Postdoctoral Fellow in Black Studies

University of California Berkeley Department of African American Studies

United States

Black Studies Collaboratory Postdoctoral Fellow - Department of African American Studies

Job #JPF02888
  • College of Letters & Science - Social Sciences - African Am Studies

Recruitment Period

Open date: February 12th, 2021

Next review date: Friday, Mar 12, 2021 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Sunday, Mar 14, 2021 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

Black Studies Collaboratory Postdoctoral Fellow - Department of African American Studies – UC Berkeley

Black Studies Collaboratory (BSC)

The Black Studies Collaboratory aims to bring together artists, activists, locals, and scholars to amplify the interdisciplinary, political and world-building work of Black Studies. Black Studies broadly, and the African American intellectual tradition specifically, have always been grounded in community and geared toward improving the conditions of black life under structures of injustice. This principle was central to the establishment of archives like the Schomburg Collection, SNCC’s Freedom Schools that taught direct democracy alongside theater, music and photography; and the Combahee River Collective and other black feminist groups who organized consciousness-raising sessions. These examples also remind us that knowledge is produced, circulated, and put into use in a range of locations, from the kitchen table to the seminar room, from the street corner to the concert stage, from the prison cell to the lecture podium. Artists, scholars and activists have dreamt up and thought critically about what the future might look like if the affirmation of black lives were the foundation of U.S. society. The Department of African American Studies at Berkeley shares in this rich tradition, through the interdisciplinary work of core and affiliated faculty, graduate and undergraduate students.

The BSC is built around five key goals:
• Nurture, support, generate and amplify innovative work centered in Black humanity
• Create shared space for experimentation and collaboration by bringing activists, artists and academics at various stages in their careers into critical engagement and collaborative imagining
• Provide robust programming and generative tools for campus and Bay Area communities
• Develop and practice a new model of public-facing Black Studies
• Create opportunities for joyful and generative engagement among Black faculty, students, and staff, the surrounding community and around the country

Postdoctoral Overview:
We will be selecting two postdoctoral fellows for the 2021-2022 academic year. Postdocs will each have a dedicated mentor in the Department of African American Studies who will meet with them regularly throughout their fellowship, give them feedback on their work, and help their work progress. Postdoctoral Fellows will be important to the lasting legacy of this initiative. Fellows will participate in weekly Collaboratory meetings where they will workshop their writing, teaching, and projects as well as receive media training on how to broaden the impact of their scholarship. Fellows are required to present their work in a public forum at one time during their tenure and to teach one course per year of the fellowship. The teaching component will take place in the Spring 2022 semester. The teaching component of the position will be under the lecturer title, (1636C). Collaboratory Faculty Director and AAS faculty will work with the fellows to decide which course would be most beneficial for postdocs to teach given their research interests.


Basic Qualifications (At the time of application)
• PhD (or equivalent international degree) or enrolled in a PhD (or equivalent international degree) program.

Additional Qualifications (By start date)
• Possession of PhD or equivalent international degree.
• Maximum of three (3) years of post-degree research experience.

Preferred Qualifications
• A scholarly commitment to  Black Radical, Black Intellectual or Black Feminist traditions
• Strong analytical and critical thinking skills.
• Strong written and verbal communication skills.
• Strong facilitation and collaboration skills.
• Ability to interact with a diverse population and engage diverse constituencies.
• Strong pedagogy

The position is open until filled with an anticipated start date of July 2021. This is a one-year, full-time, post-doctoral researching and teaching position, with the possibility of renewal based on performance and availability of funding.

Salary and Benefits:
Salaries for the 2021 fellowships begin at approximately $54,540. Additional salary may be considered for candidates with previous experience in postdoctoral fellowship appointments; benefits are included. Relocation expenses in the amount of up to $4,000 may be granted on a case-by-case basis.

The Black Studies Collaboratory Advisory Board will review applications and expect to notify recipients once a decision has been made.

Mellon Language:
This postdoctoral fellowship was created as part of the Black Studies Collaboratory, a three year project made possible through a generous grant awarded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The BSC is one of 16 recipients of the Mellon Foundation’s Just Futures initiative funding in support of multi-disciplinary, humanities-led teams working to address the deep-rooted racial inequalities in our society and influence a more equitable future.

To Apply
To apply, please go to the following link:

Please address inquiries to: Lauren Taylor - Department of African American Studies -

University of California Postdoctoral Scholars are exclusively represented by the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW). The union’s (UAW 5810) website is Details concerning your benefits as a Postdoctoral Scholar are set forth in Article 3, "Benefits," of the UC-UAW Local 5810 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). A copy of the CBA between the University of California and the UAW is located at:

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.
  • Cover Letter - Cover Letter—We recommend detailing your investments in collaboration and interest in specific aspects of the UC Berkeley community and the San Francisco Bay Area broadly. Cover letters should also discuss where diversity, equity and inclusion figure into your work, and should identify a potential mentor within the Department of African American Studies at UC Berkeley. (No more than 2 pages)
  • Syllabus example for a course in AADS OR Statement of Teaching Interests/Experience/Approach - Statement of Teaching -Please include your teaching interests, experience and philosophy, and indicate what kinds of African American Studies classes you are interested in teaching at UC Berkeley. Please also indicate which AADS class(es) you are qualified to teach. (1 page).
  • Writing Sample - One Writing Sample (Chapter or article length manuscripts in PDF form, no more than 30 pages)
  • Course Evaluations - We encourage you to send evaluations from any prior classes taught (as instructor, co-instructor, or teaching assistant)
  • (Optional)
Reference requirements
  • 3 required (contact information only)
Job location
  • Berkeley, California

In your application, please refer to


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