Postdoctoral Scholar, Humanities and Social Change Center, UC Santa Barbara

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Pending official approval of the search, the Humanities and Social Change Center at
UC Santa Barbara will soon be accepting applications for the position of
Postdoctoral Scholar for the academic year 2020-21. We will be grateful for your
help in spreading news of these positions as widely as possible, and we also invite
recent PhDs to send letters of interest to summarizing their
research and its potential relevance to the Center's lines of thematic focus as
sketched out below.

The Humanities and Social Change Center at UC Santa Barbara cultivates
thematically focused and interdisciplinary scholarship bringing the humanities, arts,
and social sciences to bear on questions of social and cultural change in the
contemporary world. Themes on which we have worked in the Center since its
opening in 2017-18 include the crisis of truth in public discourse and the conflict of
value spheres in a modernity "disenchanted" by scientific rationality and
technological power; the roles played by mood and affection in shaping human
engagement with questions of knowledge and value; and the meanings of
intergenerational responsibility—especially care for the future—in contexts of
apparent crisis and potential catastrophe.

These previous directions of work, like those we envision pursuing in the 2020-21
academic year, take place against the background of a culture marked increasingly
both by apocalyptic sensibilities regarding environmental and socio-political
degradation and by techno-utopian projects often aspiring to omniscience,
omnipotence, or even immortality for the human subject. With such background in
mind, we are currently seeking scholars and projects attending to the significance of
human finitude, fragility, and mortality as these bear on matters such as modern and
contemporary understandings of time, history, and responsibility to the future;
human relations with the natural world; and the roles played by science and
technology in shaping contemporary human experience. We are especially
interested in connecting our work on human finitude, fragility, and mortality to
scholarship and debate concerning the character of "secular" life and to reflection
on the meaning for such life of dispositions, values, and virtues such as humility,
gratitude, faith, hope, and love.

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