The Council on East Asian Studies at Yale University invites applications for postdoctoral associate and postgraduate associate positions in the CEAS Digital Tokugawa Lab. The appointment period for both positions is from September 1st, 2023 - August 31st, 2024 (an earlier start to the appointment may be possible on a case-by-case basis).
The Digital Tokugawa Lab is a working group of one faculty member (Fabian Drixler) and up to four postdoctoral or postgraduate associates who collaborate on one or more shared projects for at least one year.
The main project of the Digital Tokugawa Lab has thus far been the Digital Atlas of Tokugawa Japan, which is in the advanced stages of completion.
Projects for 2023-2024 will reflect the interest of successful candidates and may fall into three broad categories: historical GIS, historical demography, and climate history.
Historical GIS projects may include:
- Completing the first public version of the Digital Atlas of Tokugawa Japan.
- Building a Digital Atlas of Meiji Japan based on advanced unpublished work by the Lab.
- Building a highly detailed map of Japan’s changing coastlines and inland bodies of water across several centuries, based on advanced unpublished work by Fabian Drixler.
Historical demography projects may include:
- Reconstructing the population of Japan from 1600-1925. Like the Digital Atlas, this project will be highly resolved in space and take novel approaches to modeling uncertainty. It will use and potentially expand a large collection of data compiled by Fabian Drixler and deploy it in several novel estimation techniques.
- Reconstructing fertility change and household patterns in Tokugawa Japan.
- A mortality atlas for Tokugawa Japan, drawing primarily on kakochō time series.
Climate history projects may include:
- Reconstructing the length of growing seasons in Tokugawa Japan and mapping climate-related disasters.
Applicants are also welcome to propose their own projects if they are either closely connected to one of these themes or concern digital formats for effectively conveying existing insights into Tokugawa history. However, the spirit of the lab is fully collaborative; it is not a space to pursue solitary projects, whatever their intellectual promise.
Postdoctoral Associates are expected to devote 30 hours per week to the collaboration, and are free to spend the remainder of their time on their own research. Salary for the postdoctoral associate position is $60,000.
Postgraduate Associates are expected to work full-time (37.5 hours/week) to the collaboration. Salary for the postgraduate associate position is $40,000.
Training: Postgraduate Associates (PGAs) will receive advanced training across the range of skillsets deployed by the Lab to deepen existing expertise or develop in new areas. Since we are inviting applications from a diversity of disciplines, specifics will depend on the PGAs’ individual background and interests. Areas of training may include: Tokugawa and Meiji history; archival research in Japan; historical demography; digital cartography and geospatial analysis (ArcGIS Pro); construction and management of large historical databases; approaches to text mining; methods for efficient data cleaning; Python, advanced Excel functions, and MS Access; the application of simulations to historical reconstruction; subjects in the methodology and epistemology of history, especially the proper treatment of uncertainty and the synthesis of large bodies of information.
Mentoring: the PGA will work in close collaboration with the PI (Fabian Drixler) and the postdoctoral fellows at the lab, sharing an office space with the latter. The PGAs will also be encouraged to become a full member of our Japanese history community as well as other relevant academic communities on campus. While the ideal outcome from these interactions is a web of mentoring relationships, the PI will take ultimate responsibility for mentoring the PGAs and helping them grow toward their professional goals.
Education and preferred experience:
The Digital Tokugawa Lab is looking for several skillsets:
-Japanese history (esp. early modern)
-programming (esp. Python) and computer science
-statistics and data science
-natural language processing
-Excellence in writing is an especially desirable skill
There is no expectation that individual applicants have expertise in all these areas, or even in both digital methods and Japanese history; but a strong interest in both the methods and the content is a requirement. One goal for the program is to give postgraduate associates opportunities for developing new skills. Fluency in Japanese is an important advantage, but applications are also encouraged from candidates with complementary technical expertise and a strong interest in learning about Japanese history.
For questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Qualifications for the Postdoctoral Associate Position: Ph.D. awarded by June 15, 2023; work on shared project for 30 hours per week; remain in residence in New Haven for the duration of the appointment.
To apply, please submit a cover letter highlighting your interest in this collaboration as well as your relevant skills; CV; dissertation abstract; transcripts; and 2 letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation must be uploaded via a dossier service or from the recommenders directly and may be submitted later than the rest of the application if the applicant supplies contact details for the recommenders.
All application materials must be submitted online through Interfolio: https://apply.interfolio.com/122177
Qualifications for the Postgraduate Associate Position: B.A. awarded by June 15, 2023 and no earlier than 2021; visiting students taking a gap year from MA programs can also be considered. Work on shared project full-time; remain in residence in New Haven for the duration of the appointment.
To apply, please submit a cover letter highlighting your interest in this collaboration as well as your relevant skills; CV; transcripts; and 2 letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation must be uploaded via a dossier service or from the recommenders directly. They can be accepted after the deadline. Please be sure that your cover letters and, ideally, your recommenders address your relevant technical skills.
All application materials must be submitted online through Interfolio: https://apply.interfolio.com/122277.
Yale University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer. Yale values diversity among its students, staff, and faculty and strongly welcomes applications from women, persons with disabilities, protected veterans, and underrepresented minorities.