Cornell University, Society for the Humanities
2020-21 Society for the Humanities Fellowships, Focal Theme "Fabrication"
|Institution Type:||College / University|
|Location:||New York, United States|
Fellows include scholars and practitioners from other universities and members of the Cornell faculty released from regular duties. Fellows at the Society for the Humanities are “residential,” and will collaborate with one another and the Taylor Family Director of the Society for the Humanities, Paul Fleming, Professor of Comparative Literature and German Studies. Fellows spend their time in research and writing during the residential fellowship, and are required to participate in a weekly Fellows Seminar workshopping each other’s projects and participating in lively discussions on readings based on the yearly theme.
The nature of this fellowship year is social and communal—Fellows forge connections outside the classroom and the lecture hall by sharing meals following the weekly seminar and attending post-lecture receptions and other casual events throughout the year. Fellows live and work in Ithaca, NY, and are expected to be in their offices on campus frequently. All applicants for Society Fellowships should share in this commitment to creating a supportive and intellectually stimulating community.
Fellows teach one small seminar during their fellowship year appropriate for graduate students and advanced undergraduates. Though courses are designed to fit the focal theme, there are no additional restrictions on what or how the course should be taught. Fellows are encouraged to experiment with both the content and the method of their seminar particularly as it relates to their current research.
The Society for the Humanities at Cornell University seeks interdisciplinary research projects for residencies that reflect on the theme of fabrication. Embodying two strands of production – creation and concoction, making and faking, forming and falsifying – fabrications are both made up and made real.
Fabrication is bound up with fiction, language, and storytelling: from spinning a yarn and weaving a tale through embellishment to lying and falsehood. Fabrication recalls the old adage that ‘the poets lie,’ pondering the relation between invention and deception. While today it seems that the pejorative sense of fabrication often falls to politicians, this dual valence nonetheless raises the question of whether art, fiction, narrative, and historiography ever fully extricate themselves from suspicion. This is especially the case in the age of quantification and ‘hard data,’ with its attendant effects on the humanities – and yet numbers without narrative tell us nothing, have no story to tell.
In so far as homo faber demarcates the human as artisan, as one who works and produces (or perhaps refuses to participate in an economy of production and reproduction), fabrication necessarily calls upon studies of labor, manufacturing, and (mass-)production. In this sense, fabrication connotes a materiality or tactility that stretches from the factory floor to the loom, and can be apprehended in metal and wood, plastics and dyes, canvas and paper, clays and concretes, fabrics and textiles.
From the weaving of Penelope to the communal knitting of ‘pussy hats,’ fabrication is gendered and embodied, mythologized and politicized, turning domestic crafts (often ‘women’s work’) into acts of resistance. Through fashion, costume, adornment, and drag, fabrication is woven into questions of embodiment, gender, sexuality, performance, and transformation. Communities and identities can be crafted, agency conjured, systems of power refashioned.
Raising the relation between the high and low arts, the artist and the worker, the poet and rhetorician as well as the gendering of production and reproduction, fabrication lies at heart of the art and humanities.
The Society for the Humanities invites applications from scholars and artists who are interested in participating in a productive, critical dialogue concerning the topic of fabrication from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.
Fellows should be working on topics related to the year’s theme. Their approach to the humanities should be broad enough to appeal to students and scholars in several humanistic disciplines.
Applicants must have received the Ph.D. degree before January 1, 2019. The Society for the Humanities will not consider applications from scholars who received the Ph.D. after this date. Applicants must also have one or more years of teaching experience, which may include teaching as a graduate student.
The following application materials must be submitted via https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/14020 on or before OCTOBER 1, 2019. Any other method of applying will not be accepted.
- A curriculum vitae
- A one-page abstract describing the research project the applicant would like to pursue during the term of the fellowship (no more than 300 words)
- A detailed statement of the research project (1,000 – 2,000 words). Applicants may also include a one-page bibliography of the most essential materials to the project.
- A course proposal for a seminar related to the applicant’s research. Seminars meet two hours per week for one semester and enrollment is limited to fifteen advanced undergraduates and graduate students. The course proposal should consist of:
- A brief course description suitable for the University course catalog (50-125 words)
- A detailed course proposal (up to 300 words)
- A list of the essential texts for the course
- One scholarly paper (no more than 35 pages in length)
- Two letters of recommendation from senior colleagues to whom candidates should send their research proposal and teaching proposal. Letters of recommendation should include an evaluation of the candidate’s proposed research and teaching statements. Please ask referees to submit their letters directly through the application link. Letters must be submitted on or before OCTOBER 1, 2019.
The Society for the Humanities was established at Cornell University in 1966 to support research and teaching in the humanities. It is intended to be at once a research institute, a stimulus to educational innovation, and a continuing society of scholars. The Society and its Fellows have fostered path-breaking interdisciplinary dialogue and theoretical reflection on the humanities at large.
Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. The College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will create a climate that attracts students and faculty of all races, nationalities, and genders. We strongly encourage women and underrepresented minorities to apply. Cornell University is a recognized EEO/AA employer and educator, valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities.