Post-Doctoral Fellow, Spirituals Project and Social Justice

Apply now Job no: 492934
Work type: Staff Full-Time
Location: Denver, CO
Categories: Postdoc / Fellow

The University of Denver Interdisciplinary Research Institute for the Study of (In)Equality (IRISE: is seeking a postdoctoral research fellow to join an interdisciplinary team of scholars and practitioners for a two-year term from summer 2020 through summer 2022.

Position Summary

Under the guidance of mentorship faculty from the Lamont School of Music and the Department of Media, Film and Journalism Studies, the postdoctoral fellow will have the opportunity to pursue inter- and trans-disciplinary work on music, race, social justice, and the media and music industries that create, package, promote, and shape the cultural artifacts of our time. We seek a candidate from the humanities and/or social sciences whose work engages with these issues and who has expertise in critical race theory. The candidates discipline(s) might include, but are not limited to, ethnomusicology, media studies, ethnic studies, and/or social work. The position will provide experiences in research, teaching, and service, preparing the fellow to pursue professional trajectories including, but not limited to, a tenure-track appointment in the academy.

Essential Functions

The fellow will be housed according to the candidates choice in either the Lamont School of Music or the Department of Media, Film and Journalism Studies, both of which are within the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. The candidate will primarily engage in independent research, scholarship, and creative work in the area of music, race, and social justice under the guidance of and in collaboration with Dr's. Aleysia Whitmore and Marquisha Lawrence Scott, who direct a research project on The Spirituals Project, a multicultural and multigenerational 70-member community choir housed within the Lamont School of Music with a unique tripartite mission: performance, social justice, and education. Dr's. Rachael Liberman and Carlos Jimenez will serve as mentors in the area of media and music studies. The fellow would have the opportunity to participate in the collaborative research project with an emphasis on highlighting the optics, narrative, media coverage, and historical and political economic infrastructures that give shape to the support of a predominately White choir singing traditional African-American spirituals in Denver. There is creative room for the post-doc to develop their own research lens on the choir, its community-based work, and its commitment to social justice. Additionally, the candidate may work with Dr's. Whitmore and Scott in developing a community-engaged learning course that explores community music projects in Denver and that incorporates keystone experiences in collaboration with the community-engaged course.

Fellows will teach one course each year on a topic that will satisfy requirements for both DU's Critical Race and Ethnic Studies minor and the common curriculum requirement in the area of Social Scientific Inquiry: Society and Culture, and a second course in their second year. Additional courses may be taught if the postdoctoral fellow chooses. Courses may be cross-listed across relevant departments and/or taught in alternative departments in different terms. The second year course may involve developing and/or engaging with community-engaged learning. Fellows will have access to resources and training, particularly to inclusive pedagogical practices, through the University of Denver's Office of Teaching and Learning.

The fellow will help develop the social justice and educational work of The Spirituals Project (e.g., community conversations on race and social justice). The fellow will also collaborate on the vision, design and implementation of IRISE programming related to their research areas each year, with opportunities to offer research presentations on developing work. The successful candidate will actively participate in and support IRISE's intellectual life and various other partner initiatives (DU IMPACT 2025 and the DU Grand Challenges) in amplifying their role as a scholar confronting racial inequality in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West.


  • Active research and service engagement within The Spiritual Projects (attending events, working with the community, etc.).
  • Involvement with opportunities available in the host departments (e.g., colloquia, seminars).
  • Teach one undergraduate course each year and an additional undergraduate or graduate course in the second year.
  • Participate in a quarterly educational inequities research group and colloquiums for the DU campus as part of the IRISE lecture series.
  • Participate in campus-wide and or community forums exploring questions of racial and intersectional forms of diversity, equity, and inclusion at DU and the broader academic community.  Present research findings to interdisciplinary academic audiences and community partners.

Required Qualifications

  • PhD in musicology/ethnomusicology, anthropology, media/film/digital media or internet studies, journalism, social work or related topics. Applicants must have completed all requirements for their PhD by their start date.
  • Strong methodological training in qualitative methodologies.
  • A record of successful academic work in the humanities and/or social sciences (e.g. publications, presentations).
  • Interest in pursuing research that integrates community engagement, the arts (e.g. music, film) and their industries, religion, and social justice in addition to other areas of interest.
  • A demonstrated commitment to working with diverse student and community populations.
  • A demonstrated commitment to community engagement.
  • A demonstrated appreciation for the arts, religion, and social justice.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Strong mixed methodological training and a record of successful publication and/or academic leadership in their related field. 
  • Prior experience in community-based research on social justice (e.g. racism, education). 
  • Experience with courses that have included attention to the cultures of production that shape the media, digital media, and/or music landscape.
  • Experience in more than one area of the fellowship.

Application Deadline

Please submit your application materials by 6:00 p.m. MST on March 6, 2020. Applications may be accepted and reviewed until the position is filled.

Special Instructions
Candidates must apply online through to be considered. Only applications submitted online will be accepted. Inquires about this position can be made to

Salary Range

The fellowship carries a stipend of $50,004 for the first year and $50,004 for the second year, a professional development and research account ($3,000 per year), access to space and research equipment (including personal office and computer), and a comprehensive benefits package.

Please include the following documents with your application:

  1. Cover letter (which includes a brief research statement and description of teaching interests/accomplishments)
  2. CV
  3. One writing sample (e.g.,  peer-reviewed publication(s), dissertation, chapter)
  4. Statement on how applicant’s research and teaching specifically address issues of social justice, diversity, and Inclusive Excellence
  5. Names and contact information of 3 individuals that can provide a letter of recommendation

The University of Denver is committed to enhancing the diversity of its faculty and staff. We are an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment regardless of age, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, military/ veteran status or any other status protected by law.

All offers of employment are based upon satisfactory completion of a criminal history background check.

Applications close:

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