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ASA Announces New Postdoctoral Fellowship

Tuesday, June 12, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Julie Van Camp
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The American Society for Aesthetics Board of Trustees has approved a new Postdoctoral Fellowship program to commence with the fall term of 2019. The Fellowship is designed to free a promising early career scholar to dedicate time to intensive research in aesthetics and to cultivate connections to philosophical research outside the field.

The application deadline for this first Fellowship will be March 1, 2019. Applicants must be members of the American Society for Aesthetics at the time of application and must have earned a PhD in North America for a dissertation in aesthetics no earlier than August 1, 2014. For the purpose of this fellowship, aesthetics is understood to include the philosophical study of art, criticism, and/or history of the arts, and related phenomena.

The selection will be made by a new Postdoctoral Fellowship Committee, appointed by the ASA President. The Committee will consist of senior ASA members representing a range of interests and perspectives, and mindful of the importance of avoiding conflict of interest or the appearance of conflict.

 The fellowship is tenable for up to two years at any doctoral-level philosophy department in the United States. The stipend is $50,000 per year. In addition, up to $10,000 will be allocated for reimbursement of  medical insurance, relocation expenses, and/or travel to professional meetings to present work in aesthetics.  The recipient may teach one or two classes for the host institution per year, but no more than one class per term (quarter or semester). The second year of funding is subject to adequate progress, as determined by the Postdoctoral Fellowships Committee.

 Successful proposals will connect research in aesthetics to research outside the field, promise to broaden the applicant’s expertise and the audience for their work, and enrich the host department by bringing aesthetics into the philosophical discussion. A successful proposal will include a plan for working with a host faculty member who does not have aesthetics/philosophy of art as a current area of specialization in a strong research-oriented department selected by the applicant.

This program grew out of recommendations by an ad hoc committee on Postdoctoral Fellowships. The Board of Trustees approved the concept in principle at its November 15, 2017 meeting. Only one fellowship at a time will be supported by ASA through this program.

 A complete application package comprises (1) a curriculum vitae, (2) graduate school transcripts, (3) a prospectus of not more than five pages, (4) an article-length writing sample (or PDF of a published article or chapter), (5) three letters of reference (sent under separate cover),  (6) a letter of support from a proposed mentor at the host department, and (7) a letter from a person with Authority to substantiate the host department’s commitment to the applicant’s academic professionalization and confirm that the department will accommodate the applicant’s teaching plans (if any), will assign the applicant an office in the department, and will extend library privileges, technology, support, and opportunities to participate fully in departmental life.

 The prospectus should provide a detailed plan of research in aesthetics that explains how the project will build on the applicant’s previous research, how it will take advantage of expertise in the host department, and how it will expand the applicant’s research network and placement profile. Teaching is permitted but not required, and the prospectus should also justify any plans for teaching as essential to career development. Successful proposals will connect research in aesthetics to research outside the field, promise to broaden the applicant’s expertise and the audience for their work, and enrich the host department by bringing aesthetics into the philosophical discussion.

 The Fellow will be a grantee of the American Society of Aesthetics, but not an ASA employee nor independent contractor. An ASA Postdoctoral Fellowship may not be held concurrently with any other fellowship or grant, unless express written permission is given in advance by the ASA President. Fellowship holders may not hold any other employment.

 Applications should be submitted (with letters under separate cover) to no later than March 1, 2019. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications are adjudicated by the Society’s Postdoctoral Fellowships Committee, which represents diverse traditions and approaches in the field. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed by video conference. The committee’s decision is final. The committee may decide not to recommend any candidate for a fellowship.

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