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Four full year Faculty Fellowships are awarded to Cornell faculty each year by our Board of External Advisors. Fellows' appointments are subject to the consent of their department chair and the approval of the Dean. Applicants must be in their second year of tenure-track employment in order to apply for a Faculty Fellowship. Tradition has restricted fellowships to professors in humanities departments of the College of Arts and Sciences, though faculty members holding regular appointments elsewhere in the university are welcome to apply if their work is closely related to the year's theme and if their Dean is willing to provide their salary during their appointment at the Society.

Faculty Fellows receive leaves of absence from their departments, but not from Cornell; the College of Arts and Sciences allows the time spent as a Faculty Fellow to count in computing regular sabbatic leave. A Faculty Fellow is paid through his or her department the salary he or she would have received, plus Cornell's contribution to fringe benefits. (Applicants should inform their department chair of their intention to apply and receive a brief letter of support committing to prior release from teaching and advising. Where necessary, departments negotiate with the Dean for funds to help provide replacement teaching.) Office space and clerical assistance in matters related to the Fellow's research are provided in the Andrew D. White Center for the Humanities.

Faculty Fellows are released from, and are expected to decline, the usual departmental, college, or university obligations. An exception is normally made for supervision of graduate student research in cases where an interruption would be detrimental to the student. Fellows are expected to spend most of their time in research and writing, but they offer a weekly seminar during one semester of their residency on a topic related to their research and in keeping with the Society's focal theme. We prefer that these seminars be somewhat experimental and interdisciplinary -- in any case, not what you normally offer to satisfy established curricular requirements of your department.


Please email the following application materials to by October 31st, 2016. Please email materials in a single PDF in the order listed below with the subject line “FACULTY FELLOWSHIP APPLICATION_Last Name”. *Note especially item 5.*

1. Curriculum Vitae

2. List of the leaves or fellowships you have held in the past 3 years.

3. The names of three referees willing to supply confidential statements. One of the referees should be a colleague at Cornell; the other two, scholars at other institutions. Please inform your referees of our focal theme, your proposed plans for teaching and research, and ask them to forward their letters either electronically or by post by October 31st.

4. From the Department Chair, a brief letter of support committing to prior release from teaching and advising upon receipt of a fellowship.

5. A brief statement concerning the research you expect to undertake during the tenure of your fellowship and how it relates to the theme for 2017/2018.

6. Short description of the seminar you propose to offer, suitable for the University Course Catalogue.

7. No more than three of your articles.

We must stress the importance of our being able to supply all these materials to the External Advisory Board; it should be obvious that letters from distinguished referees at other institutions are extremely important. We might add that the Board generally gives special weight to candidates' descriptions of their proposed research and the contribution it might make to our understanding of the year's theme.

We hope you will consider becoming a candidate. If you would like to apply, please send the above materials by October 31st. We shall announce the results of the election of the Faculty Fellows after the meeting of the External Advisory Board in December.

The Society for the Humanities Focal Theme, 2017-2018:

The Society for the Humanities at Cornell University seeks interdisciplinary research projects for residencies in 2017-2018 that reflect on the theme of corruption. The Society is looking for scholarly approaches that seek to trace the consequences of corruption for humanistic and artistic thinking and practice, whether from philosophical, aesthetic, political, ecological, religious, legal, psychoanalytical or cultural perspectives.

Considerations of corruption have a long lineage in philosophical, theological, critical, and political thought. We welcome global approaches to understanding corruption in political, legal, and institutional terms, as a symptom of disorder or, alternatively, a means of asserting order, such as in a government, university, or institution. In moral or religious spheres, corruption often marks the “fallen” or what is other to an original or desired soul, life, or society of perfection. How might the theme of corruption broaden out into “pollution” (whether sacred or environmental) or degeneration (vis ŕ vis cultural practice)? In what way does corruption affect standards of artistic or literary genre or form?

A lively subject of representation across the broadest of artistic, literary, and musical traditions, corruption has been mobilized as an ambiguous force that either limits or liberates. Consider how the same antitheatrical traditions that denounce the moral corruption of theatre, the novel, opera, and cinema often serve as the most articulate indicators of the passions, gestures, sounds, and sights most fundamental to aesthetic production. Conversely, how might the humanities appreciate the formal qualities of corruption that are inherent and essential features of transmission and form, from the production and recording of musical sound to the natural or evolutionary changes of artistic practice to avant-gardist corruptions of conventional forms of art and expression? How might Fellows examine the "transmission of information,” such as corrupt computer files, viruses, glitches or noise, and even "corrupt readings," whether of ancient and medieval manuscripts or via the deep data sets of the digital humanities?

How does the lens of corruption impact recent studies of the Anthropocene, ecological stability, preservation of cultural heritage, precarity, economic disparity or social injustice? Applicants might consider the mobilization of social anxieties about pollution -- miasma, infestation, poisoning, dissolution, and dissipation -- to frame theories of race, sexuality, queer or (trans)gender, miscegenation, or ideologies and rhetorics of collective or ethnic purity. What about notions of the integrity of social units and systems, such as the family, the nation, the university or corporation? Might corruption reflect the deformation of “master” discourses, such as capitalism and psychoanalysis or the West and the Rest?