Apply Now: Davis Center Fellowship for Truth and Information

July 12, 2023

Recent debates about truth, lies, and authenticity have reminded us that truth has a history, and that the meaning of truthfulness and justice keep changing over time. The Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University seeks applications from scholars exploring the historical evolution of regimes and practices of establishing, telling, and writing truth. We understand the notion of truth broadly: as a philosophical and epistemological category, an ideal of social equity and political justice, and a principle governing historical writing, legal, and scientific investigation.

We invite historians who study the role of ideology, religion, informational technology, and media in the historical evolution of truth. We are also interested in projects on the history of lying, deception, and misinformation. Intellectual historians, historians of art, gender, race, sexuality, information, governance, science, and technology from antiquity to the modern period whose work engages with these subjects are encouraged to apply. Topics may include (but are not limited to) the use and misuse of facts in political propaganda, problems of evidence and objectivity, authenticity and source criticism, fakes, forgery and conspiracy theories, and diplomatic, inter- and intra- national reconciliation.

The Davis Center offers fellowships for either one semester (expected to be September–December or February–June) or the academic year. Though the Center is normally able to offer fellowship support for only a single semester, it welcomes the residence of year-long Fellows who combine Center support with funds from elsewhere. Applicants are encouraged to apply for external funds or sabbatical support, and to apply for a year’s Fellowship if they have a reasonable expectation of bringing additional funds with them.

Center fellowships are residential. Fellows are required to live in Princeton or the local vicinity (or demonstrate to the program's satisfaction the ability to be on campus on a daily basis and on short notice in order to fulfill responsibilities relating to in-person participation) in order to take an active part in the exchange of ideas with Fellows and others in the university community.

The most important intellectual forum of the Center is the weekly Davis Seminar, which meets on Friday mornings during the fall and spring term for lively and wide-ranging discussion of work by invited outside scholars and by the Fellows themselves. Fellows are expected to attend the weekly Seminar and to present a paper from their ongoing projects at one of its sessions. It is the core seminar of the History Department, attended not only by Fellows but also by faculty from the History and other departments at Princeton, graduate students, members of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, faculty from nearby universities, and others.

Fellows have the privileges of a member of the History Department. They are given offices in a cluster of offices assigned to The Davis Center.

The Davis Center does not manage housing for its Fellows, but it assists Fellows in finding appropriate housing through the University Housing Office and private landlords if a Fellow wishes it. Fellowships are awarded to employed scholars who are expected to return to their position. Verification of employment and salary will be requested prior to approval by the Dean of the Faculty. Ph.D. required.

The deadline for receipt of applications and letters of recommendation for fellowships for 2024/25 is December 1, 2023, 11:59 p.m. ET. For more information about how to apply, visit our fellowship information page.