In keeping with the Fisher Center’s mission of supporting research and dialogue about gender and justice through curricular, programmatic, and scholarly projects, the Fisher Center Steering Committee announces a call for applications for our 2021 - 2022 Pre-doctoral Fellowship. We seek dissertation scholars and advanced candidates for the MFA whose work critically engages the terms of our research theme for the year, “Beyond.” We are especially interested in candidates who would contribute to the diversity of the HWS campus.
What does it mean to be, or to go beyond? “Beyond” names a crossing over, a surpassing of constraints. Beyond can signal hope (as in beyond racism) or despair (beyond survival). Beyond can index a change in pace (an acceleration) or a movement in space (moving out, moving towards). Beyond is about possibility and change, but what kind of possibility/change?
Beyond can query ethical principles: moving beyond the binaries/divide of relativism and universalism, communitarianism and individualism. Beyond ignites debates over human enhancement and transhumanism. Beyond foregrounds the possibilities and perils of geo-engineering as we address global climate change. Beyond illuminates scientific horizons and gulfs in our understanding as we race for a Covid vaccine/cure or struggle to imagine life beyond Earth or beyond carbon.
Does the beyond simply name a condition after something, such as “post-” in post-capitalist, post-historical, post-secular, posthuman? In its surpassing of limits, “beyond” shares conceptual territory with transgression. Is an overcoming of a limit, simultaneously, its affirmation? Beyond the human still names the human as the point of reference and comparison. And is the phrase “beyond racism” a prospect for a reconciliation or does it deny its painful and ongoing reality? Should we conceive the beyond in a more radical sense, as moving beyond the given coordinate space entirely, taking off in a yet unknown direction-the radical outside of imagination and thought?
The Fisher Center is excited to consider projects that interrogate the beyond in its many manifestations and as part of various political, artistic, philosophical, and scientific projects. For instance, what does it mean to visualize/dramatize/hear/touch the beyond? What is the scope of its conceptual or affective reach? What is the relationship between beyond and futurism, beyond and the avant-garde, beyond and the revolutionary?
Endowed to further the study of gender and justice in the liberal arts, the Fisher Center welcomes applications from researchers in the humanities, arts, sciences, social sciences, languages, and performing arts that demonstrate commitment to interdisciplinary discussion and collective inquiry. We invite projects that interrogate the multiple meanings invested in the concept of beyond, explore its rhetorical power, or question the values underlying our fascination with it.
Proposals can examine specific political configurations (e.g., beyond identity politics) or scientific projects (e.g., life beyond Earth in astrobiology). What does it mean to imagine the Internet beyond the Cloud? Ecology beyond resilience? Identity beyond gender? Philosophy beyond critique? Religiosity beyond formality? Ethics beyond politics? Meaning beyond language, writing beyond the text, or sense beyond the word?
The Fisher Center Pre-doctoral Fellowship offers an opportunity to gain experience teaching in a private liberal arts college while completing thesis work. It carries a stipend of $35,000. Fellows teach one course per semester related to their research and the theme, attend Fisher Center lectures and meetings, make a public presentation, and assist with administration of Fisher Center programming. The pre-doctoral fellow participates in the Faculty Fellows Research Group. This group of interdisciplinary scholars meet twice a month to discuss their research as related to the year’s theme.