN)
Open to all disciplines represented in the Society of Fellows (see list in section below). The fellowship’s responsibilities include both teaching (one course each semester for two years, one course in the third year) and research. The Fellow will either participate in a team-taught course or offer a self-designed course, in the host department or in an interdisciplinary Program. In addition, the Fellow normally does some advising in his/her specialty or related areas.
2. Fellowship in Humanistic Studies (HUM)
This fellowship is sponsored jointly by the Humanities Council and Society of Fellows, and is open to candidates in humanities disciplines represented in the Society of Fellows (see list in section below). The fellowship’s responsibilities include both teaching (one course each semester for two years, one course in the third year) and research.
In the fall semester of the first two years, the Fellow will join faculty from various fields in the humanities to teach "Interdisciplinary Approaches to Western Culture (Antiquity to the late Middle Ages)". In the spring semester of the first year, the Fellow will offer a self-designed course in the host department or interdisciplinary Program. In the spring semester of the second and third years, the Fellow will offer an interdisciplinary undergraduate course in Humanistic Studies. This course might take a more intensive look at materials from “Approaches to Western Culture,” or offer an interdisciplinary approach to the Fellow's own area of humanities expertise.
The Fellow will be called upon to lead or contribute to occasional activities designed to build a sense of community among undergraduates in the Humanistic Studies Program—the Program offers local and international field trips, an undergraduate society, workshops and other opportunities.
3. Fellowship in LGBT Studies (LGBT)
Fund for Reunion (the LGBT Alumni Association of Princeton University) and the Society of Fellows are co-sponsors of a fellowship to be awarded to a scholar working on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender issues in any of the disciplines represented in the Society (see list below), and particularly in new and emerging fields.
The postdoctoral fellow will be expected to pursue research in any scholarly areas that will make a positive contribution toward public discourse around contemporary LGBT issues. In each of the first two years, the successful candidate pursues research half-time and teaches one course each semester, either team-taught or self-designed, in the host department or an interdisciplinary Program. In addition, the fellow normally does some advising in his/her specialty or related areas. In the third year, the fellow teaches only one course and devotes the final semester to full-time research. The LGBT fellow is also encouraged to share research interests with the wider campus community, with the aim of creating a sustained dialogue on issues related to LGBT equality.
4. Fellowship in Race and/or Ethnicity Studies (RACE)
The Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Study of Race and/or Ethnicity is sponsored jointly by the offices of the President and Dean of the Faculty of Princeton University, and the Society of Fellows. The Fellow will be expected to pursue research that explores the discursive forms and meanings of concepts of race and ethnicity in one or more selected disciplines in the humanities and affiliated social sciences (see list below). The selection committee particularly welcomes applications from candidates whose scholarship is driven by innovative, interdisciplinary, and historical ways of thinking, including interests in pre-modern and non-western cultures. In each of the first two years, the successful candidate pursues research half-time and teaches one self-designed course each semester, either in the host department or an interdisciplinary Program. In addition, the fellow normally does some advising in his/her specialty or related areas. In the third year, the fellow teaches one course in the fall semester and devotes the final semester to full-time research.
PhD degree requirements. Please note the Society's dates of degree eligibility. These are firm dates with no exceptions:
a) Candidates already holding the PhD degree at time of application:
You must have received your degree between January 1, 2015 and September 15, 2016.
The receipt of the PhD is determined by the date on which you fulfilled all requirements for the degree at your institution, including the defense and filing of the dissertation.
b) Candidates who are ABD (All But Dissertation) at time of application:
If you will not meet the September 15, 2016, deadline for receipt of PhD but are expected to have fulfilled all conditions for the degree, including defense and filing of dissertation, by June 15, 2017, you may still apply for a postdoctoral fellowship provided you have completed a substantial portion of the dissertation (approximately half). We ask that you include in your dossier a letter confirming your “progress to degree” from either your Department Chair or your Director of Graduate Studies (see details of letter below).
Please note that candidates awarded a fellowship will be asked to provide a document from either the Registrar or Dean of their Graduate School by June 15, 2017, to confirm completion of all requirements for the PhD.
- Recipients of doctorates in Education (Ed.D. or Ph.D. degrees), doctorates of Jurisprudence, and holders of Ph.D. degrees from Princeton University are not eligible to apply.
- If you have already applied to the Princeton Society of Fellows, you may not apply a second time. We therefore recommend that candidates wait until they have completed a substantial portion of the dissertation (approximately half) before applying.
- Priority will be given to candidates who have received no more than one year of research-only funding past the Ph.D. degree.
- Fellowships will be awarded to candidates at the beginning of their academic career. Candidates must have already demonstrated outstanding scholarly achievement and excellence in teaching. Their work should also show evidence of unusual promise. The Society has a particular interest in fostering innovative interdisciplinary approaches in the humanities and social sciences.
- US citizens and non-US citizens, regardless of race, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, or disability, are eligible to apply. The Society of Fellows seeks a diverse and international pool of applicants and especially welcomes candidates from underrepresented backgrounds.
- Fellows must reside in or near Princeton during the academic year of their fellowship term in order that they can attend weekly seminars and other events on campus.
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