In keeping with the Fisher Center's mission of supporting research and dialogue about gender and justice through curricular, programmatic, and scholarly projects, the Fisher Center Steering Committee announces a call for applications for our 2019-2020 Pre-doctoral Fellowship. We seek dissertation scholars and advanced candidates for the MFA whose work critically engages the terms of our research theme for the year, “The Drowned World: Water, Politics, and the Future.” We are especially interested in candidates who would contribute to the diversity of the HWS campus.
In 2019-2020, the Fisher Center for the Study of Gender and Justice will consider water, politics, and the future. Water is a conduit for connection, the undercurrent of life. Struggles over water animate social justice movements from Flint, Standing Rock, and Seneca Lake to Palestine, India, and New Zealand. What role does water as a resource play in the struggles for a better world? How do aquatic metaphors, such as liquidity and fluidity, structure our understanding, from critical theory to finance? Our theme, "The Drowned World" names the loss of hope, the breakdown of sociality, and apocalyptic visions that accompany climate change, while at the same time aiming to nurture projects that imagine new flows of life and currents of possibility.
Endowed to further the study of gender and justice in the liberal arts, the Fisher Center welcomes applications from researchers in the humanities, arts, sciences, and social sciences committed to interdisciplinary discussion and collective inquiry.
We are interested in projects that explore aquatic imaginaries in the broadest sense - rethinking terracentrism or solidity from the point of view of the fluid. Is fluidity the right vehicle for rethinking gender? How do concepts of liquidity and "capital flow" cover over the injustice of the economic system? How do metaphors such as the “blue wave” or the “populist tide” structure our view of the electoral shifts and contemporary politics more broadly? Is "oceanic" the best metaphor for the psychological experience of the divine? In addition, how might we reimagine life in a drowning world? What do science and astrobiology teach us about water, and life, in our communities, on our Earth, throughout our solar system, and beyond? When it comes to water, is Earth the ultimate horizon?
Situated in the Finger Lakes, the Fisher Center invites projects mindful of the fluid dimensions of place. We invite papers that explore hydropolitics in the global South and the global North - water wars and water sovereignty, resource struggles, the commodification and privatization of water. What does it mean to be thirsty in a drowning world? How do indigenous struggles over aquifers, especially in dry regions, inform our understanding of environmental justice? How do we preserve precious fresh water resources without falling into NIMByism or pattern of possession and exclusion? What are women’s roles in the allocation of water? Must we grant rights to waterways (as in Whanganui River in New Zealand)? Is it possible to resist and reverse weaponization of water in military and capitalist interventions - submarine warfare, nuclear testing, ocean-floor mining, and the race for the resource-rich Arctic?
What does it mean to conceive water as a medium of memory, writing aquatic, rather than terrestrial, histories? How does one recover submerged histories and afterlives - of slave trade, piracy, lawlessness, and statelessness? How is the sea as a ground of colonial violence implicated in the liberatory imaginings of the oceanic? Proposals can address specific systems: Pacific and Indian oceans as vectors of cultural and economic exchange; the Black Atlantic; the Mediterranean Sea as a migrant graveyard; Polar regions and the melting ice caps; the circumpolar North.
We invite proposals that discuss hybrid entanglements of human and marine organisms, multispecies ecologies, nonhuman modes of memory and experience (e.g. cetacean memory or microbial evolutions). We invite proposals that focus on visual, sonic, and haptic experiences of water as expressed in artistic forms. How do visual media, theater, literature, and sound address environmental changes as manifested in the aquatic, such as acidification and pollution, coral bleaching, invasive species, and mutations caused by toxicity? We are interested in climate adaptation architecture and design: how do contemporary designers and architects envision structures that are resilient to floods, storms, drought, and other meteorological events?
The Fisher Center Pre-doctoral Fellowship offers an opportunity to gain experience teaching in a private liberal arts college while completing thesis work. It carries a stipend of $35,000.00. Fellows teach one course per semester related to their research and the theme, attend Fisher Center lectures and meetings, make a public presentation, and assist with administration of Fisher Center programming. The pre-doctoral fellow participates in the Faculty Fellows Research Group. This group of interdisciplinary scholars meet twice a month to discuss their research as related to the year’s theme.
Pre-doctoral candidates nearing completion of the dissertation and MFA candidates who have completed their coursework and are beginning work on their thesis are encouraged to apply. Application
The Fisher Center Steering Committee will evaluate applications with regard to the quality of the research proposal, the proposal’s likelihood of success, the relevance of the proposal to the theme, and the “fit” with other proposals. We will prioritize creating an interdisciplinary research group.
1. Name, field, contact information, copy of current c.v.
2. A project description (not to exceed two pages). Include a description of background and preparatory work; a description of the proposed research (scope, method, timeline); and, a description of the proposed outcome (dissertation, article, chapter, workshop, presentation, exhibition, performance, etc.).
3. An account of the relation of the project to the theme, “The Drowned World: Water, Politics, and the Future.”
4. Proposals for two undergraduate courses (one for each semester) related to the theme.
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About Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Located on 195 acres in the heart of New York State?s Finger Lakes Region, Hobart and William Smith are independent liberal arts colleges distinctive for providing highly individualized educations. Guided by an interdisciplinary curriculum grounded in exploration and rigor, the Colleges prepare students to think critically. In partnership with the Geneva and global communities and through robust programs in career development, study-abroad, service, leadership and athletics, the Colleges foster an environment that values global citizenship, teamwork, ethics, inclusive excellence, and cultural competence.Under the mentorship of faculty, Hobart and William Smith students gain the necessary clarity to be competitive when seeking employment. They win prestigious fellowships like the Rhodes, Gates Cambridge, Udall, Fulbright and Goldwater. They gain admittance to the best graduate programs in the country. They go on to lead lives of consequence.