News, University News

Applications open for postdoctoral fellowship

Native American and Indigenous Studies fellowship seeks scholar for two-year program

Staff Writer
Monday, April 2, 2018

Funded through the President’s Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, the University’s Native American and Indigenous Studies Postdoctoral Fellowship is currently accepting applications. The fellowship, which enters its third year in July, is a two-year program awarded to one PhD student annually.

“The purpose of this fellowship is to support emerging Native American and Indigenous studies scholars” while also allowing the University “to gain from having their expertise (on campus) in the very particular area that they’re working on,” said Elizabeth Hoover MA’03 PhD’10, professor of American studies.

By participating in the program, the fellow will have the opportunity to teach two classes: an introductory course in Native American and Indigenous studies and another in their area of research. They will also host a panel or lecture series on a key topic in Native American and Indigenous studies during each of the two years of the program, said Robert Preucel, director of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology and professor of anthropology. The fellow will also receive a salary from the University set by the Dean of the Faculty, Preucel wrote in a follow-up email to The Herald.

The University is looking for “people that are doing interesting work, that are engaging with some of the contemporary issues that are helping define Native American and Indigenous studies today,” Preucel said. Candidates for the fellowship can come from any university, he added. While the application process is rolling, faculty will begin reviewing submissions May 1.

Unlike previous years, the University now recommends that applicants contact Brown faculty members to find academic mentors that they would be interested in working with during the fellowship, Preucel said. Because this faculty member would likely specialize in the fellow’s field of study, the fellow can then be housed in the same department after arriving at Brown.

Mariaelena Huambachano — who was awarded the postdoctoral fellowship in 2016 — wrote in an email to The Herald that the program “enabled me to achieve my goals about extending academic relationships (and) be an educator of an Indigenous epistemic opening of (inquiry), as well as develop an international community-based research project.”

The fellowship is also part of the University’s Native American and Indigenous Studies initiative, which is an effort to create “an intellectual community of scholars who are contributing to Native American and Indigenous studies,” Preucel said. Though there is no department of Native American and Indigenous studies, the University initiative creates a working group of faculty and students between departments to study issues in the field. But Preucel said he hopes the University will add an official department in the future.

The University is currently seeking a director to oversee the NAIS initiative, Hoover said. Because candidates for the director position “have slightly different focuses to their research, to their own areas of expertise, … they each would take the program in a slightly different direction,” she added.

Ultimately, through the fellowship and initiative, the University can “support indigenous studies scholars who are just starting out (and bring) in people who are doing interesting research that can then educate our students and faculty,” Hoover said.

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