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Princeton University, Department of Anthropology
Princeton, New Jersey
Closing date
Jan 27, 2023

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Position Type
Fellowship , Postdoc
Cultural Anthropology
Full Time
Organization Type
Level of Experience

Job Details

The Department of Anthropology at Princeton University invites applications for three Postdoctoral or more senior research associateships in biocultural and sociocultural anthropology to begin on or about August 1, 2023 and end May 31, 2025. The deadline for applications is January 15, 2023. The Postdoctoral Fellows will work directly with Professors Agustín Fuentes, Jeff Himpele, and Carolyn Rouse and interact with the larger group of researchers in the multinational research project: Concepts in Dynamic Assemblages: Cultural Evolution and the Human Way of Being.


The project develops a biocultural, cognitive framework with a focus on Concepts in the areas of skill, technology, and social life that connects theory and methods in cultural evolution with anthropological theory, cognitive approaches, and ethnographic research. The goal is to better understand cultural processes and how particular patterns of the development and embodiment of Concepts structure human capacities and transform evolutionary dynamics. By facilitating qualitative and quantitative accounts and improved understandings of human dynamic assemblages we seek to identify how Concepts affect the human experience and seek deeper understandings and improved approaches to twenty-first century global challenges (such as public health crises, pandemics, social inequities, and ideological conflicts). The project entails a wide range of data and evidence and therefore will produce a range of multimodal forms, including data visualizations.


The three post doc areas will be:


Position 1: “Race as biology,” medical education, training and perceptions. PI: Dr. Agustín Fuentes. The scholar should have training/experience in biocultural approaches, familiar with scholarship on race/racism and be interested in the processes and patterns of the USA medical system historically and in the contemporary moment. Using the frame of Concepts in dynamic assemblages, the scholar in collaboration with Prof. Fuentes and student research team will undertake focused case study and ethnographic work to examine the “race as biology” Concept in USA medical education and practice, including a historical overview of the “race as biology” Concept in medical literature and educational materials to obtain a context for this dynamic assemblage’s development and its evolution across the 19th through 21st centuries.


Position 2: “Freedom,” race, hope and health. PI: Dr. Carolyn Rouse. The scholar must be ethnographically grounded and theoretically engaged as demonstrated by their prior research and publications. This scholar will collaborate with Prof. Rouse in conducting ethnographic and health-assessment work to produce a robust structural and perceptual analysis of a particular community’s Concept of freedom and how it interfaces with their experiences, actions, and health outcomes. Preference is for topical specializations complementing and extending Rouse’s research on race, hope, health, and data visualization (e.g. Medical Anthropology, Science and Technology Studies, Critical Race Theory, Visual Anthropology, Social Movements, Religion, Politics and/or Economics).


Position 3: VizELab, Concept and innovative data visualization. PI: Dr. Jeff Himpele: For this position we seek a post-doctoral scholar who is prepared to embrace the possibilities for incorporating interactive data visualizations (and mapping) in their ongoing research program or new work. Working with Dr. Jeff Himpele and the VizE Lab, the scholar will join us in pioneering data visualizations as a form of anthropological analysis and expression in conjunction with grounded ethnographic work involving multiple temporal and social scales, locations, complexities, and sources of evidence. Preferences for topical and theoretical specializations are open, but the scholar with a background in Digital Anthropology, Data Studies, Visual Anthropology, and/or STS, is preferable. They should be able to work with structured data and ready to use and extend their experience in data visualization (in Tableau and ArcGIS, for example, or other platforms).


All applicants should send a cover letter summarizing their research experience and career goals and identifying which of the three positions they are applying for. Application dossiers should also include a full cv, names and contact information for three references, two samples of completed research (e.g. two dissertation chapters, data visualization, and/or published or submitted articles), and a one-page research statement. Application dossiers should be submitted online at . A PhD expected by August 1, 2023 is required. Appointments are for one year, with the possibility of renewal based on performance and funding  


This position is subject to the University’s background check policy.


The Department values diversity among its faculty, is committed to building a culturally diverse intellectual community, and strongly encourages applications from women and members of underrepresented groups.




Princeton University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.



Princeton University is a private Ivy League research university in Princeton, New Jersey. Founded in 1746 in Elizabeth as the College of New Jersey, Princeton is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution. The institution moved to Newark in 1747, then to the current site nine years later. It was renamed Princeton University in 1896.

Princeton provides undergraduate and graduate instruction in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. It offers professional degrees through the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the School of Architecture and the Bendheim Center for Finance. The university also manages the Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. Princeton has the largest endowment per student in the United States.

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  • This employer does prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation/preference.
  • This employer does prohibit discrimination based on gender identity/expression.
  • This employer does not offer health insurance benefits to eligible partners.
  • This employer does not appear on the AAUP list of censured institutions.

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