Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowships on “Dispossessions in the Americas"

Postdoctoral Fellowships 2023-2024

Penn-Mellon Just Futures Initiative: Dispossessions in the Americas


The Penn-Mellon “Dispossessions in the Americas: the Extraction of Bodies, Land, and Heritage from la Conquista to the Present” Research Team at the University of Pennsylvania invites applications for two one-year Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowships. Scholars in the social sciences, humanities, and related fields who have received or will receive their Ph.D. between January 1, 2020 and June 30, 2023 are eligible to apply. In particular, we seek applicants whose research, teaching, and public engagements support and complement our research team’s interests by emphasizing two or more of the following: 

1) broadly interdisciplinary, collaborative inquiries and expressions that engage with the arts, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and/or health studies;
 2) applied research that aims to document and, when relevant, repair dispossessions of Black, Indigenous, and Latinx territories, bodies, and cultural heritage in the Americas;

3) research investigating the historical roots of systemic racism embedded in mechanisms of deceit, disease, violence and/or warfare in the Americas, from 1491 to the present;

4) research and practice oriented towards public engagement, policy solutions to address dispossessions, and collaborations with the affected communities to promote more just, equitable, and sustainable futures throughout the Americas.  

This interdisciplinary collaboration is led by the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Latin American and Latinx Studies, the Native American and Indigenous Studies, the Department of Africana Studies, the Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies Program, the Penn Cultural Heritage Center, and colleagues in the Biostatistics, Epidemiology,and Informatics Department. Our co-PIs work within the fields of political science, anthropology, history, art history, epidemiology, and public health. Fellows will be working under the supervision of one or more co-PIs and affiliated with one of our programs.


The Mellon “Dispossessions in the Americas” Research Team Postdoctoral Fellows will be expected to pursue their own research agendas as well as actively participate in our team’s collaborative efforts. Our goals include: create a website documenting dispossessions from 1491 to the present; organize international conferences; promote and facilitate art exhibitions and performances on our topics; collaborate with minority-oriented two- and four-year colleges on curriculum development; and articulate proposals with local, national, and global governmental and non-governmental actors. The Fellows will also be required to teach one undergraduate course in their area of specialization.


Applications should include a cover letter, CV, transcript, statements of research, teaching, and diversity, up to two writing samples, description of one undergraduate course the candidate would be interested in teaching (approx. 300 words), and three letters of recommendation.  If the candidate has not yet defended their dissertation, include a letter from the dissertation supervisor confirming that the PhD will be completed by June 30, 2022.  Consideration of applications will begin ins Spring 2023 (exact date TBD) and continue until the position is filled.


The Penn Mellon Dispossessions in the Americas Research Team is strongly committed to Penn's Action Plan for Faculty Diversity and Excellence and to creating a more diverse faculty (for more information see: The University of Pennsylvania is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Minorities/Women/Individuals with disabilities/Protected Veterans are encouraged to apply.