SSRC Selected as Host Institution for Mellon/ACLS Public Fellow

BROOKLYN, NY (January 4, 2018) – The Social Science Research Council (SSRC) has been selected as a host institution for the Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows program of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). The SSRC’s fellow will serve as program officer for its Media & Democracy program and will provide substantive contributions to its research, pedagogical, and public outreach mission.

Applications for this fellowship opportunity open January 10 and can be submitted through the ACLS fellows portal. The deadline for applications is March 14, 2018, and the fellow will begin work at the SSRC on September 4, 2018. Visit the ACLS site for details of the application process.

The Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows program places up to 25 recent PhDs from the humanities and humanistic social sciences in two-year staff positions at partnering organizations in government and the nonprofit sector. Fellows participate in the substantive work of these organizations and receive professional mentoring.

“We are proud to have been selected by ACLS to host one of its Public Fellows,” said SSRC president Alondra Nelson. “The SSRC has a nearly century-long history of nurturing scholars and preparing them to apply their rigorous research both within and beyond the academy, including informing public debate and policy. Our Media & Democracy program is emblematic of this long-standing focus.”

With support from the Knight Foundation and the Democracy Fund, the SSRC’s Media & Democracy program focuses on the media’s relationship to democratic life and is a collaboration between the Council’s Anxieties of Democracy and Digital Culture programs. The program encourages academic research, practitioner reflection, and public debate in order to explore dramatic changes in the media and how these changes contribute to, and potentially can rectify, current democratic anxieties. Through a range of projects, the Public Fellow will help foster engagement and cooperation among humanists, social scientists, journalists, and others working on the relationship between media and democracy.

Among the primary areas of exploration for the Media & Democracy program are the changing political economy of media and communication, the effect of social media algorithms on civic engagement and news consumption, and the ways social media is used for persuasion and propaganda.