Society of Fellows in the Humanities at Columbia University

  • Award Period: Academic year 2021-2022
  • Application Deadline: 5 October 2020 11:45 PM EST

Aims of the Columbia Society of Fellows in the Humanities

The Society seeks to enhance the role of the humanities in the University by exploring and clarifying the interrelationships within the humanities as well as their relationship to the natural and social sciences. The program is designed to strengthen the intellectual and academic qualifications of the Fellows: first, by affording them time and resources to develop independent scholarship within a broadening educational and professional context; second, by involving them in interdisciplinary programs of general education and in departmental courses, often of their own design; and third, by associating them individually and collectively with some of the finest teaching scholars in the University.

The Society of Fellows is committed to assembling a diverse and inclusive academic community. Toward this end, we especially encourage applications from members of underrepresented groups and those whose interests contribute to realizing this goal.

The Society comprises the Fellows, the faculty members of the Governing Board, and other invited faculty. The Society holds weekly meetings to advance the intellectual and educational purposes common to the membership.


Fellows are appointed as Postdoctoral Research Scholars (Mellon Fellows) in the Society of Fellows at Columbia University and as Lecturers in appropriate departments at Columbia University (see list of Humanities Departments below). This one-year fellowship is renewable for a second and a third year. In the first year, Fellows teach one course per semester. At least one of these courses will be in the undergraduate general education program: Contemporary Civilization, Literature Humanities, Music Humanities, Art Humanities, Asian Civilizations, Asian Humanities, or Global Cultures, including those of Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. For more information on Columbia’s Core Curriculum please visit The second course may be a departmental course, the design of which will be determined jointly by the Fellow and the Fellow’s academic department. In the second and third years, Fellows teach one course per year, leaving one semester free of teaching responsibilities. The courses taught in the second and third years of the fellowship may be departmental courses or Core courses as described above; however, at least two of the four courses taught over the three Fellowship years must be in the Core.


The Application Form can be accessed at Before you can proceed to the application form itself and detailed application instructions, you must register as a new user on the landing page. Please follow the instructions carefully, noting that the deadline for submission is Monday, 5 October 2020. A select number of candidates will be invited to interview in January 2021. Fellowship decisions will be announced by early March 2021.

Applicants who have not been contacted for an interview by 11 January 2021 should assume that their candidacy is no longer active.

Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

Humanities Departments

  • African American and Africa Diaspora Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Art History & Archaeology
  • Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
  • Classics
  • East Asian Languages & Cultures
  • English & Comparative Literature
  • Film Studies
  • French & Romance Philology
  • Germanic Languages
  • History
  • Institute for Comparative Literature and Society
  • Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality
  • Italian
  • Latin American and Iberian Cultures
  • Middle Eastern, South Asian, & African Studies
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Religion
  • Slavic Languages & Culture
  • Sociology

General Instructions

The application consists of the following:

  1. Application. Complete and submit the Application. Please note that the Application must be submitted by the deadline in order for the submission to receive consideration. In addition to your personal information, the Application requires submission of Microsoft Word or PDF files containing your curriculum vitae, a research project proposal (no more than 1,500 words), a writing sample (no more than 3,500 words; footnotes and bibliography may be appended), and a two-page undergraduate course syllabus of your own design.

  2. TWO letters of recommendation. In order for your recommenders to be alerted to your request for their recommendations, you must enter their names and emails, by clicking the “Add Recommender” button found under “Reference Letters” in the Side Menu. You should do so far ahead of the application deadline (5 October 2020) so that they have sufficient time to submit letters on your behalf. Recommenders will receive automated notification of your request and instructions for submitting their recommendations once you have added them via the “Add Recommender” button. Please be sure to follow up with your recommenders, as spam filters can interfere with the delivery of automated emails. You can check the status of recommendation submissions and re-send the automated notification to your recommenders by logging into your application account.

Please Note: We do not accept recommendations delivered via dossier services (e.g. Interfolio).

Applications must be submitted by Monday, 5 October 2020 11:45 PM EST. There are no exceptions or extensions to this deadline.

The Society of Fellows in the Humanities at Columbia University is made possible by the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the William R. Kenan Trust.
Andrew W. Mellon FoundationThe William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust