Amherst Center for Humanistic Inquiry Fellowships
The Center for Humanistic Inquiry (CHI) at Amherst College seeks scholars from across the disciplines for full-time, two-year appointments as CHI Fellows and visiting lecturers. In colloquy with one another and the Amherst faculty, CHI Fellows will explore the theme of “Home.” We invite applications from scholars whose research takes up some aspect of our theme (described in more detail below) from a humanistic perspective. Within the last decade, Amherst College has profoundly transformed its student body in terms of socioeconomic status, ethnicity, race, and nationality. Today, nearly one-quarter of Amherst’s students are Pell grant recipients; 45 percent of our students identify as domestic students of color; and 10 percent of our students are international students.
Fellows will have offices in the center and are expected to be fully in residence during the 2019–2021 academic years and to participate in seminars, conferences, and other programming organized to explore our theme. A Ph.D. or equivalent terminal degree is required. Fellows will also teach at least one course during the period of the fellowship. These fellowships include an annual salary of $50,000 and, in addition, an annual $2,500 allowance for professional travel and research support and additional support for moving expenses.
Candidates are asked to submit electronically a cover letter that addresses the connection between the candidate’s scholarship and the center’s theme, a CV, a research statement, a writing sample, and three confidential letters of recommendation addressed to Professor Martha M. Umphrey, director, Center for Humanistic Inquiry, Amherst College. Review of applications will begin on January 15, 2019, and continue until the positions are filled. Applications received by this date will be assured of full consideration.
The college is committed to enriching its educational experience and its culture through the diversity of its faculty, administration, and staff. Amherst College is an equal opportunity employer and encourages women, persons of color, and persons with disabilities to apply.
Across time and space and culture, there has been perhaps no more resonant an idea than that of “home.” Both material and affective, home is a space of origin and dwelling, set apart from spheres of promiscuous public interaction and of emptiness. To have a home is to be more than housed: it is to be given an identity, to feel belonging, to find refuge, to constitute private or domestic life, to gather people and material objects, and to generate memory. By contrast, to be without a home is to be outside of or excluded from that centering and protective space, to feel estrangement or abandonment, to wander detached from place, or perhaps from another perspective to take on a new and cosmopolitan identity, self-willed and multivalent.
Yet home and homelessness are also constituted from the outside – constructed through policy, imbued with ideology, and elaborated aesthetically in relation to other times and traditions. Authorities construct and destroy homes; institutions proclaim their economic and moral value; designers imagine their utopic possibilities. What is home’s force or energy as a thing and an idea? How is home imagined, deployed, and conjured as an object of desire? How is home simultaneously a mechanism of protection and of exclusion? Who can have a home, and what are the conditions of its possibility? How has the home evolved historically and manifested differently across cultures? What is home’s relation to language and identity, exile and migration?