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Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

In partnership with Penn State’s Africana Research Center, the Richards Center established a competitive, one-year postdoctoral fellowship in 2012. The fellowship rewards recently graduated Ph.D.s studying aspects of the African American experience from slavery to Civil Rights. While in residence, the fellow has access to the Center and the ARC’s professional resources, receives guidance from a mentor, and participates in a series of professional development workshops. The fellow will present his or her research to the graduate community and will invite senior scholars in their field to the university to review and comment on his or her work. 

Application and Submission Process 

Postdoctoral Scholar, African-American History, Job #83060 

The Richards Civil War Era Center and the Africana Research Center invite applications for a one-year postdoctoral scholar in African-American history, beginning July 1, 2019. All research interests spanning the origins of slavery through the Civil Rights movement will receive favorable consideration. Proposals that mesh with the Richards Center’s interests in slavery, abolition, and emancipation, as well as comparative or Atlantic history, are especially welcome. During their residency, the scholar will have no teaching or administrative responsibilities. He or she will be matched with a mentor, attend professional development sessions and other relevant events, and will be expected to take an active part in Penn State’s community of Africana researchers. The scholar also will invite two senior scholars to campus to read and comment on the scholar’s project.  Successful applicants must have completed all requirements for the Ph.D. within the previous four academic years. Salary/benefit package is competitive. To be considered for this position, submit complete application packets including a cover letter describing your research and goals for the scholarship year, a curriculum vita (6 page maximum), and a writing sample of no more than 30 double-spaced pages. Review of materials will begin November 15, 2018 and continue until the position has been filled. Three letters of reference should be addressed to the attention of the ESSS Selection Committee and submitted as email attachments to richardscenter@psu.edu.  Please direct questions about the process via e-mail to richardscenter@psu.edu. Applications must be submitted online at https://psu.jobs/job/83060.

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2018-19 Postdoctoral Fellow

Dara Walker

Dr. Dara Walker holds a PhD in History from Rutgers University. Her research and teaching expertise include African American history, urban history, 20th century U.S. history, public history, and the digital humanities. She received her B.S. in African American Studies from Eastern Michigan University in 2009 as a Ronald E. McNair Scholar as well as a M.A. in Pan-African Studies from Syracuse University in 2011. Dr. Walker is currently writing her book manuscript which examines the role of the high school organizing tradition in the development of black radical politics of the Black Power era. Her research has been funded by the Ford Foundation’s Dissertation Fellowship, the Walter P. Reuther Library’s Albert Shanker Fellowship for Research in Education, and Rutgers University. She has presented her research at several national conferences, including the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the American Historical Association (AHA), and the National Council for Black Studies (NCBS). In addition to her research, teaching, and mentoring, Dr. Walker is a regular contributor to Black Perspectives, the blog site for the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS).

Postdoctoral Fellowship Funding

The postdoctoral fellowship was made possible by the generous support of Steven and Janice Brose, Robert and Bonnie Hammel, Lewis and Karen Gold, Ted and Tracy Winfree McCourtney, Howell and Sandy Rosenberg, and Alice Schmidt. The fellowship significantly enhances the Center’s position as a national leader in advancing innovative scholarship in the Civil War era. Focused on African American history, the fellowship promotes research in a traditionally under-studied aspect of the history of this period.