Call for Applications: James Smithson Fellowship Program

The James Smithson Fellowship Program offers an early career opportunity for post-doctoral scholars interested in gaining experience in both scholarship and policy through a Smithsonian lens. The fellowship provides an immersion experience working with Smithsonian scholars and relevant collections. In addition the fellows will develop an inside view of how policy is crafted and how resource plans are designed by participating in a well-planned program offering direct experience internally with Smithsonian leaders, and externally with leaders throughout the Washington, DC network.

Applications are now open for 2018 James Smithson Fellows. Deadline: January 15, 2018. The theme for 2018 is History, Memory, Authenticity. Candidates must be U.S. citizens and not more than five years beyond receipt of their doctorate degree. Candidates with terminal professional degrees are also eligible to apply.

Although debate about public symbols and what they represent is as old as our nation itself, recently the volume of public discourse attempting to reconcile meaning attached to historic people, objects, and places has increased. As discussion about history’s “authenticity” in social media and modern society has surged, so too has dialogue about the meaning of scientific research and its uses in public life.

This public desire for modern life to be better informed by history and science presents an opportunity for researchers to engage in a number of pressing conversations on the national and global level.

In no particular order, subjects for independent study or research through the 2018 James Smithson Fellowship might include but are not limited to:

  • Names and Namesakes: What Places and Buildings are Called
  • When Research Meets Politics
  • Divisive Symbols in Public Spaces
  • Remembering the Past, Honoring Victims
  • The Ethics of Using Historical Data Obtained Unethically
  • Historic Figures, Modern Norms: The Question of Context
  • The Changing Meaning of Material Culture
  • Documenting and Preserving Intangible Cultural Heritage
  • Iconoclasm
  • When Seeing and Believing Collide
  • Popular News and Climate Change
  • The Life of Monuments in the 21st Century
  • Democracy and Public Spaces
  • When Science was Wrong in the Past
  • Portraiture and the Face in a Digital Age
  • Contemporary Ethnography as a Lens to Pre-History
  • Nostalgia and Reflection in History and Policy
  • Ambivalent or Unwanted Legacies
  • War Memorials, Trauma, and Identity
  • National Narratives in a time of Changing Borders

For more information and to apply, please visit the Smithsonian Office of Fellowships and Internships website.

@ 2018 The Center of Science and Society at Columbia University
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