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Mellon Humanities Fellowship
National Park Service Mellon Humanities Postdoctoral Fellowship Program
The National Park Service (NPS), the National Park Foundation (NPF), and American Conservation Experience (ACE) invite scholars who received their doctorate within the last five years to apply for a two-year NPS Mellon Humanities Postdoctoral fellowship. This opportunity is generously supported by a grant from The Mellon Foundation.
The NPS Mellon Humanities Postdoctoral Fellowship Program places recent humanities PhDs with NPS sites and programs across the agency. In collaboration with NPS staff and partners, the incoming cohort of fifteen (15) Fellows will contribute to planning and preparation for America at 250, an initiative inspired by the semi-quincentennial of the Declaration of Independence. This event provides an opportunity for the NPS to tell a more inclusive story of the American past and present. The NPS is committed to exploring the full complexity of our history, even if that history is uncomfortable, contested, or erased. The humanities research supported by this Fellowship will expand these efforts, encouraging creative approaches to documentation, interpretation, and outreach.
Fellows will work with NPS mentors as well as scholars and community partners from outside the agency to design and implement a plan for conducting research and sharing results with varied audiences. This includes the collaborative development of novel interpretive and educational projects. Up to twenty percent of each Fellow’s time will be dedicated to advancing their own career-centered scholarly projects. The Fellows will be integrated into a larger, dynamic cohort for learning and professional development opportunities, guided by internal and external mentors in topics such as digital humanities, public humanities, and engaging with difficult histories.
Application Deadline: Open to the first 75 applicants per position or, for the majority, until January 30, 2023, whichever comes first. Please consult individual postings for details.
Salary and Benefits: Salary is $65,000 in year one, and $67,600 in year two. Fellows will be employees of ACE and are eligible to participate in ACE’s health insurance and benefits plans. Travel funding is provided, and Fellows will not be responsible for the costs of allowable/approved program travel. Each Fellow will receive an annual research fund of $3,000.
Tenure: The Fellowship program begins in September 2023 and ends August 31, 2025.
Location: Some fellowships are remote, while others require residency for the duration of your tenure. NPS will provide workstations and provide reasonable accommodations, if needed, to meet task assignments. Specific work locations are included in each unique job listing.
Application Process: Applications will only be accepted via the ACE application portal (https://usaconservationmellonfellowships.applicantpool.com/jobs/ ) Applicants must submit 1) a cover letter stating interest and vision for the fellowship (letters may include a summary of the dissertation, a statement of personal research interests and plans, discussion of past engagement with public humanities, discussion of willingness to participate fully in NPS research and education programs); 2) a comprehensive curriculum vitae; 3) a writing sample no longer than 5,000 words accessible to the general public; and 4) the names and contact information for three references. Applicants can apply to multiple fellowship positions and will be considered for each position for which they meet eligibility qualifications. A unique cover letter and C.V. should be submitted for each opening.
Eligibility: Applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents and have a Ph.D. in the humanities or humanistic social sciences received between May 1, 2018, and August 15, 2023. Applicants must demonstrate comfort with working collaboratively and across disciplinary boundaries; excellent research, writing, and communication skills; flexibility and the capacity to learn quickly; and a strong interest in public scholarship. Selective factors include the merit of scholarship, commitment to the public humanities, and demonstrated capacity to complete research successfully. Fellowship is contingent upon a successful security background check. For more information on eligibility, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions, https://www.nationalparks.org/nps-mellon-humanities-postdoctoral-fellowship )
Questions: Please contact ACE at MellonHumanities@usaconservation.org with any questions regarding the fellowships.
Fifteen (15) Fellowship positions are available:
Cuyahoga Valley National Park: Green Book Cleveland Fellowship
This NPS Mellon Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow will research and interpret African American experiences related to 20th-century entertainment, leisure, and recreation in a major Great Lakes metropolitan area. The research will explore themes of community change, celebration, and resilience in an era marked by segregation, racism, and racial violence.
Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site: Disability Representation at Historic Sites Fellowship
This NPS Mellon Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow will research the history and revise the presentation of disability at the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site. Interpretation of disability material culture and accessibility at historic sites will be a focus of the fellowship.
Independence National Historical Park: Reframing the Nation's Origin Story Fellowship
This NPS Mellon Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow will work with the park and the community in reframing the nation’s origin story, acknowledging and honoring the contributions of all Americans. The research will focus on the impact—and the legacies—of people of African descent on nation-building during the revolutionary and early national periods.
Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail: Unpacking Indigeneity, Identity and Heritage of the Anza Expedition Fellowship
This NPS Mellon Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow will critically examine the “mestizaje” or mixture of identities of the Anza expedition, the descendants, and Native peoples along the Anza Historic Corridor. Through historical and ethnographic research, the fellow will help unpack the legacies of settler privilege, foreign invasion, and racial identities.
Lowell National Historical Park: Workers, Agency, and the Industrial Landscape Fellowship
This NPS Mellon Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow will research the pre-industrial landscape, and textile industry formation in Massachusetts relative to an emerging 19th century capitalist economy. They will also facilitate community dialogue with assistance of their mentors, to refine significant themes for a major exhibition highlighting the contributions of enslaved and waged workers to American Industrialization.
National Historic Landmarks Program: National Historic Landmarks Program Women's History Fellowship
This NPS Mellon Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow will develop a strategy, including new interpretation and outreach, for enhancing the representation of women's history in the National Historic Landmarks Program that emphasizes an intersectional approach.
NPS National Capital Region Cultural Anthropology Program: Documenting Punk and Go-Go in the Nation’s Capital Fellowship
This NPS Mellon Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow will explore the role that National Parks in the Washington, D.C. region have played in fostering the city’s music and arts scenes over the past fifty years.
NPS Alaska Regional Interpretation Team: Identifying Connections Between Indigenous Knowledge and Scientific Results Fellowship
This NPS Mellon Humanities Postdoctoral Fellowship will transform interpretation through researching Indigenous Knowledge, cultural practices, and meaning correlated with peer-reviewed science of natural resource topics in Alaska’s National Parks. The Fellow will develop trainings for interpreters as well as new comprehensive interpretive products that ensure deeper and expanded storytelling.
NPS Intermountain Region Park History Program: New Perspectives in Transcontinental Railroad History Fellowship
This NPS Mellon Humanities Postdoctoral Fellowship will use the lens of the Transcontinental Railroad to explore themes of labor, western identity, and Indigenous sovereignty. The Fellow will document sites worthy of preservation, engage partners, and update park interpretation.
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument: Histories of Human Movement on the Southern Border Fellowship
Situated on the border with Mexico, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument stewards a landscape with a long, complex history of human movement across geo-political boundaries. This NPS Mellon Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow will research that history and develop an interpretive framework, enabling the NPS to communicate the monument’s role in the story of immigration past and present.
Park History Program and the Office of Commemorations and Anniversaries: Freedom-seeking in the Era of the American Revolution Fellowship
This NPS Mellon Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow will conduct research on freedom-seeking during the revolutionary era, identifying possible connections between histories of African Americans escaping bondage and Indigenous peoples.
Partnership Wild and Scenic Rivers and NPS Northeast Region Cultural Resources: Reintegrating Indigenous Ecological Knowledge into Northeast Waterway and Park Co-Stewardship
This NPS Mellon Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow will research the Indigenous ecological knowledge tied to the lands and waters of the Tribal communities whose homelands are proximate to the National Parks of Boston and three Wild & Scenic Rivers in the northeast. The Fellow, alongside mentors, NPS staff, and Indigenous partners will develop a toolkit of processes and techniques that parks and programs in the northeast may utilize to move from engagement to co-stewardship with Indigenous communities. The project will center inter-generational exchange of Indigenous ecological knowledge from Native elders to Native youth, cultural revitalization, and incorporation of Indigenous teaching into NPS resource management.
Pipestone National Monument: Pipestone Indian School Truth and Education Fellowship
This NPS Mellon Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow will utilize a newly created digital database of school records to uncover and interpret the history of the Pipestone Indian School, which operated from 1893-1953 as part of a national system designed to tear Native children from their families, communities, and culture. The Fellow will work closely with tribal partners to co-create interpretive media that shines light on children’s experiences, the lasting trauma felt by Indigenous people today, and the multi-generational work of healing.
Vicksburg National Military Park: African American Experience in Vicksburg from Civil War through Reconstruction Fellowship
This NPS Mellon Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow will expand research, understanding, and interpretation about the United States Colored Troops (USCT), Federal occupation, and Reconstruction in Vicksburg. Areas of emphasis will include life-stories from Vicksburg, soldiers buried in the National Cemetery, and supporting the observance of the 150th Anniversary of the Vicksburg Riots.
War in the Pacific National Historical Park and American Memorial Park: Mariana Islands Wartime Experience through Oral Histories Fellowship
This NPS Mellon Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow will inventory existing oral histories and create options for sharing these resources with NPS staff, partners, and the public. The Fellow and the interpretive teams at both parks will work together to develop interpretive products and programs that highlight the stories in the oral history collection.
American Conservation Experience provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, American Conservation Experience complies with applicable state and local laws governing non-discrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. ACE encourages all qualified individuals to apply and does not discriminate on the basis of any protected status, including veteran and disability status. ACE is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities under the ADA and provides the opportunity for employees to request reasonable accommodations during the hiring process.
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