The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York

Job Opportunities

Part-time RA sought

Job Functions: Conduct archival research in support of the project “Melting Metropolis: everyday histories of health and heat in London, New York, and Paris since 1945.”

Urban heat raises a host of health problems. Heatwaves are torrid manifestations of how high temperatures disrupt urban life, especially for the most marginalized, and they bring issues of climate injustice into stark relief. Yet extreme temperatures are only one aspect of urban heat and health, a changing relationship that has impacted past and present communities. This project brings together a team of scholars, a community engagement manager, and a participatory artist to transform understandings of urban heat and health. It explores the history of high temperatures in the postwar era, taking three global cities as its focus: London, New York and Paris. Drawing on and contributing to studies on climate justice, it investigates how Londoners, New Yorkers and Parisians have experienced heat and sought to mitigate its impact on their health and wellbeing. Community engagement (CE) is threaded throughout the project and informs how the project team seeks to rethink understandings of urban heat by moving beyond a focus on ‘resilience.’ In seeking to create new academic and non-academic conversations on the challenging interaction between the climate crisis and cities, it will provide fresh perspectives on urban history, environmental history, the medical humanities, and emotional and sensory history.

Melting Metropolis is led by Professor Chris Pearson of the University of Liverpool (Principal Investigator, PI) and project team comprises three Co-Investigators (CI: Dr Laura Balderstone,  University of Liverpool, Dr Kara Schlichting, Queens College CUNY, and Dr Shelda-Jane Smith, University of Liverpool), a Research Artist (Bryony Benge-Abbott), a Community Engagement Manager, a Project Manager, and four postdoctoral researchers.

This RA will have the opportunity to develop their research skills and experience in a supportive team environment and through mentorship and training initiatives offered by the project. They will gain experience in teamwork on a large international research project and gain the opportunity to enhance their publication record and community/public engagement skills.

This work will be self-directed on a daily level; but this RA will join a collaborative research team based in both the UK and the US and there is potential for collaborative work. This RA will support research and writing connected to grades K-12 curriculum development in collaboration with the New York Public Library’s Center for Educators & Schools and digital archival storytelling in collaboration with Urban Archive.

The main responsibilities and duties of the RA will include:

· Conducting independent archival and library research in New York City.

· Conducting online research on digital primary sources.

· Helping to co-ordinate other editorial and collaborative activities relating to the research.

· Liaising closely with all members of the project team and project partners.

· Contributing creatively to external communications and other public engagement activities, including the website and social media channels.

· Assisting the co-ordination and facilitation of community engagement events in conjunction with the Community Engagement Manager, Research Artist, and other team members

Qualifications: Familiarity with New York City library databases; research experience in graduate-level archival work (digital and physical); training in any combination of the following U.S. history fields: public health, climate, New York City, and/or environmental history. The research project is 20th century, post 1945, but scholars working in 19th or 20th century US history are welcome. Applicants must be legally eligible to work in the United States. 

Title of Project: Melting Metropolis: everyday histories of health and heat in London, New York, and Paris since 1945

Concentration of Research: History

Hours Per Week: 10-15 hours weekly for up to 26 weeks (with flexibility, but 15 hours a week preferred).

Starting Date: February 1, 2024

Location: Largely virtual, but ability to make targeted research trips to Manhattan-based archives

Salary: $30.00 an hour; research travel costs covered

Supervisor Info: Kara Murphy Schlichting is an Associate Professor of History at Queens College, CUNY. She earned her PhD from Rutgers University. Her work in late-19th and 20th-century American History sits at the intersection of urban, environmental, and political history, with a particular focus on New York City. She is the author of New York Recentered: Building the Metropolis from the Shore (University of Chicago, 2019). She is a co-investigator on the Wellcome-funded project “Melting Metropolis: everyday histories of health and heat in London, New York, and Paris since 1945.”

To Apply: Submit a cover letter and CV to Kara Murphy Schlichting at Applications are due December 1, 2023.