Postdoc at University of California, Irvine

The UCI School of Humanities invites applications for a one-year postdoctoral scholar for 2022-2023. The postdoctoral fellow will take a leading role in “Black Reconstruction as a Portal,” a John E. Sawyer Seminar funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The postdoctoral scholar will be affiliated with the UCI Humanities Center, as well as the appropriate academic department in either the School of Humanities or the School of Social Sciences. While in residence at UCI, the Mellon Postdoctoral Scholar will participate in all activities associated with the Sawyer Seminar, have public programming duties, and have the opportunity for scholarly work. The successful candidate will be eager to work in a collaborative setting, have experience organizing or hosting events, and a research agenda that addresses historical and/or contemporary issues of Global Blackness through the multiple logics and tensions of racial capitalism. The postdoctoral scholar will have the opportunity to interface with scholars from across the United States and around the world working on topics related to the overall seminar theme.

Duties will include:
Participate in planning and attending all Sawyer Seminar activities.
Assist with events, including publicity, hosting visiting scholars, and on-site coordination.
Lead panel discussions, reading groups, and small group meetings.
Write content for project website, blog, and other social media.
Contribute to research and writing for the seminar.
Engage with seminar participants and visiting scholars.
Conduct own research as proposed.

BLACK RECONSTRUCTION AS PORTAL
The UCI School of Humanities invites applications for a one-year postdoctoral scholar for 2022-2023. The postdoctoral fellow will take a leading role in “Black Reconstruction as a Portal,” a John E. Sawyer Seminar funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The postdoctoral scholar will be affiliated with the UCI Humanities Center, as well as the appropriate academic department in either the School of Humanities or the School of Social Sciences. While in residence at UCI, the Mellon Postdoctoral Scholar will participate in all activities associated with the Sawyer Seminar, have public programming duties, and have the opportunity for scholarly work. The successful candidate will be eager to work in a collaborative setting, have experience organizing or hosting events, and a research agenda that addresses historical and/or contemporary issues of Global Blackness through the multiple logics and tensions of racial capitalism. The postdoctoral scholar will have the opportunity to interface with scholars from across the United States and around the world working on topics related to the overall seminar theme.

“Black Reconstruction as a Portal” will be a year-long Sawyer Seminar at UC Irvine during 2022-2023 that sets out to explore the global salience of visions of Black Reconstruction as a portal between the crisis that marks our current predicament and the freedom dreams of those who have taken to the streets insisting that another world is still possible. This seminar proposes to explore W.E.B Du Bois’s historical study, Black Reconstruction, as a conduit to our present global crisis. If scholars and activists want to come to terms with the structural continuities in anti-Blackness today perhaps there is no better place to start than to grapple with Du Bois’s study of the simultaneous possibilities—and ultimate foreclosure of—what he called abolition democracy at the very moment of slavery’s demise and the rise of Jim Crow. Situated within a historical record that positions the United States during a critical moment (buildup of the Civil War and the subsequent period of Reconstruction) within the context of competing and symbiotic global political, economic and social systems, Black Reconstruction offers a model to understand complex structural and social issues.

In our proposed conversations, we seek to challenge the temporal delimitation of the relevance of Du Bois’s work to a prior historical era and its geographical confinement to the borders of the United States of America. Given that Du Bois’s broader scholarly career maintained an analytical focus on a necessarily global color line, we want to ask: What alternative visions of liberation might be unveiled if Black Reconstruction—both the text and the historical event—is deployed as a portal into our present global predicament? How do Du Bois’s theorizations of abolition democracy, education, general strike, capital, crisis, “the Coming of the Lord”, counter-revolution, land and labor, race and class, and the propaganda of history “travel” and speak to contemporary iterations of spiritual strivings, the feminist strike in Latin America, land occupations in Africa, and the rise of neo-fascism in Europe and North America? Some familiarity with Du Bois’s text would be considered a plus, but is not required for applicants.

QUALIFICATIONS
Ph.D. in any humanities or social sciences discipline. Candidates must have degree in hand by June 2022.
Applicant disciplines or areas of specialization might include but are not limited to: Anthropology; Geography; Global Studies; American Studies; Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies; History; Black Studies; Comparative Literature; Ethnic Studies; Sociology; and Political Theory.
Evidence of a research agenda concerned with “Black Reconstruction as a Portal.” Some familiarity with Du Bois’s text would be considered a plus, but is not required for applicants.
Excellent writing and analytical skills; experience in writing for different purposes and a diversity of audiences, including but not limited to scholarly audiences.
Strong interdisciplinary interests, skills, and experience.
Flexibility, nimbleness, and creativity, with the ability to work both collaboratively and independently.
Experience in project management and/or in organizing workshops or conferences.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS
Curriculum Vitae – Your most recently updated C.V.
Cover Letter – Cover letter discussing how your own research agenda aligns with the theme of “Black Reconstruction as a Portal,” broadly conceived, your organizational experience, and your practice of interdisciplinary work and/or your interest in addressing multiple audience
Statement of Research – Candidates under final consideration will be asked to provide a research proposal describing what you plan to accomplish during the fellowship year, the significance of your project, and how it aligns with the theme “Black Reconstruction as a Portal.”
Inclusive Excellence Activities Statement – Statement addressing how past and/or potential contributions to inclusive excellence will advance UCI’s Commitment to Inclusive Excellence. See our guidance for writing an inclusive excellence activities statement.
Writing Sample – Writing sample (no more than 8,000 words total)
Reference requirements
3 required (contact information only)
Candidates under final consideration will be asked to provide 3 confidential letters of recommendation.
Apply Now!

The University of California, Irvine is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer advancing inclusive excellence. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, or other protected categories covered by the UC nondiscrimination policy.
JOB LOCATION Irvine, CA