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Open Position

Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Public Humanities

Application review will begin March 15 and remain open until the position is filled.

The Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities invites applications for a two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Public Humanities, to run from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2022.

The Public Humanities Postdoc will be responsible for managing and helping to grow several initiatives at Northwestern. With the support of a Kaplan Institute graduate assistant in the public humanities and mentoring from colleagues, the postdoc will manage the Public Humanities Research Workshop for faculty and graduate students—a yearlong program that spotlights public-facing humanities work. The postdoc will also gain experience in coordinating an ongoing program of career development workshops for graduate students.

The postdoc will teach one section of the two-week, intensive humanities course in the Critical Thinking portion of the Bridge Program for incoming first year students, held in late August, early September.

The postdoc will liaise with other public humanities and career development stakeholders on- and off-campus, including The Graduate School, the Center for Civic Engagement, Northwestern Career Advancement, Chicago Humanities Festival, and others.

Applicants should submit a cover letter; a brief proposal of two ideas for Public Humanities Research Workshop sessions (max 2 pages); a brief proposal for two graduate student career development workshop sessions (max 2 pages); a curriculum vitae; evidence of teaching excellence, including teaching evaluations; one sample syllabus; and a writing sample of 20-25 pages or comparable evidence of scholarly accomplishment. Graduate school transcripts as well as two letters of recommendation (including one letter testifying to public humanities-related work, and one to teaching and research) should be forwarded as part of the application.

Applicants must have a PhD in hand by July 1, 2020 to be eligible to apply.

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.

Questions? Please contact Tom Burke at


  1. Please prepare PDF files and determine two references (for a description of the files that are needed, see below). Only then should you proceed to the Online Application Portal because the system will not accept incomplete applications. All required fields must be filled in before you click the "Submit Application" button.
  2. In the application portal, please complete ALL sections of the application.
  3. LIST OF REFERENCES SECTION: You will list two recommenders (including one who will testify to public humanities-related work, and one to teaching and research) who will submit letters of recommendation; please have their names along with their email addresses ready when you access the application. After you submit your complete online application, your recommenders will automatically be emailed instructions for uploading their letters. These letters are due March 17, 2020, which is two days after the application deadline; please inform your recommenders of this timeline. NOTE: If you are using a professional placement or dossier service (e.g., Interfolio) to submit any or all recommendations, please use the service's address instead of your recommender's address in the appropriate space.
  4. APPLICATION DOCUMENTS SECTION. Please upload the following application documents (PDFs) in the application portal. Document size limits are listed in the application (7MB-8MB). File names should not contain parentheses, quotation marks, or other such characters.


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