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CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: 2021-2023: Geoffrey H. Hartman Postdoctoral Fellowship, Fortunoff Video Archive, Yale University.

A brief description

The Fortunoff Video Archive is a collection within the Manuscripts and Archives Department of Sterling Memorial Library at Yale University. The Archive, which began as a grassroots effort in New Haven to record on video the testimonies of survivors, witnesses, and bystanders in 1979, currently holds more than 4,400 testimonies comprising over 10,000 hours of moving image materials. These testimonies were produced with the cooperation of 37 affiliate projects working in over a dozen countries and just as many languages. The archive is still recording testimony at Yale University. The Fortunoff Archive is a unique collection that has served as an important resource for scholarship in a wide range of disciplines for more than three decades.

Much of this would not have been possible without the vision and leadership of Professor Geoffrey H. Hartman. An eminent professor of comparative literature at Yale, Professor Hartman produced important works on English poetry, as well as helped to pave the way for the study of deconstruction in literary theory in North America. In addition to these impressive achievements, and many others, he was one of the founders of the Fortunoff Video Archive. The impact of his writings and thought on the significance of the Holocaust in general, and the importance of testimony to scholarship in the broadest possible sense, is undeniable. To honor Professor Hartman, the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies has established the Geoffrey H. Hartman Fellowship Program. The program is designed as a dynamic, multidisciplinary fellowship that will encourage use of the Fortunoff Video Archive as a foundation for scholarly research and production.

Fellowship cycle 2021-2023

The Fortunoff Video Archive will offer its fourth Geoffrey H. Hartman Fellowship to a visiting postdoctoral scholar for two academic years. Postdoctoral researchers from around the world are invited to apply. Preference will be given to applicants from outside the Yale community. This fellowship encourages applications from scholars in history and other fields in the humanities and social sciences who can demonstrate the value of research in the collection to their ongoing work. Granted for 24 months, the fellowship will run during the academic years fall 2021 to fall 2023 starting August 1, 2021. Applicants must have their Ph.D. in hand by July 1, 2021.

Fellowship details

The fellowship offers a salary, medical benefits, as well as the cost of travel to and from New Haven. The recipient is expected to be in residence during the period of their award, and to be free of other major professional obligations. The fellow will have an office in Sterling Memorial Library.

In addition to pursuing research as described in a detailed research proposal, fellows will be asked to produce a critical edition of a single testimony, or small subset of testimonies, working closely with the Director of the Fortunoff Archive and the archive’s Faculty Advisor. This critical edition will consist of an annotated transcript of the testimony in the original language. The annotations are conceived as a means to provide important historical and contextual information to illuminate the complexities of the unedited narrative. The critical edition may also include a short essay describing the significance of this particular testimony to the fellow’s current research effort. During the fellowship, the fellow will be asked to present their research as a “work in progress” to the Yale community at an annual Hartman Fellowship Symposium, usually held in May. The postdoctoral scholar will also be expected to participate actively in the intellectual life of the university.


Applications for the 2021-23 postdoctoral fellowship are due March 11, 2021. Applicants are required to submit a packet with the following information:

  • a cover letter and current curriculum vitae in English
  • a research proposal (1200-word maximum) describing in detail this research’s inherent relationship to the Fortunoff Video Archive’s collection and its potential significance for the larger scholarly community
  • two letters of recommendation

Please write with any question to our current Harman Fellow, Gil Rubin

Application materials may be submitted in PDF form by email to

Once an application or letter of reference has been submitted, no revisions will be accepted. A fellowship review committee will examine all valid applications and the award will be announced approximately two months after the application deadline has passed.