Fisher Center PreDoctoral Fellowship
Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men
Division of the Provost and Dean of Faculty
Futures of Revolution
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 2017-2018 Predoctoral Fellowship. We seek dissertation scholars and advanced candidates for the MFA whose work critically engages the terms of our research theme for the year, "Futures of Revolution." We are especially interested in candidates who would contribute to the diversity of the HWS campus.
Theme: Futures of Revolution
The year 2017 marks the one hundredth anniversary of the Russian Revolution. For many, this revolution heralded an emancipatory egalitarian beginning, the possibility of a new and more just world. Revolution was an agent of the future, the means by which the future gives birth to itself.
Is revolution still a carrier of futures we can imagine or has something changed? Is change for the better possible and at what scale? If we can continue to speak of revolution, what sort of revolution do we imagine: revolutions in social relations, aesthetic modes, economic systems, political orders, human subjectivity? Or might revolution today signal scientific breakthroughs, technological shifts, and further transformations in media and communications? Have science and technology taken on a role that politics played in previous centuries? If so, who are the agents and beneficiaries of a technological-scientific revolution? Is a revolutionary alliance of the oppressed displaced by a technocratic elite? And does our techno-futurist imaginary then revolve back into an extension of more of the same, repeating, perhaps inadvertently, a more literal revolving?
The past hundred years have witnessed multiple revolutions, their failures, and successes: the sexual revolution, the digital revolution, and an array of political revolutions. How have claims for the sexual revolution limited access to sexual and reproductive experiences already flourishing in previous forms of life and in non-dominant cultures? How does revolutionary time inscribe itself in space and with what forms of corresponding violence? How do suppositions of revolutionary new beginnings empty out spaces of those dwelling within them? In what ways do these suppositions of an empty space uphold colonial violence and in what ways do they undermine it?
During the 2017-2018 academic year, the Fisher Center will focus on the problem of revolution, concerning ourselves with the futures it has, can, and will carry. We invite applications from differing disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives that open up the ways revolution may be envisioned, imagined, realized, and lived. Might what appear to be limits to revolution today be limits of our imagination? Our investigations aim to encompass varying geometries of revolution, not simply its repetitive, revolving, circuit or open linearity but also its twists, folds, and torsions.
We welcome applications that focus on revolutionary art, the avant garde, and revolutionary aesthetics. How is art crucial for imagining the future? What role do works of art play in challenging dominant distributions of the sensible? Does the popularity of dystopias in contemporary culture index a diminution of revolutionary energy and the finitude of the radical imagination? What is revolutionary movement and what can it become? Do we need to consider whose revolution and who can dance to it? Which projects, spaces, and architectures of memorialization draw out memories of the future capable of inspiring us today? Do the popular and commercial aesthetic practices of social media, television, Broadway, and consumption tame revolutionary energies or do they open up possibilities for their acceptance and amplification: people imagine revolution as key to their past and necessary for their future?
We encourage applications from scientists and scholars of science and technology. In what ways is science revolutionizing our lives such that in a generation the way we live now may no longer be recognizable? Are reproductive technologies, medical innovations, and genetic engineering that transform embodied experiences of sex, gender, parenthoood and humanity itself revolutionary or evolutionary? How will incorporating emotion and personality into artificial intelligence transform relationships and love? Will the rise of intelligent machines signal a radical new economic state and incite the next labor revolution? Will this revolution inspire the same hope for a better world as the Russian Revolution a century ago? Has science become the site into which our dreams of a better world are invested or is it the carrier of the dystopic future? Is the future inevitably post-human, belonging to the robots?
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 $35,000.00. 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.