USC Berggruen Fellowship: The Transformation of the Human

Posted by on Nov 5, 2017
USC Berggruen Fellowship: The Transformation of the Human

Fellowship Seeks Innovative Thinkers

USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and the Berggruen Institute will sponsor up to five (5) fellowships at the University of Southern California for the academic year 2018-2019. The selected USC Berggruen Fellows will work on the topic area of “The Transformation of the Human”:

New technologies are changing how we understand ourselves as individuals, in relationships, and as a species. Humans have historically defined themselves by contrast to machines and animals, by having language and intelligence, and by the idea of a soul. Just as earlier changes such as the evolution of language, literacy, and better nutrition changed what it means to be human, so are new technologies changing our material realities and thus destabilizing old definitions of the human. We are interested, for example, in artificial intelligence and gene editing, as well as developments in neuroscience, bio-engineering, and interventions into the human microbiome. At the same time, we recognize that changing social and cultural norms are part of the process of redefining of the human, not least as different civilizational traditions inform and challenge each other.

USC Berggruen Fellows need not be academics, but they must be committed to intellectual work of the highest quality. We seek academics with an existing appointment (most likely for a sabbatical year). We also seek intellectuals without an existing academic appointment, for whom the Berggruen Fellowship may serve as a retreat from work in industry, government, or the arts. Applicants should have a terminal degree or commensurate research expertise in appropriate field of study.

USC Berggruen Fellows will be provided with an office in the Downtown Los Angeles headquarters of the Berggruen Institute, and will have access to the scholarly resources of the University of Southern California. They will also participate in a working group focused on the theme of the transformation of the human. Fellows with academic appointments will be paid half of their annual academic year salary, up to $75,000 with the expectation that their home institution will make up the remainder. Fellows without sabbatical half-salary or a similar particle remuneration package can be paid up to $90,000, depending on position and seniority.

Founded in 2010, Berggruen Institute’s mission is to develop new ideas for shaping social and political institutions in the current era of Great Transformations. We study these transformations not only by looking at how new technologies are remaking the world, but also by considering cultural and religious shifts, upheavals in politics and efforts to reform governance, changes to the structures of economic organization, and environmental change. And we consider the scales of changes at everything from the level of human beings themselves; to social groups and other forms of collective identity; to human interaction on a planetary scale.

For details about application, please click on the following link: