CHI Fellow and Visiting Lecturer
Center for Humanistic Inquiry, Amherst College (Amherst, MA)
December 15, 2020
Starting Date: 
July 1, 2021
Post date: October 30, 2020

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 community, CHI Fellows will explore the theme “Black: Here and Now.” We invite applications from scholars whose research or creative work takes up some aspect of our theme (described in more detail below). 

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. 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.

Fellowships include an annual salary of $50,000, an annual $2,500 allowance for professional research support, an office in the center, and additional support for moving expenses. CHI Fellows are expected to be fully in residence during the 2021-2023 academic years and to participate in seminars, conferences, and other programming organized to explore the theme. Fellows will teach at least one course during the period of the fellowship. The center will adhere to any and all guidelines established by the college related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Black: Here and Now

In a recent address to the college community, the president of Amherst College, Biddy Martin, wrote that anti-Black racism “has had a distinctive, very long, and deep-seated position and function in the economic, social, political, and moral history of the country.” As the college launches an ambitious Anti-Racism Initiative to address these concerns, the Center for Humanistic Inquiry invites CHI Fellows to engage in a range of scholarship addressing the theme of anti-Black racism in the United States.

“Black: Here and Now” invites inquiry into myriad aspects of the experiences of Blacks in the U.S.: their enslavement in support of U. S. economic interests; the Civil War and its aftermath; the strategies to reconcile the legacy of slavery with the lofty aspirations toward freedom articulated in the country’s guiding documents—abolitionist movements, reparations, pan-Africanism; the constellation of political ideologies that framed the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s; the evolution of affirmative action; and the contemporary efflorescence of political mobilization regarding police brutality, Black Lives Matter, and defund-the-police initiatives.

We also invite applications from scholars and artists who examine the place of race broadly in the imagination of politics and law, social science and natural science, and art and expression. How is race implicated in histories of imperialism and colonization writ large and in systems of slavery and genocide around the world? What have been its connections to systems of classification and category through history, and what are they today in an age when the human genome has been mapped?

Application Instructions 

Candidates are asked to submit electronically to a cover letter that addresses the connection between the candidate’s scholarship and the center’s theme, a CV, a one-page research statement, an article- or chapter-length writing sample, and three confidential letters of recommendation addressed to Darryl Harper, director of the CHI. A Ph.D. or equivalent terminal degree is required. Review of applications will begin on December 15, 2020, and continue until the positions are filled. Applications received by this date will be assured of full consideration. 

Review Begins: 
December 15, 2020

Job, fellowship, and CFP listings are services that are offered by the American Studies Association to support its members in exploring professional opportunities in American studies. Any questions should be directed to the program, department, or center that has posted the opportunity.