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Postdoctoral Researcher in Race and Digital Politics (Asian-American Community Media) - Departm...

University of Massachusetts Amherst
UMass Amherst

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Job Details

Job no: 516409
Work type: Post Doc (Amherst Only)
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Communication
Union: Post Doc
Categories: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Research, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.

Job Description

This Postdoctoral Researcher position offers an exciting opportunity to pursue collaborative and independent research in the area of race, digital politics, and critical disinformation studies. The researcher is expected to join an interdisciplinary team of engaged researchers investigating Asian-American community media, contemporary and historical narratives and visuals of racial trauma and “hate”, and media manipulation strategies that sow distrust and conflict between and among communities of color.

Supported by a National Science Foundation Convergence Accelerator grant entitled “Co-Insights”, the postdoctoral researcher is expected to collaborate with Co-PI Jonathan Corpus Ong and Co-Is Ethan Zuckerman, Wayne Xu, and Brendan O’Connor, along with a range of exciting Asian-American community organizers. This two-year fellowship is ideal for researchers with interest and experience in community-engaged research and public communication, as the broad research team contributes toward diverse academic outputs, journalist toolkits and training guides, disinformation monitoring tools, and public policy recommendations.

This two-year fellowship offers flexibility for the researcher to pursue independent and guided research in a range of areas that include but are not limited to:

  • Asian-American history and public communication
  • critical disinformation studies
  • media and data justice
  • strategic communication and narratives of social justice movements
  • mediated solidarities, joy and conflicts between and among communities of color


  • The candidate must have completed PhD at the time of the appointment.
  • Have been academically active for no longer than four (4) years post-PhD.

Preferred Skills

  • Diverse disciplinary backgrounds, including Communication, Sociology, Anthropology, History, Ethnic Studies, Public Policy and related fields.
  • Candidates with methodological expertise and experience in digital ethnography, organizational ethnography, computational social science, discourse analysis, and archival research in history.
  • Candidates with prior research in the area of Asian-American history and politics are particularly welcome.

Additional Information

  • The two-year position starts in the Spring semester of 2023, with an ideal start date of February 1 (negotiable).
  • The successful candidate is encouraged to relocate to Amherst in 2023, however, remote work arrangements will be considered.
  • This is a research position. The postdoc is not expected to carry out any teaching but may work with graduate and undergraduate student assistants.
  • The postdoc will be mentored by Dr. Jonathan Corpus Ong and Ethan Zuckerman.

Application Instructions

Candidates should submit the following materials:

  • Cover letter addressed to Dr. Jonathan Corpus Ong, Chair of the Search Committee, Department of Communication, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  • CV.
  • One writing sample.
  • Contact information for three (3) academic references.
  • Review of applications will begin December 15, 2022, and will continue until the position is filled. For inquiries about the post and the application process, contact Search Committee Chair Dr. Jonathan Corpus Ong at [email protected].

    UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University. To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans. It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

    Advertised: Oct 19 2022 Eastern Daylight Time
    Applications close:


    The University of Massachusetts Amherst is one of the preeminent public research universities in America. Nestled in idyllic Amherst, Massachusetts—often called “The top college town in North America”—the campus is consistently ranked among the top public research universities in the nation, and offers a rich cultural environment in a rural setting close to major urban centers. 

    As one of the nation's top public research universities – as measured by national and international rankings, academic citations, and research funding – the campus spends more than $180 million on research each year, demonstrating its contribution to the nation’s position as a technological and economic leader. The university works in conjunction with academic, government, and private partners to translate new knowledge and scientific discoveries into technical innovations and scholarly works that create opportunities for students, faculty and the public. 

    Eight schools and colleges offer more than 85 undergraduate majors, 68 master’s and 48 doctoral degree programs, many counted among the top programs in the nation and world. UMass Amherst is also home to New England's premier honors college.

    The 1,159 full-time faculty members are dedicated teachers and world-renowned researchers and the campus has regularly been listed among the top performers in terms of faculty awards. With over 24,000 students from all 50 states and over 70 countries, the student body is the most academically successful in the history of the campus. Students participate in 240 organizations, 21 NCAA Division I athletic teams, extensive intramurals, living-learning residence halls, community service, and internships. With one of the largest residential life systems in the nation, UMass Amherst houses approximately 12,000 students on campus. The university is enjoying a facilities renaissance, including new buildings in the sciences, the arts, and recreation. UMass Amherst is part of the Five College consortium with Smith, Mount Holyoke, Hampshire and Amherst colleges.

    As an employer, the University of Massachusetts Amherst is a national leader in developing family-friendly policies, benefits and amenities designed to help faculty members develop both productive careers and satisfying personal lives. The university offers one of the nation’s most generous parental leave policies. The university is also part of the Academic Career Network, a regional consortium formed to serve dual-career couples and encourage greater diversity in the academy.


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