Deadline: November 19, 2012
The Humanities Research Center at Rice University will award four year-long fellowships to scholars from any rank (postdoc to senior) during the academic year 2013-14. Fellows will participate in the Rice Seminar, a year-long academic 'think tank' designed to study a broad topic from an interdisciplinary perspective. This year’s seminar, “Materialism and New Materialism Across the Disciplines,” will be directed by Sarah Ellenzweig (English) and Jack Zammito (history) and co-directed by Christian Emden (German studies) and Mark Kulstad (philosophy).
In recent years, fields as diverse as philosophy, political science, literature, feminist studies, science studies, classical studies, and intellectual history have collectively shown interest in what has been termed a “new materialism.” Defined chiefly in philosophical terms around the primacy of matter and its properties and actions (as opposed to the sense of materialism traditionally identified with Marxist economic determinism), the “new materialism” asks us to rethink certain long-held assumptions about the nature of the stuff of the universe. Across the disciplines within the humanities and beyond the question of materialism reveals an untapped common interest. The 2013-2014 Rice Seminar will undertake a year-long inquiry into the “new materialism” in light of the history of science and philosophy. We will consider “new materialism” from the vantage of the longer sweep of discourse about materialism in the Western tradition, examining problems such as: physical mechanism in Descartes and Hobbes; Spinoza’s secular monism; Nietzsche’s naturalism; the physics of motion from classical atomism to quantum mechanics; the concept of self-organization in the biological sciences; feminist notions of embodiment; materialism and the problem of consciousness. The organizers particularly invite applications from scholars working in the fields of “new materialism”; the modern reception and legacy of ancient materialism (Lucretius and the Epicurean tradition); and contemporary philosophy of science. We hope to bring scholars working in discrete disciplinary fields an opportunity to interact, collaborate, and cross traditional scholarly boundaries.
All fellows are expected to be resident and full time at Rice for the entire appointment of the 2013-14 academic year. Their primary obligations will involve actively participating in all aspects of the Seminar. Participants will also be expected to contribute to the graduate and undergraduate experience of Rice students; the nature of this engagement will be determined in consultation with the applicant. The work of the seminar will result in the publication of papers in an edited collection with a major university press. International scholars are encouraged to apply. Postdoctoral applicants must receive their PhDs by June 30, 2013.
Salary will be commensurate with rank; we offer eligibility for Rice medical benefits and an allowance for travel and relocation to Houston.
Applications must be postmarked by November 19, 2012 and should include:
- 1000 word research project proposal
- One page bibliography
- Two page CV
- If you hold a faculty position, please obtain a letter from your department chair indicating their support of your participation in Rice Seminars and their permission for your consequential absence.
Please send materials to:
Humanities Research Center
Attn: Rice Seminars
6100 Main St., MS-620
Houston, TX 77005
Or email materials to the email address below, subject: Rice Seminars
For more detailed information and eligibility requirements, please contact Lauren Kleinschmidt at the email address below.