Call for Applications, 22-23 JHI Digital Humanities postdoctoral fellowship

Call for Applications
JHI Digital Humanities Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2022-2023

Deadline for applications: 30 November 2021


The Jackman Humanities Institute (JHI) at the University of Toronto, in partnership with the Digital Humanities Network, offers a twelve-month Postdoctoral Fellowship in Digital Humanities, with a project that fits the JHI’s annual theme, “Labour”.

The Annual Theme for 2022-2023 is LABOUR

From the labour of childbirth to the travail of making a living, human beings are labouring animals who derive meaning and experience meaninglessness in work. Historically, human creativity has long flourished both through and against labour-saving technologies. In a globalizing and climate-changing world, rising nationalist movements call for the fortification of borders that would stop seasonal flows of labour, while women call for pay equity and harassment-free workplaces to allow for the freedom to work in peace. In a world of increasingly precarious labour, thanks in part to automation, what does the future of work portend for both people and the planet? What forms of resistance are possible when workers face both the irrelevance of their labour and its exploitation?

The Digital Humanities Network

The Digital Humanities Network builds research and teaching strengths at the University of Toronto through programming, mentorship, and advocacy. We define digital humanities broadly, to include both critical praxis and the analysis of digitality. As of 2020 our primary focus is on critical digital humanities, a version of DH that places anti-racist, decolonial, feminist, and queer/trans/non-binary work at its core, and which understands our current historic shift in digital technology as an opportunity for social and political transformation. At the University of Toronto, Critical Digital Humanities foregrounds creative praxis, co-creation, public engagement, and community-based research.

The JHI DH Postdoctoral Fellow will have an established track record in their own discipline and/or the digital humanities. They will pursue their own research while at UofT, while working to foster the Digital Humanities Network.


The JHI DH Postdoctoral Fellow will draw upon their disciplinary expertise and upon training provided the JHI, DHN, and UofT Libraries to connect and strengthen DH projects across the tricampus university. Specifically, depending on their own skillset and research interests, the JHI DH Postdoctoral Fellow will spend 15 hours per week as a member of the DHN Executive Team, where they will:

  • establish and maintain online spaces where members of the DH Network can share information about their research and discuss matters of common interest;
  • run regular roundtables and workshops on digital humanities topics;
  • convene a monthly community of practice to support the cohort of the Graduate Fellows in Critical Digital Humanities
  • organize, facilitate, and participate in other tricampus DH training initiatives;
  • facilitate introductions and connections between researchers within the DHN;
  • in consultation with digital librarians, provide one-on-one and group consultancy to humanities researchers seeking to make use of infrastructure for digital scholarship in and beyond UofT; and
  • participate in planning the future shape and directions of the DHN.

While working with the DHN, the Fellow will also be part of the JHI scholarly community and will participate in weekly JHI fellows lunches every Thursday from the beginning of September to the first week of May.

The JHI DH Postdoctoral Fellowship is a twelve-month position, from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023 supervised by Professor Elspeth Brown (Director of the DHN and Professor of Historical Studies) and Alison Keith (Director of the Jackman Humanities Institute and Professor of Classics and Women’s Studies). The JHI DH Postdoctoral Fellow may seek additional research supervision from within UofT according to their own interests. They will have access to equipment and collaborative digital working space at JHI. This fellowship award provides an annual stipend of $56,275 (CAD) plus benefits. The incumbent is welcome to seek up to two one-semester courses as a sessional instructor with the appropriate unit(s) at the University of Toronto. The JHI DH Postdoctoral Fellow will be expected to pursue their own research relevant to the JHI’s annual theme of Labour.

Eligibility and Attributes

Applicants must have completed their doctorate within five years of the beginning of the fellowship on 1 July 2022. Applicants who will defend their thesis before the end of May 2022 are eligible, but a letter from their supervisor or Chair may be requested. Any award will be conditional on a successful defense. Applicants who received their Ph.D. prior to 1 July 2016 are ineligible. Applicants who are graduates of doctoral programs at the University of Toronto are eligible. This position is not open to those who hold a tenure-track position.

The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate excellence in teaching and research and have an established track record in the digital humanities, with a focus on critical DH. They will understand the history, development, and current state of the field; be able to assess institutional processes and policies; be willing to work with a range of scholars in and outside of their own field; desire to learn and pursue research in an interdisciplinary, collaborative environment; and be committed to open source development and open access scholarship.

The JHI Postdoctoral Fellowship in Digital Humanities is open to citizens of all countries. The University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from racialized persons / persons of colour, women, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ+ persons, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas. Engagement as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto is covered by the terms of the CUPE 3902 Unit 5 Collective Agreement.


The competition is located at  You will be asked to upload the following documents in your application (please see our FAQ for further information about length and content):

  1. Letter of Application
  2. Curriculum vitae
  3. Project proposal
  4. Statement of Digital Humanities Research Interest, with specific reference to work in critical DH
  5. Research Sample

All documents must be compiled into a single file in .pdf format. For further information about formatting and length, please see the FAQ sheet below.

You will also be asked to provide the names and email addresses of two referees, whom we will contact to request letters of reference. Your referees will receive an automated request for their letters, which will be due on 7 December 2021.  Please ask your referees to watch for our request email.

If you SAVE your file without clicking SUBMIT, you will be able to edit your application and replace your application document until you click SUBMIT or the deadline passes. Please submit your application before the deadline. If you SAVE, you will receive a secret number that will enable you to re-enter your application. Please record this number; JHI staff will not have access to this information.


All applications must be submitted by 30 November 2021 at 11:59 p.m. (EDT). Faxed, emailed, and paper applications will not be considered.


About the fellowship: contact Professor Elspeth Brown at
About the application process: contact Dr. Kimberley Yates at

Frequently Asked Questions About Applying for the
DHN Postdoctoral Fellowship

FAQ: What are JHI’s expectations in terms of length, format and content for my submitted documents?

ANSWER:  You MUST submit all files as a single, compiled pdf file.  This is necessary in order to ensure that your application will be readable.  Please do not send files that with security settings that prevent printing. Beyond that, here are some general suggestions and guidelines.

JHI receives applications from across many disciplines and from around the world. Standards vary, and we would prefer not to set rigid rules in the matter. Please know that you will not be disqualified from applying if your documents do not comply with the following guidelines.

Make your documents easy to read: use 11- or 12-point type, and 1.5 or double spacing. Avoid unnecessarily complicated fonts.

  1. Letter of Application (1-2 pages): Introduce yourself and explain briefly why you are interested in digital humanities research at the University of Toronto, and how your research will respond to the annual theme of Labour. Consider this to be an overview summary of the arguments that you will develop with greater detail in your other documents.
  2. Curriculum Vitae (as long as necessary): this is your full academic record. Please include all publications (both peer-reviewed and non peer-reviewed), research presentations, and previous digital humanities work of any nature. The focus here is more on research than on teaching.
  3. Project Proposal (4-6 pages): Explain in detail what you would like to accomplish while you are a fellow. Your project should be relevant to the annual theme of Labour. Tell us about your anticipated goals and timeline for this project, and about the methodology that you will use to do it. It is perfectly acceptable to propose a thesis-to-book overhaul.
  4. Statement of Digital Humanities Research Interest (2-4 pages):  Tell us how your work fits into the field of digital humanities. Describe any organizational experience that might support your work building the Digital Humanities Network. What kinds of DH are you interested in fostering during your fellowship, and how might you go about doing this? What might be your own goals in DH for the fellowship year?
  5. Research Sample (length varies with content): This could be a chapter from your thesis, or a published article, or an example of DH work that you have created or taken a leading role in such as a digital publication or portfolio. You can include a sample of your writing or provide a brief introduction and a URL (or multiple URLs) that show your DH work in your application document.

FAQ: Can I save a partial application and then go back into it, or swap my application document for an updated version later?

ANSWER: Yes.  You can SAVE but not SUBMIT your application until the deadline has passed. If you click SAVE, you will be given a numerical code and be emailed a link. Record this code (it will not be sent with the email). You will have to enter the code to continue your application. JHI staff members do not have access to your code and cannot generate a new code if you lose it. When you are finished, remember to SUBMIT your application before the deadline.

FAQ: I will be finishing up my thesis in the spring, and I am not sure if my defence will take place before or after 1 May.  How will this affect my eligibility?

ANSWER:  If you receive an offer of this fellowship, it will be contingent on your having completed all outstanding doctoral work before 1 July 2022.  This means that if you apply but have not defended, we will be in touch with your Chair or supervisor to confirm your defence date (it must be before 1 May) and post-defence status. If you defend and have revisions to make, you must complete them successfully before 1 July 2022.

FAQ: I graduated from my doctoral program in June 2016.  Am I eligible to apply? Does a month matter?

ANSWER: You are not eligible to apply.  This fellowship is offered with a five-year eligibility that tracks from the date when the fellowship begins on 1 July 2022.

FAQ: When will I be required to be in Toronto? Can I do research off-site at certain times during the year?

ANSWER:  The JHI will require your attendance at a fellows’ lunch each Thursday from the beginning of September until the end of April (there are two weeks in December when the University will close for the holidays). The DHN may require you to help with events during the summer; if you are also teaching, please check for the dates when you must be in Toronto with your unit.

FAQ: Is any funding beyond the award for this position available for travel, moving expenses, or research?

ANSWER:  There is a small amount ($500 CAD) of research or travel funding available upon request to the Director. There is no funding for moving expenses. You are welcome to apply for up to two one-semester courses of sessional teaching in any unit appropriate to your field of doctoral study. Sessional job postings will appear on the CUPE 3902 (Unit 3) Opportunities web page at

FAQ: Who can I contact if I have other questions?

ANSWER: For questions about the fellowship, email Professor Elspeth Brown at

For questions about the application process, email Dr. Kimberley Yates at

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