Postdoctoral Fellow

Institution Name 
University of Texas at Austin
Position Rank 
If Other, Please Specify 
Postdoctoral Fellow
Area of Specialty 
Additional Desirable Specialties 
This position is 
Application Deadline 
October 15, 2018
Is the institution willing to sponsor a candidate for a visa? 

The Quantitative Criticism Lab (QCL;, a research group developing cross-disciplinary approaches to the study of literature and culture, invites applications for a full-time postdoctoral fellowship. The duration of the fellowship is 18 months, from January 2, 2019 to June 30, 2020. The field of specialization is open, but expertise in computer programming and statistical analysis is essential, as is a deep interest in the study of literature. QCL’s physical lab space is based at The University of Texas at Austin; residence in Austin during the fellowship period is preferred but not required. The fellow will have no teaching responsibilities. The position is funded by a Digital Extension Grant from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS).

The ACLS-funded project will produce a web-based suite of tools for traditionally-trained humanists to analyze literary texts in a quantitative manner. The tools are designed with an important class of literary problems in mind, exemplified by the identification of verbal parallels and, at a larger scale, by the individuating of entire works within generic traditions. We take two main approaches: sequence alignment for the detection of verbal resemblance, and stylometry augmented by machine learning for the profiling of texts and corpora. The tools are expected both to enhance traditional modes of literary criticism and to enable novel quantitative analyses of the cultural evolution of literature.

The postdoctoral fellow’s primary responsibilities will be to lead development of these tools and to participate in other aspects of QCL’s research program according to background and interests. The work will involve coding, research design, data analysis, literary criticism, and scholarly writing for diverse venues, as well as various organizational duties related to workshops and conferences. The postdoctoral fellow will work under the supervision of Pramit Chaudhuri (UT Austin) and Joseph Dexter (Dartmouth College), the co-directors of QCL, and will collaborate with a diverse array of scholars, in both academia and industry, affiliated with QCL. In addition, the fellow will be expected to play a major role in mentoring the numerous graduate, undergraduate, and high school students who conduct research with QCL.

A Ph.D. in a computational, statistical, linguistic, or literary field is required. Possible disciplines include (but are not limited to) anthropology, applied mathematics, bioinformatics, classics, comparative literature, computer science, English, evolutionary biology, linguistics, and statistics. Prior experience with any of the following areas is highly desirable but not required: computational linguistics, cultural evolution, digital humanities, literary criticism of a premodern or non-Anglophone tradition (especially Latin or Ancient Greek), machine learning, and natural language processing. By the start date of the position, applicants should either have the Ph.D. in hand or be able to provide certification from their home institution that all degree requirements have been fulfilled. Applicants must have received the Ph.D. within the last three years.

For full consideration, applicants should submit the following materials by October 15, 2018:

1) CV;

2) Cover letter;

3) Short (2-4 page) summary of past and current research interests, giving particular attention to any computational work;

4) Writing sample of no more than 40 pages (e.g., article or dissertation chapter).

In addition, applicants should arrange to have three letters of recommendation forwarded by the deadline. Please submit your CV and cover letter on the UT Jobs website: Please submit the additional materials via email to Questions can be directed to Vanessa Noya at the same address.

The salary will be $48,000 per year, plus benefits.

The successful candidate must be able to begin work in this position by January 2, 2019.


A criminal history background check will be required for finalist(s) under consideration for this position.

The retirement plan for this position is Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS), subject to the position being at least 20 hours per week and at least 135 days in length. This position has the option to elect the Optional Retirement Program (ORP) instead of TRS, subject to the position being 40 hours per week and at least 135 days in length.

The University of Texas at Austin, as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action. The University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions.

If hired, you will be required to complete the federal Employment Eligibility Verification form, I-9. You will be required to present acceptable, original documents to prove your identity and authorization to work in the United States. Information from the documents will be submitted to the federal E-Verify system for verification. Documents must be presented no later than the third day of employment. Failure to do so will result in dismissal.

UT Austin is a Tobacco-free Campus

Course Load 
This position does not require any teaching
Placement Year 

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