The Postdoctoral Program

Modeling Interdisciplinary Inquiry allows us to take the next step in this educational program by using the model, the insights, and the intellectual methods of the interdisciplinary seminar as a foundation for a postdoctoral program. Such a program, organized around the principle of interdisciplinary scholarship and teaching, offers training to scholars in the first stages of their teaching and research careers that reaches beyond their own dissertation work. That training, in the form of a formal relationship with a senior scholar in a field allied to but distinct from their dissertation field will, we think, clearly move postdoctoral scholars beyond the questions and methods that they were able to raise and use in their dissertations. The postdoctoral program also involves young scholars in the organization and running of a graduate seminar designed to raise and interrogate the problems, questions, methods, and models of research in the humanities and social sciences that cross traditional disciplinary fields. The seminar in Theory and Methods is aimed at an audience of advanced undergraduates and graduate students. Finally, the postdoctoral program involves these young scholars in teaching within an undergraduate program designed to emphasize the possibilities for intellectual coherence of work in the humanities and social sciences.

The postdoctoral program is governed not by individual departments but by a Steering Committee. The committee is composed of senior faculty from across the humanities and social sciences who have in their own work shown a commitment to interdisciplinary teaching and research. The committee oversees 1) the program of academic and intellectual mentorship putting the young scholars in touch and in formal relationships with senior Washington University faculty working in allied fields, 2) the seminar in Theory and Methods to be run by the postdoctoral fellows, and 3) a teaching program that allows the postdoctoral fellows to bring to our undergraduate students the values and insights of their own work and their experience in Modeling Interdisciplinary Inquiry.