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Campus War Machine: Sex and Debt

Call for applications- Fisher Center Predoctoral Fellowship

March 5, 2014 1:43 AM
In keeping with the Fisher Center’s mission of supporting research and dialogue about gender through curricular, programmatic, and scholarly projects, the Fisher Center Steering Committee announces a call for applications for our 2014-2015 Fisher Center Predoctoral Fellowship. We seek dissertation scholars and advanced candidates for the MFA whose work critically engages the terms of our theme, Campus War Machine: Sex and Debt. We are especially interested in candidates who would contribute to the diversity of the campus.

Theme
In 2014-15, the Fisher Center considers the ways gender figures into the wars being waged on, by, or in the name of higher education. There is a growing discourse in the U.S. and globally on the systems of inequality that underpin the educational system. Debt bondage, the casualization of academic labor, the proliferation of rape culture, DOD funded research, the privatization of public education, the subsumption of educational practices to the dictates of market-driven technological innovations, the inability for many youth to attend school in war-torn societies, and the repression of student protests are all features of the low and high-intensity wars being waged on college campuses. At the same time, title IX sexual assault suits, organized resistance to corporate and government surveillance, progressive research in the sciences and humanities, and academic boycotts suggest that campuses are fighting back. What are the invisible ways that college campuses produce and transmit material, financial, environmental, gendered, and psychological violences? Conversely, how does the campus, as a site for radical thought, activism, and change, disrupt these violences?

Historical research on the role of the slave trade in funding major universities, as well as the role of universities in reproducing a specific ruling class, attends to the legacy of education as an apparatus of power. The collaboration between universities and large corporate firms, financial institutions, military–research projects, pharmaceutical, bio-tech, and energy companies fuels the war machines and profit–making industries of today’s global powers. How does this impact funding and research across disciplines and how does that shape curriculum? The educational system is also a “home” for students, educators and community members. The struggles they face are structured by systems of sexism, ableism, classism, ageism, racism, colonial settler systems and ideologies, militarization, capitalist scripts, gendered violence, geopolitics, and the globalization of neoliberalism. How might we learn from past struggles that took the university as a primary site, from groups such as the Students for a Democratic Society or campaigns such as those targeting apartheid and sweatshop labor? What gains have been made in more recent decades as queer theorists and politics have challenged suppositions of sex, gender, and embodiment? And in what ways has new work on prisons, policing, and surveillance drawn out not just the structural parallels between prisons and universities but their fundamentally antagonistic positioning as two sides of the capitalist state’s coin?

In light of these shifting gendered campus battlegrounds, how are radical feminists, activists, artists, scientists, and academic scholars taking on these competing inequalities? What are historical and contemporary examples of pedagogical techniques that provide a framework for creating educational spaces that are free of political inequalities? We seek to create a highly interdisciplinary research group of scholars and artists who will engage these questions in creative ways as we explore these gendered campus battlegrounds and global precarities of educational opportunity.

Fellowship
The fellowship offers an opportunity to gain experience teaching in private liberal arts institutions while completing thesis work, and carries a stipend of $35,000.00. Fellows will teach one course per semester related to their research area, attend Fisher Center lectures and meetings, present one colloquium, and conduct some administrative duties associated with the Visiting Scholars program. Additionally, the Pre-Doctoral Fellow will receive a $4,000 research stipend through her/his participation as a member of the Fisher Center Research Fellows Group. This group is comprised of interdisciplinary scholars who meet regularly to discuss the Fisher Center Research Theme: Campus War Machine: Sex and Debt. Pre-Doctoral candidates nearing completion of the dissertation and MFA candidates who have completed their coursework and beginning work on their thesis must submit a one-page description of scholarship, a short statement on teaching interests, up-to-date curriculum vitae, three letters of reference, and a writing sample (e.g., chapter of dissertation), and, for MFA candidates, a supplemental video or portfolio if relevant. Screening of applications will begin on March 28, 2014 and will continue until the position is filled. Completed applications should be sent to: Cadence Whittier, Director, The Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY 14456. Email inquiries may be sent to whittier@hws.edu. Information about the Fisher Center can be found on our website.

Hobart and William Smith Colleges are committed to attracting and supporting faculty and staff that fully represent the racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity of the nation and actively seek applications from under-represented groups. The Colleges do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, marital status, national origin, age, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or any other protected status. HWS Colleges are a highly selective residential liberal arts institution located in a small, diverse city in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. With an enrollment of approximately 2,200, the Colleges offer 62 majors and minors from which students choose two areas of concentration, one of which must be an interdisciplinary program. Creative and extensive programs of international study and public service are also at the core of the Colleges’ mission.

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