Amherst College Center for Humanistic Inquiry (CHI) Fellows

The Center for Humanistic Inquiry (CHI) at Amherst College seeks scholars from across the disciplines for full-time, one-year appointments as CHI Fellows.  In colloquy with one another and the Amherst faculty, the CHI Fellows will explore the theme of Conservation.  Amherst College is an equal opportunity employer and encourages women, persons of color, and persons with disabilities to apply. The college is committed to enriching its educational experience and its culture through the diversity of its faculty, administration, and staff.  Our student body is broadly diverse with regard to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, and religion. We invite applications from scholars whose research takes up some aspect of our theme (described in more detail below) from a humanistic perspective.

We live in the Anthropocene, an epoch whose predominant narrative is one of decline and fall — of transformation, deterioration, and loss. Our theme invites inquiry into how humans have responded to that narrative. We associate the idea of conservation with care, repair, and stewardship both of nature and of culture. To conserve is to place oneself in relation to the past perhaps an imagined past that one values and believes ought to remain and persist into the future.   In rehabilitating wetlands and restoring great works of art, reanimating lost languages and moral traditions, creating archives and preserving work born digital, conservation generates a set of values, techniques, and orientations to temporality and change.  We invite applicants from scholars whose research takes up some aspect of our theme from a humanistic perspective.


Fellows, who will have offices in the center, are expected to be in residence during the 2016-2017 academic year and to participate in workshops and conferences organized to explore our theme.  A Ph.D. is required.  These fellowships include a salary of $50,000 and, in addition, a $2,500 allowance for professional travel and research support and additional support for moving expenses.


Candidates should submit electronically to a cover letter that addresses the connection between the candidates scholarship and the centers 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 1, 2016, and continue until the position is filled. Applications received by this date will be assured of full consideration.