CfA: "Mapping Cultural Space: Sites, Systems and Practices across Eurasia"
Fellowships at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies,
Harvard University

“Mapping Cultural Space: Sites, Systems, and Practices across Eurasia”
Deadline: January 7, 2014
More information:  
  • Q&A session with convening faculty at ASEEES Convention: Saturday, November 23, 12 p.m., Columbus I in the Marriott Copley Place
  • Online info sessions (register by writing to
    • Wednesday, October 30, 3 p.m. EDT
    • Friday, December 1, 2 p.m. EST
    • Thursday, December 19, 2 p.m. EST 

The Davis Center Fellows Program brings together scholars at early and later stages in their careers to consider a common theme spanning the social sciences and humanities.  The program is coordinated by faculty from across Harvard University whose research interests include aspects of the selected theme. 

Professors Julie Buckler (Slavic Languages and Literature), Eve Blau (Graduate School of Design), and Kelly O’Neill (History) will coordinate the 2014–2015 program.
Types of Fellowships
  1. Postdoctoral Fellowships: Junior scholars who will have completed a Ph.D. or equivalent by September 2014 and no earlier than September 2009. Stipend of up to $38,500.
  2. Senior Fellowships: Senior scholars who have made a significant contribution to the field and have completed a Ph.D. or equivalent by September 2009 and hold an academic appointment. Stipend of up to $26,500 to bring salary to full-time level.
  3. Regional Fellowships: Senior scholars who have completed a Ph.D. or equivalent by September 2007 or policy-makers, journalists, and specialists. Citizens of Russia, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Caucasus may apply. Stipend of up to $46,500.
Scholars with outside or sabbatical funding who wish to be in residence at the Davis Center in 2014-15 should also apply using the fellowships application and indicate that they do not require Davis Center funding.
In addition to pursuing their own research, Davis Center Fellows participate in a bi-weekly interdisciplinary seminar series with sponsoring faculty and advanced graduate students.  The seminar for 2014–15 will explore the significance of cultural space as both an object and a tool of analysis, taking as our focus Eurasia, an area of the world where political and cultural boundaries have been repeatedly reconfigured.
We are looking to build an intellectual community for a project that may extend beyond 2014–15, in order to deepen our understanding of the complex and enormous territory of Eurasia in both theory and practice, and to explore interdisciplinary discourse and methodologies, as well as collaborative, multimedia forms of scholarly output that serve multiple functions (research, pedagogy, etc.).
With “Mapping” as our central theme, we will bring together our overlapping geographical-cultural interests, considering diverse practices of mapping cultural space in different disciplinary modes, and examining mapping practices more generally as forms of cultural politics.  Not least, we will reflect on “mapping” as a revealing metaphor for our own scholarly practices and production.
Our interest in the social production of cultural space grows out of the 1990s “spatial turn” and accompanying work on cultural “mobilities,” advanced by more recent work in globalization and memory studies.  We understand “cultural space” to denote culturally-defined zones, physical or virtual, geographical or imagined, that are produced, sustained, monitored and contested by human practices.  Cultural space is a dynamic product of cultural activity and discourse, as well as a framework for the evolution and transmission of beliefs, behaviors, memories, and values. Since cultural space is such a capacious construct, however, we will be working together to map both its enormous reach and its necessary limits.
One important component of our work together in the Fellows Seminar will be its close connection to a 4-year Mellon Foundation grant on interdisciplinary recontextualization of urban studies, co-coordinated across all of the Harvard schools by Professors Blau and Buckler.  This Mellon project includes a major research portal on Berlin and Moscow, opening out to all post-socialist cities across Eurasia.  Our consideration of Eurasian cultural space will by no means be limited to urban environments, however.
Relevant project topics might include the following:
SITES: Physical markers of cultural memory, such as UNESCO World Heritage sites, crisscrossed by the politics of preservation, restoration, and reclamation; spaces set apart, such as prisons and labor camps, environmental disaster areas and zones of ecological particularity; overlapping and contested areas including frontiers, borderlands, and war zones.
SYSTEMS: Cultural networks and institutions such as economic markets, immigration policies, kinship networks, and imperial bureaucracies. The spaces these systems produce might take the form of diaspora communities, sovereign nations, legal systems, international organizations, or virtual worlds.
PRACTICES: Generating, transmitting, and transforming cultural space via imperial conquest and expansion, modernization, war and terrorism, globalization and mass media. On a micro level, mechanisms relevant to this theme might include local commemorative practices, cartographical representations, the space of private life, and virtual community venues such as blogs.
We invite applications from all fields of the humanities and social sciences.  We are looking for applicants whose projects are demonstrably engaged with the notion of cultural space, and welcome projects on a wide variety of specific regions, sites, or historical periods.  In your application statement, please describe your past experiences working on cultural space, and the significance of this concept for your current work.
Applicants should be eager to participate in active yearlong conversations about interdisciplinary work and methodologies, and to work collaboratively, as well as independently on their proposed individual projects.  Applicants should also have acquired a reasonable digital literacy and be willing to attend targeted workshops for training in skills and technologies relevant to the larger project and virtual community.
The application for “Mapping Cultural Space: Sites, Systems, and Practices across Eurasia” is available at
Date: 2013-10-26