Faculty: Call for Applications

The World Studies Interdisciplinary Project (WSIP) invites applications from interdisciplinary teams of UMass faculty in HFA and SBS to participate as Mellon Fellows in the collaborative creation of a Graduate Certificate Program in Decolonial Global Studies (DGS) at UMass-Amherst. The DGS Certificate will unpack the assumptions that distort contemporary global studies and still pervade both university curricula and public narratives; and it will consider diverse legacies of ethical-epistemological imagining. In particular, we aim to dismantle narratives rooted in notions of progress, development and modernity that implicitly center on white European peoples and heteronormative practices and in turn perpetuate systemic political and planetary violence.

As in past WSIP initiatives, the DGS Certificate will address these deeply-rooted problems by exposing the false historical paradigms that underlie them and by articulating nonhegemonic perspectives. The main aims of the project are to:

  • conceive and launch a Graduate Certificate in Decolonial Global Studies (DGS) that dismantles eurocentric/androcentric narratives and fosters sustaining practices and legacies
  • build interdisciplinary intellectual community for indigenous, decolonial, intersectional, and race studies scholars at UMass and the Five Colleges and creative a supportive environment for research in these fields
  • generate epistemological and institutional transformation at UMass by engaging faculty and students in decolonial thought and practice
  • work to forge institutional norms and systems that facilitate interdisciplinary teaching and research at UMass

In 2022-24, Mellon Fellows will gather in a DGS Reading and Rethinking Seminar to learn together and collaboratively plan the Certificate. Seminar meetings will involve both discussion of decolonial-intersectional readings and team dialogue about courses and curricula.  Conversations will also be fed by corollary public events. Mellon Faculty Fellow teams will be joined in these activities by Mellon PhD Fellows working on decolonial projects and also occasionally by Visiting Fellows, including activists, policy makers, artists, and scholars to be hosted for short residencies.

Each Mellon Faculty Fellow will receive a course release in 2022-23 and Mellon research funds of $2000 in 2023-24.  The DGS Seminar will meet regularly in 2022-23 (3-4 times/semester) and less often in 2023-24, mainly for consultation as teams pilot their courses. Preparatory meetings will be held in Spring 2022, and in Fall 2024 there will be a culminating public conference. Fellows will participate in all meetings and linked events as well as in outreach for the Certificate. 

Interested applicants should form teams of two or three faculty each.  Team members should be from different disciplines, and teams with faculty from both HFA and SBS will be preferred. Teams will also ideally include one or more members with long-historical and intersectional orientations.  Each team will design a specific course while working with other teams to plan the curriculum.

Before preparing your application, please read this important information about the DGS Project History and Principles. We also encourage you to learn more about the World Studies Interdisciplinary Project: WSIP.

To apply, follow this link to the DGS Team Application Form. Applications are due Tuesday February 8.   Notifications will be sent by early March.