Call for applications – Terra Foundation Postdoctoral Research and Teaching Fellowship for American Art

Posted on November 18, 2019

Université Paris Nanterre and Université Paris-Diderot, 2020–22
Deadline: February 21, 2020

Endowed by a generous grant of the Terra Foundation, this two-year research and teaching fellowship in Paris offers a postdoctoral scholar the opportunity to pursue his or her own work, and teach at the universities of Paris-Nanterre and Paris-Diderot for 24 months. The fellow will receive a $ 42,000 annual stipend (to cover all costs including travel, housing, visa, health insurance, research, and so on; to be disbursed in euros). The program also includes a $ 2,000 annual fund towards the organization of scientific events.

During the two-year period (2020–22) the fellow will teach (in English) a Fall seminar in American art history and visual culture to graduate students in art history (Paris Nanterre) and American visual and cultural history (Paris Diderot). S/he will conduct personal research in conjunction with the research teams in art history and American art and visual culture of the two partner universities.

The grant will be managed through the Fondation partenariale de l’université Paris Nanterre1 and its Culture and Heritage chair.

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The fellow will teach a joint Paris-Nanterre and Paris-Diderot seminar for postgraduates in the first term of each academic year (24h). The seminar will be taught in English and focus on the fellow’s area of expertise (or other topic chosen in agreement with the program organizers) in American Art. S/he will also be expected to organize a symposium jointly held by the two research universities teams in the second term of  academic year. S/he will be available to advise graduate students on topics related to their Masters-level or Ph.D.-level research projects.

The fellow will be expected to participate closely in the scholarly and collegial life of the two research teams, HAR (Histoire des arts et des représentations, Paris-Nanterre, see below and and LARCA (Laboratoire de Recherches sur les Cultures Anglophones, Paris-Diderot, see below and, under Themes: Visual Cultures). The two research groups have complementary approaches in art history (HAR) and visual culture studies (LARCA), and share a common interest in artistic international relations as well as the history of images, their circulation and transmission, and intermediality. The attached presentation gives an overview of the kind of research projects presently covered by the teams. These are given simply as indications for prospective applicants and are in no way constraining.

The fellow will be able to consult local libraries and archives, including the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art (INHA) library, the largest art history library in the world. S/he will have access to the shared office of the research lab HAR at the INHA, and a shared office at Paris Diderot.

Candidates must have a Ph.D. degree by June, 2020, with a dissertation bearing on American art or visual culture. Applications from recent Ph.D. graduates (degree awarded since 2014) will be privileged. Candidates will send application (incl. cover letter, curriculum vitae, diss. summary, language proficiency in French and English, research and teaching proposal (max. 4 pages), two letters of recommendation (these should be sent separately by the referees) to: Applications are to be sent by February 21, 2020. Shortlisted candidates will be notified by March 15th to set a date for interviews in both French and English; they will be asked to provide samples of published writing and/or full dissertation text. The successful candidate must accept the fellowship by March 16th, 2020.


HAR (Histoire des arts et des représentations), Paris Nanterre
HAR is an interdisciplinary research team, grouping around 40 colleagues in various fields of the arts and visual studies (cinema, theater, aesthetics, early modern art history and modern art history, as well as cultural history) and their PhD students. Each year a seminar is held by the students for the whole team (currently it is about “document, documenter”). The art history subteams (H-MOD and H-CONT) develop research in art history (especially in nineteenth and early twentieth century), and museum studies, in connection with libraries and museums (especially La Contemporaine, which holds large press, photography, and poster 20th century collections), but also Centre Pompidou, Musée du Quai Branly, the Louvre, Rouen Museums), as well as the labex Les passés dans le présent ( and labex Arts H2H ( Some of the existing fields of research deal with realism and impressionism in global context, as well as photography, the arts and crafts movement, education and transmission…

Projects are developed about imaginary museums (, artists libraries, social photography, the history of documentary museums, caricature and laughter (, posters, the dissemination of the Arts and Crafts movement around the world….

The “Fondation partenariale de l’université Paris Nanterre” has been set to raise funds and to help develop links between Nanterre University and various partners, either private or public, in France or in other countries. It currently develops an alumni network, and prepares various ambitious research projects in art history with Nanterre University. Its culture and heritage chair will be proud to manage the Terra Postdoctoral Research and Teaching Fellowship for American Art involving two French universities jointly.

LARCA (Laboratoire de recherches sur les cultures anglophones), Paris Diderot
LARCA is an interdisciplinary research unit of University Paris Diderot and the CNRS whose members study the histories, literatures, arts and cultures of English-speaking countries and their links to the wider world. Drawing together literary scholars, political, social, and cultural historians, art historians, and specialists of painting, photography, film, television, and emerging media, LARCA is a research laboratory that bridges the disciplines and mediates between academic cultures in France and the English-speaking world.

The LARCA’s Visual Cultures group is cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural (with main concentrations on the British and North American areas). It combines materialist, formalist and theoretical approaches of English language arts and visual cultures from the 17th to the 21st century. It brings together researchers and doctoral candidates working on histories of art and

images, critical analyses of visual works, objects, and practices, and theoretical enterprises bearing on the iconic, and our objects of study range from history painting or photography to the study of moving images (film studies and TV series studies), as well as film adaptation.

The group’s focus on English-language cultures implies that researchers pay strong attention to the interactions between image, visual practices and their theorisation, the import of traditions and artistic references proper to English language contexts, the interaction of such traditions with contemporary creative trends, and the rich legacy and liveliness of a specific philosophical

and theoretical tradition. Research topics also include comparative approaches (French/English domains, Europe/North America, West/East) and studies of the international migration of images.