Sawyer postdoc in Urban Futures at UIC


Title: Postdoc Research Associate (UIC)

Job Category: Academic Professional

The Great Cities Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago seeks an outstanding individual for a one-year Postdoc Research Associate position to begin September 2019. The successful candidate will participate in the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Sawyer Seminars entitled, “Urban Edges: Dreams, Divisions and Infrastructures – Comparative Cross-Disciplinary Dialogues about 21st Century American Cities.” The purpose of the seminars is to critically examine cities and the sociality of urban life, with a particular focus on Chicago in comparative dialogue with New York City, Detroit and Jackson, Mississippi. The seminars will bring together humanists, social scientists, artists and architects to draw upon our cross-disciplinary analytical and creative tools to explore how narratives and social infrastructures contour urban edges and spaces of inclusion and exclusion. The seminars will be organized around three distinct yet overlapping themes: inequity and collective prosperity; exclusion, inclusion, borders and bridges; and alternatives, experimentation and new visions for cities. Across these themes we will engage cross-cutting issues and enact analyses of cultural projects, radical infrastructures and alternative economies as a way to detail inequity and propose more just alternatives.

Duties: The Sawyer Postdoc Research Associate will assist with building the intellectual infrastructure of the three seminars and with the implementation of each seminar during the 2019-2020 academic year. The primary responsibilities of the Postdoc include developing brief provocations (written and/or visual) for seminar participants to engage; collecting historical and contemporary data representing seminar themes in Chicago and comparative cities; developing intellectual work linking the cities’ histories and futures; following up with scholar and artist participants in each city to ensure productive participation in the seminars; advancing postdoc’s scholarship and research agenda; presenting work during at least one seminar; working with Sawyer Seminar PIs and staff; and performing other duties pertaining to seminar implementation and final report production.

Qualifications: Candidates for the Sawyer Postdoc Research Associate must have earned their Ph.D. between January 2014 and July 2019 in an urban related discipline. Fields might include history, urban studies, geography, urban planning, sociology, anthropology, political economy or a closely related field. Postdocs should have in-depth scholarly knowledge of at least one of the seminar cities (Chicago, New York City, Detroit or Jackson) but, ideally, be engaged in comparative urban studies.

For full consideration, candidates must apply by submitting a letter of interest, CV, writing sample (no longer than 10 pages) and names/affiliation/email/phone numbers of three professional references by February 4, 2019 to UIC-SawyerSeminar-Postdoc. If you have additional questions, please contact Prof. Stacey Sutton at