Center for the Humanities and Natural History Museum Seek CUNY Graduate Research Fellow

The Center for the Humanities at the Graduate Center, CUNY and The Natural History Museum are seeking a CUNY Graduate Research Fellow to engage in research on the topics of natural history, environmental justice struggles, and museums. The Research Fellowship is part of Art, Activism, and the Environment, an interdisciplinary research group led by Professor Ashley Dawson as part of the Mellon Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research. The Seminar employs public practice to amplify the intellectual and creative work at the intersection of the public humanities, the digital humanities, the humanities-related social sciences, and social justice.

The Research Fellow will produce critical early-stage research for The Natural History Museum’s programs developing over the next five years. The Natural History Museum is a mobile and pop-up museum that highlights the socio-political forces that shape nature. Its programs take place within established museums and in the field. The appointment period for the Research Fellow will begin in July 2017 and extends through September 2017. A longer-term research engagement after this Fellowship period may be possible if all parties express interest.

The researcher will produce dossiers on key areas in North America where there are local natural history museums and ongoing Indigenous-led environmental justice struggles. The researcher will investigate and document 1) the historical forces that shaped land, water, and local cultures, 2) the forces that shaped the museum and its collections and exhibitions, and 3) the contours of contemporary land and water struggles and the ways in which they are inscribed in or absent from current museum exhibits and programs.

These dossiers will inform the development of content-based projects hosted within established natural history museums. Projects will be facilitated by The Natural History Museum and co-created with Indigenous and environmental justice communities, scientists, and museum curators. The dossiers will be researched and developed in conversation with NHM and Professor Ashley Dawson.

The ideal Fellow will be highly organized and self-directed, inquisitive, politically engaged, invested in history and its relationship to the present, and can demonstrate commitment to public research and environmental justice movements or scholarship. Proficiency with Evernote and GoogleDocs as shared research tools a plus.

Research Fellowship Details:
Who:
CUNY Graduate students: ideally researches in the environmental humanities, critical or cultural geography, history, anthropology, Indigenous studies, museum studies, art and activism.

When:
The appointment period for the Research Fellow will begin in July 2017 and extends through September 2017.

Compensation:
The Research Fellow will receive a $4,000 stipend for 100 hours of participation, paid out in 2 installments. As part of the research team, you will be formally acknowledged in forthcoming publicity from The Natural History Museum and on the Center for the Humanities website.

Requirements:
The Research Fellow will work a total of 100 hours through the Summer (roughly 10 hours a week from July 6th – September 8th (dates flexible)). You will be expected to produce research dossiers for 5-8 locations, and meet weekly with the Natural History Museum and Professor Ashley Dawson. While not a requirement, the Fellow is invited and encouraged to join The Natural History Museum’s core team and Advisory Committee and Professor Dawson at a 3-day programmatic planning retreat in upstate NY in mid-August.

How to apply:
Please email a one-page cover letter, CV, and writing sample to apply@thenaturalhistorymuseum.org

Application Deadline:
Monday, June 26th by 11:59pm.

About The Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum is a mobile and pop-up museum that highlights the socio-political forces that shape nature, yet are excluded from traditional natural history museums. The role of The Natural History Museum is to orchestrate various persuasion, support, and provocation strategies to help move science and natural history museums toward a more engaged practice with the communities they serve, and with those who are invested in a practice of science that is inclusive and reflective of our current and future planetary realities.

The museum is a project of Not An Alternative, a non-profit collective that works at the intersection of art, activism, science, and critical theory. Named in The New York Times and ArtNet’s “Best in Art 2015” round-ups, the group’s work has been widely exhibited in museums and profiled in news outlets around the world.

About the Center for the Humanities
The Center for the Humanities at the Graduate Center, CUNY encourages collaborative and creative work in the humanities at CUNY and across the city through seminars, publications, and public events. Free and open to the public, our programs aim to inspire sustained, engaged conversation and to forge an open and diverse intellectual community.