The SlaveVoyages Consortium, in conjunction with the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research of Harvard University, invites applications for a one-year, non-renewable postdoctoral fellowship connected with the SlaveVoyages website. We seek to engage and collaborate with the next generation of scholars who will use, expand, and ultimately sustain this digital initiative into the future. We encourage scholars whose work engages with and critiques Black digital humanities and envisions new routes for analyzing data related to slavery and the trade in enslaved Africans.

SlaveVoyages (https://slavevoyages.org/) is the culmination of several decades of independent and collaborative research by scholars drawing upon data in libraries and archives around the Black Atlantic. It is the product of years of development by a multi-disciplinary team of historians, librarians, curriculum specialists, cartographers, computer programmers, and web designers, in consultation with scholars of the slave trade from institutions in Europe, Africa, and the Americas. The National Endowment for the Humanities was the principal sponsor of this work, carried out originally at Emory Center for Digital Scholarship and the Irvine and Santa Cruz campuses of the University of California. The website is currently hosted at Rice University. 

The Hutchins Center of Harvard University has long been a sponsor of SlaveVoyages. It supports research on the history and culture of people of African descent the world over and provides a forum for collaboration and the ongoing exchange of ideas. It seeks to stimulate scholarly engagement in African and African American studies both at Harvard and beyond, and to increase public awareness and understanding of this vital field of study. As the preeminent research center in the field, the Hutchins Center sponsors visiting fellows, art exhibitions, publications, research projects, archives, readings, conferences, and new media initiatives that respond to and inspire interest in established and emerging channels of inquiry in African Diaspora research.

The successful candidate will be expected to work on their research project, as part of a multi-disciplinary cohort of Hutchins Center fellows. Fellows receive office space in the Hutchins Center, a monitor, use of a printer, a Harvard University ID, full access to all library resources (physical and electronic), and access to other resources at Harvard (fitness and wellness resources, for instance). Requirements include residency in the Boston/Cambridge area, weekly attendance at the fellows’ colloquium, and attendance at the fellows’ workshops and collaborative and social mandatory events with other research centers at Harvard over the course of the year. Each fellow is required to present a paper at the fellows’ colloquium once over the course of the fellowship period. 

Additionally, the candidate will join the SlaveVoyages Operational Committee for the duration of the fellowship program and shape the project’s development. The committee meets on a weekly basis for about one hour. We seek scholars who engage with the website as a source for creative response, as a source of information, or by contributing new research. 

The fellow will receive an annual stipend and access to additional funds for research assistance or other approved research-related expenses. The Hutchins Center encourages applicants to seek additional sources of funding as well for the fellowship year. Applicants must have a PhD in any discipline in the Humanities or Social Sciences in hand by July 1, 2022, the beginning of the fellowship. Preference will be given to candidates who received their PhD in the past five years. Only electronic applications will be accepted via the submission platform (https://hutchinscenter.slideroom.com/#/login/program/64452). Candidates will submit the following materials with their application: cover letter describing their interest and presenting the research project they intend to pursue while a fellow, a C.V., a writing sample of no more than 30 pages, and three letters of recommendation. 

All applications and all materials must be submitted by January 14, 2022. Direct questions about the fellowship and application process to Dr. Krishna Lewis (krishna_lewis@harvard.edu). 

The SlaveVoyages Consortium is currently made up of the following universities and institutions:

  • Center for Digital Scholarship, Emory University
  • Fondren Library and the School of Humanities, Rice University
  • Hutchins Center for African & African American Research, Harvard University
  • National Museum of African and African American History, Smithsonian Institution
  • The Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, William & Mary
  • University of California, Berkeley, Irvine, and Santa Cruz

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