Call for Applications: Conservation as a Human Science Fellowship, Bard Graduate Center

March 1, 2019


Aimed at conservation scholars at an early stage of their careers, the Fellow will reside in New York for 5 months (September–January) and in Amsterdam for 5 months (February–June). Applicants must meet position criteria, including proper work authorization to work both at the BGC and abroad from June 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020.


Salary is $45,000 and housing is available, as is a small research/travel fund while the Fellow is in residence.


Bard Graduate Center, together with the Conservation & Scientific Research Department of the Rijksmuseum, announce a 10-month (September 2019–June 2020) fellowship focusing on developing the idea that conservation practice is a human science. Long devoted to the restoration and preservation of objects, conservation in the twentieth century became focused on questions of dating and attribution. With this fellowship, we aim to refocus attention on the life course, rather than the birth, of objects and so bring the conservator or cultural heritage scientist into the conversation about history-through-things now being carried on between historians, anthropologists, archaeologists and art historians.

Scholars will be integrated fully into the intellectual lives of Bard Graduate Center and the Conservation & Scientific Research Department of the Rijksmuseum. The fellow will have considerable free time to do research in local collections and libraries. His or her main institutional responsibility will be to guide a monthly “wandering” seminar: visits of an invited group of scholars to view “problematic” objects in local area collections. The Fellow will play a major role in choosing the objects and collections and moderating the discussions of all relevant issues with the curators, conservators, and scientists in attendance. Each month will explore a different collection (public or private) and a different type of object (antiquities, art, natural history specimens, ethnographic, archaeological, etc.). The Fellow will write up a report of the conversation for the project website and supervise any editing and publication of video recordings.

In addition to job criteria requirements, this position requires travel outside the US.

This fellowship is part of Bard Graduate Center’s “Cultures of Conservation” initiative, generously supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


To apply, please submit the following materials electronically via email to [email protected] in a single PDF file: a cover letter stating the candidate’s qualifications for this fellowship as well as its desirability, a sample piece of writing, and curriculum vitae. In addition, please arrange for two letters of reference to be submitted via email to [email protected]. Bard Graduate Center is an AA/EOE employer.

For more information, please visit the position webpage