Postdoctoral Associates (2)

What is Photography?

CCA Seminar 2020-21

 The Center for Cultural Analysis at Rutgers University-New Brunswick seeks to appoint two external Postdoctoral Associates for a year-long residential fellowship during academic year 2020-21.  Successful candidates may come from any relevant discipline; all requirements for the PhD or other terminal degree in the relevant field must be completed by August 1, 2020 and a record of publication and scholarly engagement relevant to the seminar’s topic.  During the academic year, Postdoctoral Associates will attend a bi-monthly research seminar, present their own work, and organize a symposium.  CCA Postdoctoral Associates receive a salary of $50,000, health benefits, a private office, and administrative support.  Fellows normally teach 1 undergraduate course during their fellowship year. Since the CCA Postdoctoral Associate position is considered a residential appointment, candidates must agree to establish residency within a forty-mile radius of the New Brunswick campus during the 2020-21 academic year.

Please submit a cover letter, CV, 250-400 word abstract of your research project, a research statement (no more than 4 single-spaced pages), and a brief description of an undergraduate course you would like to teach.  Three confidential letters of recommendation must be uploaded by your referees.

All materials must be uploaded to the Rutgers hiring system by January 13, 2020. Please direct inquiries to     


A description of the year’s topic follows:

What is Photography?

Seminar leaders: Andres Zervigon (Art History) and William Galperin (English)

What is photography? In the time of its origins photography had no word and the thing we call photography continues to be one of the most conceptually unstable and self-conscious media with no fixity in site. An enquiry, first and foremost, into the problem of photography’s identity, the seminar aims to explore the diverse fields of knowledge that have defined the medium and put it to use. What have changes in technology and platform done to shift our understanding of the medium’s character? What role have social, cultural and scientific disciplines played in forging these numerous photographies? How has a regularly transforming and, ultimately, fluid photographic object of photography arisen from and provoked developments in social interaction, communication, culture, politics, news, technology, art and perception itself? Why has photography’s identity, including the referential power historically invested in the medium, regularly drawn the intense interest of scholars and critics, particularly in the West? And how do conceptions and uses of photography outside North America and Europe challenge its reigning definitions? In addressing these questions, the seminar will call on a diverse number of disciplines, including Art History, History, Science Studies, Communications, English, Comparative Literature, Area Studies, Philosophy, Anthropology, Criminal Justice and more. 

“What is Photography?” will focus on teasing out the current meanings of photography that have gathered the most currency and will then—in readings, workshops, invited presentations and symposia--set these understandings into dialogue and, when necessary, debate.  



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