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Postdoctoral Fellowships – Black Studies Collaboratory

The Black Studies Collaboratory in the Department of African American Studies at UC Berkeley will be selecting two postdoctoral fellows for the 2021-2022 academic year. We invite Black Studies scholars in the humanities and the humanistic social sciences to apply.  Postdocs will each have a dedicated mentor in the Department of African American Studies who will meet with them regularly throughout their fellowship, give them feedback on their work, and help their work progress. While this is a one-year fellowship, there is a possibility of extension. 

Postdoctoral Fellows will be important to the lasting legacy of this initiative. Fellows will participate in weekly Collaboratory meetings where they will workshop their writing, teaching, and projects as well as receive media training on how to broaden the impact of their scholarship. Fellows are required to present their work in a public forum at one time during their tenure and to teach one course per year of the fellowship. The teaching component will take place in the Spring 2022 semester. 

The Black Studies Collaboratory

The Black Studies Collaboratory aims to bring together artists, activists, locals, and scholars to amplify the interdisciplinary, political and world-building work of Black Studies. Black Studies broadly, and the African American intellectual tradition specifically, have always been grounded in community and geared toward improving the conditions of black life under structures of injustice. This principle was central to the establishment of archives like the Schomburg Collection, SNCC’s Freedom Schools that taught direct democracy alongside theater, music and photography; and the Combahee River Collective and other black feminist groups who organized consciousness-raising sessions. These examples also remind us that knowledge is produced, circulated, and put into use in a range of locations, from the kitchen table to the seminar room, from the street corner to the concert stage, from the prison cell to the lecture podium. Artists, scholars and activists have dreamt up and thought critically about what the future might look like if the affirmation of black lives were the foundation of U.S. society. The Department of African American Studies at Berkeley shares in this rich tradition, through the interdisciplinary work of core and affiliated faculty, graduate and undergraduate students.

The BSC is built around five key goals:

  • Nurture, support, generate and amplify innovative work centered in Black humanity
  • Create shared space for experimentation and collaboration by bringing activists, artists and academics at various stages in their careers into critical engagement and collaborative imagining
  • Provide robust programming and generative tools for campus and Bay Area communities
  • Develop and practice a new model of public-facing Black Studies
  • Create opportunities for joyful and generative engagement among Black faculty, students, and staff, the surrounding community and around the country

More on the Mellon Just Futures initiative…

Sadie Barnette: Power
Powdered graphite on paper
Image courtesy the artist and Jessica Silverman