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Application Deadline: Mellon Sawyer Seminar Post-Doctoral Scholar

Application Deadline: Mellon Sawyer Seminar Post-Doctoral Scholar promotional image

The Obermann Center for Advanced Studies at the University of Iowa welcomes applications for a full-time, twelve-month Post-Doctoral Scholar to begin on August 15, 2022. The Post-Doctoral Fellowship is for the academic year and includes participation in the 2022-2023 Mellon Sawyer Seminar on “Racial Reckoning and Social Justice through Comics” to be led by Corey Creekmur (Cinematic Arts, English, Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies), Ana Merino (Spanish and Portuguese), and Rachel Williams (Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies and School of Art & Art History). The seminar is hosted by The Obermann Center and will include faculty fellows and participants from across the university.  The series is broadly interdisciplinary in nature and will include scholars working in the humanities, arts, education, social sciences, and professional schools.

Please note that this position is not remote and requires working in residence at the Obermann Center on the campus of The University of Iowa in addition to in-person attendance at meetings and events related to the Mellon Sawyer Seminar.

This one-year position is a full-time, twelve-month salaried appointment. The annual salary is $58,000 plus benefits, described on the University of Iowa Graduate College Office of Postdoctoral Scholars website https://www.grad.uiowa.edu/postdocs.


Project Management: The Mellon Sawyer Seminar will include a year-long series of lectures and discussions by visiting scholars and artists.  We seek a Postdoctoral Scholar with strong experience in project management who can help organize these visits and other events such as film screenings, art exhibitions, and art workshops.

Research: The Postdoctoral Scholar will have office space, computer, and staff support at the Obermann Center, and will be invited to participate in the Obermann Fellows’ work-in-progress seminar and in other scholarly activities at the Center. The scholar is expected to pursue a research program engaging themes related to the seminar, which emphasize arts and humanities approaches to (1) visual culture and racial/ethnic representation (2) social justice and the history of graphic narrative, memoir, and history (3) interrelated practices of storytelling, image-making, and cultural identity (4) intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, nationality, etc., within popular culture.

The following provides a breakdown of expected distribution of effort for this position:

  • 40% Research: Conduct individual research related to themes explored in the Seminar (see above).
  • 40% Seminar/Website/Social Media Support: Help develop the Seminar website in coordination with library staff, including the transfer of seminar-generated content, such as bibliographies and historical data, to the site; build connections with related online projects; conduct research to populate the site in relevant areas with blogs, vlogs, etc. In addition, this position will also help support social media using Instagram, Twitter, Vimeo and/or Facebook, so familiarity with any or all of these will be helpful.
  • 20% Administration: Coordinate visits of guests, help organize workshops, and contribute to other aspects of planning and programming the Mellon Sawyer Seminar.

Minimum Requirements

For the Post-Doctoral Fellow, we seek scholars in the humanities, arts, education, or humanistic social sciences whose research engages with any aspect of social justice, race, ethnicity, and intersectionality, especially in relation to their historical and cultural functions in narrative and visual representations. Given the seminar’s comparative methodology and interdisciplinary scope, we welcome applicants whose research intersects with the concerns of the seminar, and/or whose research spans multiple disciplines. In particular, we seek a scholar sensitive to the intersectional dimensions of identity and attentive to various critical approaches to understanding narrative and images. 

Candidates must have a Ph.D. in a relevant humanities or social science field in hand before August 14, 2022, and must be no more than five years beyond receiving the Ph.D.

Candidates must demonstrate an ability to work both independently and collaboratively in a team environment.

Candidates must exhibit strong interpersonal and communication skills, as well as effective organizational skills.

Desired Qualities

  • Familiarity with and love of comics: A deep interest in comics is desired but not required.
  • Previous experience organizing conferences, lectures, or other events in an academic context
  • Basic knowledge of WordPress website software

To Apply

Applications must be submitted online at: https://jobs.uiowa.edu/content/postdoc/

Please include—

  • A letter of application (no more than two pages) that explains how your areas of research and teaching align with the topics of the Mellon Sawyer Seminar, and describes experience with digital tools and project management, if applicable.
  • A complete curriculum vitae.
  • a one-page statement about your philosophy and experience related to diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Two samples of your writing (a published article, dissertation chapter, or online publication) of no more than 30 pages each.
  • Please send the names of three references whose letters of recommendation could address your qualifications for the Postdoctoral Scholar position, but please do not arrange for letters to be sent unless you are requested to do so. One of the three references should be your dissertation advisor.

Application Deadline: March 4, 11:59 p.m. Evaluation of applications will begin on March 1, with online interviews of select candidates to follow.

Please direct questions or inquiries to Corey Creekmur (corey-creekmur@uiowa.edu ), Ana Merino (ana-merino@uiowa.edu ), or Rachel Williams (rachel-williams@uiowa.edu ).

The Graduate College and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences are strongly committed to diversity; the strategic plans of the University and Colleges reflect this commitment. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment free from discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, religion, associational preference, status as a qualified individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran. The University of Iowa is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Erin Hackathorn in advance at (319)335-4034 or erin-hackathorn@uiowa.edu