Despite the challenges posed by the current academic job market, many graduate students on the cusp of filing their dissertations are either unfamiliar with postdoctoral opportunities or simply decline to apply as they search for teaching positions. While postdoctoral applications, like job letters, require a significant investment of time and effort, postdoctoral opportunities in the humanities offer an important and underutilized bridge to a successful academic career. They afford humanities doctoral students additional time (anywhere from one to five years) to build up their résumés, expand their professional contacts in the field, do publicly engaged work, build up a repertoire of courses they have taught as the instructor of record, and submit additional articles for publication.
That being said, there are a wealth of different kinds of postdoctoral fellowships, some more research-focused others very teaching-intensive, and some more specifically aimed at public engagement. Following an introduction to the landscape, recent UF faculty and PhDs who will discuss their experience as humanities postdoctoral fellows in a variety of settings. The workshop will conclude by offering perspectives from the other side of the table, namely that of the postdoctoral fellowship reviewer. Students will get insight into how to present themselves most effectively at this transitional phase – and the balance they should make in their applications between their dissertations and new areas of research at this early stage. Participants will gain some perspective as to what makes the top applications in very competitive pools stand out.
Introduction to PostDocs in the Humanities
Sophia Acord is Associate Director of the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Exeter, U.K. and is a former Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley.
Lessons from Having a PostDoc
Leeann Hunter (Ph.D., University of Florida, 2010) is Clinical Assistant Professor of English and Digital Technology and Culture at Washington State University. She received her PhD in 2010 from the University of Florida, and she was a Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology from 2010-2012. Her research engages in the cultures of work from the vantage point of cognitive and affective experiences as they pertain both to women’s professional narratives in Victorian England and students’ professional growth narratives in the 21st-century university.
Jordana Cox was the 2015-16 Postdoctoral Associate at the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere. She earned her Ph.D. from Northewestern in Theatre and Drama, and a Certificate in Rhetoric and Public Culture. She is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Richmond.
Lessons from a PostDoc Reviewer
Charles E. Rosenberg is Professor of the History of Science, Emeritus at Harvard. Prof. Rosenberg has written widely on the history of medicine and science and is best known for books such as the Cholera Years: The United States in 1832, 1849, and 1866 and No Other Gods: On Science and American Social Thought. He has been awarded fellowships by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation (twice), and the Rockefeller Foundation. He is a member (and council member) of the American Philosophical Society, Institute of Medicine, and fellow of the American Antiquarian Society and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
Center for the Humanities
and the Public Sphere
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
200 Walker Hall
P.O. Box 118030
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611