American Philosophical Society, Library & Museum
Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Natural History Exhibition Fellowship
|Location:||Pennsylvania, United States|
The American Philosophical Society’s Library & Museum (APS) invites applications for a one year Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Natural History Exhibition Fellowship. The APS seeks applications from recent humanities Ph.D.s interested in exploring career paths in libraries, museums, and cultural heritage institutions. The Fellowship, based in the APS’s Library & Museum, will be a year-long research fellowship for our forthcoming natural history exhibition opening in the spring of 2024. The fellow will also be provided the opportunity to pursue an independent research project, preferably one related to the collections or programs of the Society’s Library & Museum.
Primary responsibilities will include:
- Conducting research in the APS’s Library & Museum collections in preparation for an exhibition on natural history, that will highlight the five James Audubon elephant folios of Birds of America from the APS’s collection;
- Providing reports on thematic narratives that exist within our collections about natural history;
- Compiling a selection of objects drawn from the APS collections that will be considered for inclusion in the exhibition;
- Depending on the Fellow’s interests and the Library & Museum’s needs, they may also participate in public programming, museum education, collections management, and website development.
The Fellow will be fully integrated into the APS’s Library & Museum staff and 20 percent of the Fellow’s time will be reserved for their own independent research, ideally using resources at the APS or kindred regional institutions. The Fellow will also be expected to participate in the vibrant intellectual community at the Society, including biannual symposia for the elected Members of the APS, monthly lunches at the Library with visiting scholars, daytime workshops and programming with other residential fellows, and evening programs with specialists in a wide range of fields.
This one-year Fellowship begins by September 15, 2022 and ends one year after start date, 2023. Compensation will be $50,000 plus benefits. The Fellowship may not be held concurrently with any other fellowship or grant.
About the APS
The American Philosophical Society (APS), the oldest learned society in the United States, was founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin for the purposes of “promoting useful knowledge.” In the 21st century, it serves to advance knowledge and promote scholarship in the humanities and social, mathematical, life, and physical sciences. Members of the Society are elected from among the most eminent scholars and civic and cultural leaders in North America and abroad. More than 100 living APS Members are Nobel laureates.
The Library & Museum’s collections make it among the premier institutions for documenting and exhibiting the history of the American Revolution and founding, the history of science from Newton to NASA, Native American languages and culture, and the development of American anthropology. The Library houses over 14 million manuscripts, 350,000 volumes and bound periodicals, 250,000 images, fine art, and other objects. Museum exhibitions interpret these extensive collections for the regional, national, and international visitors who come to Philadelphia’s historic district. In so doing, the exhibitions aim to nurture the spirit of inquiry, promote critical thinking, and engender enthusiasm for object-based learning by using primary source documents and authentic objects. The Library & Museum also hosts a robust fellowship program, offering over 25 short-term and 10 long-term fellowships each year to scholars using its collections.
For Further Information on APS Library & Museum Collections visit:
- Ph.D. in any humanities discipline, awarded within the past five years. The Library & Museum’s approach is interdisciplinary, and applications from qualified researchers in any humanities discipline are welcome. Applicants must have Ph.D. in hand by the start of their employment.
- Excellent analytical and writing skills; experience in writing for different purposes and broad audiences.
- Desire to work collaboratively.
- Broad interests, along with the intellectual and conceptual tools necessary for working across disciplines and time periods, and for making creative connections.
- Flexibility and the capacity to learn quickly.
- Project-oriented organizational skills.
- Strong interest in exploring a career in the museum field and/or public history.
- Fellows are not required to have specialized expertise in the exhibition topic, however, general interest in these topics is desirable.
APS requires all its staff, fellows, interns, and volunteers to be fully vaccinated (initials shot(s) and booster) against COVID-19.
Please complete an application in Interfolio (https://apply.interfolio.com/110885) with the following materials:
- Cover letter stating interest in exploring curatorial work;
- Statement of current research interests (no more than 1,100 words). This statement should include a description of a potential personal research project to work on during the Fellowship, preferably one related to APS collections or programs;
- Excerpt(s) from dissertation (no more than 5,000 words). An excerpt from a draft in progress is acceptable;
- Example of non-scholarly writing, if available is highly recommended;
- A letter from a Department Chair or Director of Graduate Studies (or equivalent) confirming that the applicant will complete their Ph.D. by the required date.
- Contact information for two professional references (letters not required) who can speak to your qualifications in the following areas:
- Does the applicant have a sincere interest in museum studies and/or public history?
- How would this fellowship advance their career goals?
- Is the applicant able to research and write collaboratively? If possible, please provide specific examples.
- How does the applicant respond to externally imposed changes to a project in which they are invested?
Applications will be evaluated as they are received, for best consideration, submit materials by August 22, 2022. The position will remain open until filled.
The American Philosophical Society is an equal opportunity employer, dedicated to a policy of nondiscrimination in employment on any basis including race, creed, color, age, sex, gender, religion, or national origin. The APS values diversity in its many forms and encourages diverse applicants to apply.
Please direct any additional questions to Mary Grace Wahl, Associate Director for Exhibitions and Collections at email@example.com.
|Primary Category:||American History / Studies