Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship

The Hurford Center hosts two Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Fellows each academic year. Haverford has a profound stake in ensuring continuity in the tradition of scholar-teachers. The college offers opportunities for faculty development through intimate interdisciplinary exchange and innovative pedagogy and provides an ideal setting for cultivating the creative energies of young scholars. At the same time, Haverford has much to gain from the steady infusion of fresh intellectual and pedagogical perspectives brought by the Postdoctoral Fellows.

The program offers five key instruments of professional advancement: meaningful teaching (Fellows teach one course per term); collaborative intellectual exploration (through participation during the first year in the year-long Faculty Seminar); interaction with the broader world of scholarship and public life (through the staging of a symposium connected to the Fellow's teaching and research interests, which occurs in the spring semester of the Fellow’s second year); mentoring (through association with host departments and programs); and the time and resources for scholarly endeavor (a reduced teaching load, support for research and travel).

2015-17 Search

We seek scholars interested in the study of cultural practices surrounding the care, disposal, and memorialization of the dead.

Area of specialization is open, but might include religion, history, archaeology, anthropology, material and visual culture, performance studies, or literature, among other possibilities. Candidates should have broad historical and interdisciplinary interests. Women and members of underrepresented minority groups are especially encouraged to apply.

During the first year of the program, the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow will participate in a year-long faculty seminar led by Associate Professor Hank Glassman (East Asian Languages and Cultures) entitled "Attending to the Dead: Mortality, Memory, and Material Culture." Applicants should make clear the nature of their potential contributions to this interdisciplinary seminar. A seminar in the cultural history of death, it will focus on the distillation and concretization of memory and affect in the form of monuments, gravestones, relics, paintings, sound recordings, photographs, and other objects. (Download Seminar Description » )

In the second year, the Fellow will organize and present a national spring symposium related to his or her fields of interest. This event will be supported financially and logistically by the HCAH.

During each of the four semesters at Haverford College, the Fellow will teach one course, each of which will be either at the introductory/intermediate or the advanced level. Applicants should submit two brief course proposals related to their area of interest, one for a broad-based introductory course, the other for a more specialized or advanced course. The successful candidate will demonstrate readiness to teach a diverse student body.

View Past Symposia »

Should you have any questions, please email to Kerry Nelson.


Deadline: January 13, 2015
Position Begins: Fall, 2015

Candidates who have received the Ph.D. in 2010 at the earliest, or who have completed the requirements for the Ph.D. by the application deadline of January 13, 2015 are eligible.

Apply via Interfolio

View Haverford College's Non-Discrimination Policy.

Current Fellows

Andrew Cornell
Roy Ben-Shai
  • Andrew Cornell

    Andrew Cornell
    Postdoctoral Fellow and Visiting Professor of American Studies

    Andrew Cornell holds degrees in American Studies from the University of Michigan and New York University and has taught at Williams College in Massachusetts and Université Stendhal in southeastern France. His research and teaching focuses on two broad topics: (1) radical social movements of the 20th and 21st century; and (2) U.S. political economy, globalization, and empire. Taking an interdisciplinary approach to these topics, he combines historical methods with the insights of various schools of critical social theory.

    Cornell is the author of Oppose and Propose! Lessons from Movement for a New Society (AK Press, 2011), a history of a Philadelphia-based feminist pacifist organization active during the 1970s and 1980s. He recently published an essay on consensus decision making in the Occupy Wall Street movement .He is currently completing a book project on the history of anarchist movements and ideas in the mid-20th century United States. The project explores anarchists' relationships to an array of contemporary social and cultural movements, including the black freedom struggle, radical pacifism, and the writers of the Beat generation.

  • Roy Ben-Shai

    Roy Ben-Shai
    Postdoctoral Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor of Peace, Justice and Human Rights

    Roy Ben-Shai earned his PhD in philosophy from the New School for Social Research in New York. His dissertation, a philosophical study of Holocaust survivor and essayist Jean Améry, won the Hans Jonas Memorial Award for best dissertation in philosophy and he is now preparing it for publication. Ben-Shai’s current research, to be pursued at the Hurford Center, is a historical study of shifting approaches to pathos and pathology in the philosophical tradition. This research aims to revaluate the significance of passive experiences for addressing contemporary debates in morality and politics, in particular concerning the role of past atrocities in forming and informing our future. Ben-Shai's core argument is that the widespread social imperative to reconcile with the past and overcome the effects of victimization follows from a deeply engrained privileging of agency and health over pathos and passivity. This privileging, in many cases, engenders more damage and violence than it does good.

    Ben-Shai has taught philosophy at universities in Iceland, Mexico, and the United States. He has published articles in The European Legacy and Telos and book chapters in Europe in the Eyes of Survivors of the Holocaust (2014), On Jean Améry: Philosophy of the Catastrophe (2011), and Metacide: In Pursuit of Excellence (2010). His most recent publication is a co-edited volume of essays titled The Politics of Nihilism: From the Nineteenth Century to Contemporary Israel, forthcoming from Bloomsbury Academic Press.