Fellowships

Deadline for Doctoral Student and Mid-Career Faculty Applications: Monday, April 18, 11:59pm

The Committee for the Study of Religion invites applications from recently tenured-faculty and from CUNY doctoral students to participate in a research seminar on the theme Secularization and Modernity.

The program consists of a regular weekly seminar on Wednesdays (12:30–2:00pm) supplemented by reading groups, occasional workshops, and conferences. This broad theme is designed to attract graduates and faculty across the broad spectrum of the humanities and social sciences, and thus weekly seminars are intended to have a multidisciplinary composition. Participants will present works in-progress. In previous years, work from the seminar has often been published.

Secularization and Modernity: Social and Religious Pluralism
The annual theme (2016-2017) for the seminar series for the Committee for the Study of Religion is the analysis of what has been the dominant theme not just of sociology but to a large extent of the humanities from the end of the nineteenth century. The questions confronting social science and humanities have been: what is modernity? What are the processes that have produced the modern world? When did modernity actually start? It has been assumed that modern societies would be secular, and that religion would come to play only a marginal and modest role in the lives of individuals and the societies in which they live. This view has been challenged (at least over the last two decades) with growing recognition of the role of ‘public religions’. To give one example from contemporary America, debates about abortion, same-sex marriage and homosexuality have dominated law and politics, and these issues have involved religious groups in public contestation. Perhaps most interesting has been the view that modernity in fact has a long history with deep origins in many different civilizations.

The second component of the theme for the seminar concerns the growing religious and social diversity of secular societies. With the globalization of labour markets, religious minorities become a more common feature of societies that have been historically and culturally more or less homogeneous. With growing religious diversity, there are important questions about the ability of secular citizenship to accommodate new forms of pluralism such as legal pluralism. Many attempts to ‘update’ liberalism by John Rawls, Charles Taylor and Jurgen Habermas have characterized modern social and political theory. What are the sources of an overlapping consensus of fundamental beliefs?

Throughout the 2016-17 Academic Year, the Committee will explore these and related questions through our weekly seminars, public talks, and other activities.

We thus welcome applications from faculty and doctoral candidates for whom the question of secularism, modernity, and religious pluralism figures in some significant way in their research. We are interested in scholars from any field whose thinking crosses traditional academic boundaries and whose work is empirically rich and theoretically informed.

Guidelines for Fellow Participation
Fellows will be expected to participate in the weekly Committee seminar, held Wednesday afternoons from 12:30-2:00 at The Graduate Center. Ability to attend seminars is a prerequisite of eligibility. Fellows will be expected to present their work in either the fall or spring semester. Seminars will thus include presentations by fellows, talks by visitors and readings from prescribed texts. Fellows are also expected to do their best to attend corresponding public events on the theme of successful societies that will take place throughout the year.

DOCTORAL DISSERTATION STUDENT FELLOWSHIP 2015-16
Applications are invited from students of the humanities and humanistic social sciences such as anthropology, religion, sociology, philosophy, political science, history, English, art history, and comparative literature who engage and transect our seminar topic. This fellowship is only open to Graduate Center doctoral candidates (i.e. you must be Level III. There are no exceptions). Fellows will be expected to participate in the weekly Committee seminar. Please note: Ability to attend weekly Committee seminars is a prerequisite of eligibility. See Committee website for more details about the seminar theme and time for the upcoming year.

With generous support from the Graduate Center, CUNY, and the Provost’s Office, successful candidates will be granted $10,000 total for Fall 2016–Spring 2017 in return for a commitment to fully participate in the work of the Committee and in the weekly seminar. The basis for selection of participants will rest primarily on the relevance to the overall project of the proposal submitted by applicants. In accord with the interdisciplinary aim of the program, selections will also be made with an eye to maintaining disciplinary diversity.

Application Components
Each application must include:

  1. Cover sheet (download)
  2. Statement of applicability: In one single-spaced page or less, please highlight the connection between your research and the theme
  3. 9-page project description, including the following:
    • 150-word abstract at the top of the first page
    • Project description should include discussion of the background, relevant literature, methodology, data, projected results, and a timeline/description indicating expected progress.
    • The text describing the dissertation project should be double-spaced using a 12-point font with numbered pages and a 1-inch margin.
    • Students are advised to keep in mind that the review committees will be composed of faculty from various disciplines.
  4. 1–page selected bibliography (can be single-spaced)
  5. Two-page curriculum vitae
  6. Current Graduate Center transcript; students may submit the unofficial copy that can be printed from Banner

The application materials should be assembled into a single PDF document in the above listed order.

Application Instructions
Application materials should be saved as a single PDF and named using the following format: Last Name, First Name, Program. Upload completed applications to our submissions dropbox using this link.

 

MID-CAREER FACULTY FELLOWSHIP APPLICATION FORM 2015-16
Applications are invited from scholars of the humanities and humanistic social sciences such as anthropology, religion, sociology, philosophy, political science, history, English, art history, and comparative literature who engage and transect our seminar topic. With generous support from the Graduate Center, CUNY, and the Provost’s Office, successful candidates will be granted two course releases from college teaching requirements, to be distributed across the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 semesters at their department’s discretion, in return for a commitment to fully participate in the work of the Committee and in the weekly seminar.

The basis for selection of participants will rest primarily on the relevance to the overall project of the work proposal submitted by applicants. In accord with the interdisciplinary aim of the program, selections will also be made with an eye to maintaining disciplinary diversity. Applicants must be tenured, and preference will be given to faculty in the early stages of career development (i.e. within ten years of receiving tenure).

Fellows will be expected to participate in the weekly Committee seminar as well as ongoing lectures and symposia. Committee seminars meet weekly on Wednesdays from 12:30-2:00pm, and it is a condition of the fellowship that fellows leave this time free in their teaching schedules.

Application Components
Each application must include:

  1. Completed Application form (download; must be signed by Department Chair)
  2. Project Abstract (150 words)
  3. Project Description (max. 1500 words): please format using 12-point Times New Roman font, with numbered pages and 1-inch margins
  4. Curriculum Vitae (5 pages)

The application materials should be assembled into a single PDF document in the above listed order.

Application Instructions

Application materials should be saved as a single PDF and named using the following format: Last Name, First Name, Program. Upload completed applications to our submissions dropbox using this link.

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