Visiting Fellowships 2019 Shanghai University

The Center for the History of Global Development at Shanghai University invites applications for fellowships for visiting scholars working on projects related to the history of policies, concepts, practices or debates related to development on local, national, regional or global levels. The Center of the History of Global Development welcome applications from researchers who are taking innovative and interdisciplinary approaches to the topic. Preference is given to topics related to the focus areas of the Center: development models, health, sustainable development, international organizations and urban development. Fellows with an interest in longer term cooperation between the Center and their home institution are also particularly invited to apply.

The Center for the History of Global Development was established at the College of Liberal Arts at Shanghai University in 2017. Through conferences, workshops, publications and discussion panels, the Center seeks to contribute to interdisciplinary scholarly debates on the repercussions of “development” as a phenomenon which has shaped much of recent global history while remaining conceptually vague or contradictory.  Highlighting the interdisciplinary character both of past manifestations and of future challenges of development, the Center presently seeks to focus its research on areas in which the economic, environmental, conceptual and health dimensions of development interact or overlap.

“Development,” in its most basic form, is understood as the idea that socio-economic conditions would and should improve and that specific policies should be employed to bring about such improvements. Beyond this core, development has been a highly contested concept, whose constructed character has repeatedly been emphasized. Critics point to international structures created in the name of development which have often reflected power inequalities and have served the interests of those that put them in place while doing little to improve living conditions of those at whom they were allegedly addressed.  Other scholars identify perceived successes of development, measured in social indicators such as life expectancy, infant mortality, gender equality or literacy, which contradict a simplistic notion of continued failure. Different evaluations of the outcome of development tie into different interpretations of what exactly the concept does – or should – mean. 

Despite this lack of precision, “development” continues to be widely used, including in categories such as “developed” or “least developed” countries, and for many people, particularly in low-income countries, “development” remains a powerful and seemingly self-evident goal. Apparently, the idea of some form of socio-economic improvement as a goal of public or private actions has resonated with societies in many parts of the world, though not necessarily with identical meanings. Meanwhile, definitions of what constituted “successes” or “failures” are  similarly far from clear, and perspectives vary along with changing attitudes in public and in academia as well as with evolving evidence regarding the long-term repercussions of various forms of development. 

Fellows can benefit from an international academic environment and from a stimulating setting in one of the most rapidly “developing” cities of the world.

Fellows are also expected to share their research in one or two lectures, to generally participate in the academic life of the College of Liberal Arts at Shanghai University and to cite Shanghai University in all publications to which their fellowship stay has contributed. Fellowships are open to post-doctoral and senior scholars. Preference is given to projects at an advanced state, whose outcome and publication potential is already becoming clear. 

Fellowship applications can be for periods of between one and three months, taken between 1 September and 31 December 2019.

The fellowship includes:

·         Free accommodation, subsidized meals

·         A monthly stipend of 7,000 RMB for postdocs and 10,000 RMB for senior scholars, before taxes

·         Office space

Applications should include:

·         A project proposal of no more than 3,000 words, explaining the research question, relevance, work program, and expected outcome of the project

·         A cv

·         Titles and brief explanations of one to three proposed lectures

The deadline is 5 May 2019. For further information, contact Prof. Iris Borowy