Postdoctoral Associate at the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis, Rutgers University

Application Deadline: February 28, 2020


The Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis invites applications from scholars in all disciplines for post-doctoral residential fellowships during the 2020-2021 academic year. The fellows will take a leading role in RCHA’s year-long seminar on the subject of Life and Death, co-directed by Professors Kim Mutcherson (Rutgers Law School) and Johanna Schoen (Rutgers Department of History).

Using a cross-cultural, comparative, and multidisciplinary lens, the seminar will explore what it means—and what it has meant—to be alive or dead. The seminar will examine the beliefs and rituals, contests and technologies, confusion and anxiety that have surrounded the beginning and end of life from the ancient period to the present, with particular emphasis on comparative approaches from around the globe. If the existing scholarly work on life and death illustrates anything, it is that the opposition between living and dead bodies was never absolute and that the desire to manipulate the beginning and end of life, be it through rituals or medical technology, has been a constant aspiration.

Participants in the seminar will thus consider the legal, social, political, religious, and ethical ramifications of the study of life and death and will grapple with a set of key questions:

When does life begin or end and why do those questions matter?
Who gets to decide what constitutes life or death and in what contexts?
What is the relationship between life, death, and being human and/or being a person?
When, if ever, should secular institutions embrace or condone religious definitions of life or death?

Fellows will receive stipends of $48,000 as well as a research allocation of $2,000; they will also receive Rutgers University health benefits. Fellows will be expected to pursue and present their research, and to participate in weekly seminars and other activities at the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis. Fellows will also have the option of teaching a maximum of one course per semester during the one-year appointment.

Applications consisting of a CV, a 1,500-word research project description, and 3 confidential letters of recommendation are required. All applications must be received by February 28, 2020. And all applicants must have received the Ph.D. between July 1, 2015 and July 1, 2020.

See full job posting and application here.

Posted: January 13, 2020