The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Study of Core Texts and Ideas

Postdoctoral Fellows

The Thomas Jefferson Society of Postdoctoral Fellows allows young scholars the opportunity to teach in a collegial interdisciplinary setting while continuing their own research. Fellowships are awarded to scholars in all areas of the liberal arts who have in the past 7 years completed doctoral dissertations on one or more of the great books and have shown a commitment to the interdisciplinary study and teaching of the great books. The fellowships normally carry a teaching load of one course each semester and are renewable for a second year.

The Society of Postdoctoral Fellows has been supported by generous grants from the Jack Miller Center for Teaching American Founding Principles and History, the Veritas Fund, the Thomas Smith Foundation, and a number of individual donors in Texas. In announcing its most recent gift to the Jefferson Center, Rear Admiral Mike Ratliff, President of the Jack Miller Center, said:

"The Thomas Jefferson Center has made a remarkable contribution to education at the Austin campus and established a national reputation for excellence and innovation in a short period of time. This has been possible because of the support and encouragement of Dean Randy Diehl and the leadership Lorraine and Tom Pangle. The JMC is honored to be a partner in this work, and to provide support for these fellowships, which provide crucial help to young scholars just starting their careers."

Application Information

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Religious Thought

The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Study of Core Texts and Ideas at the University of Texas at Austin invites applications for a postdoctoral teaching and research fellowship in great books of religious thought, including the history of religious thought in America and/or its intellectual origins, especially in the Reformation and Counter-Reformation. The appointment will be for one year with a possible renewal for a second. The stipend is $48,500 plus benefits, and the term of appointment is September 1, 2016-August 31, 2017.

The Jefferson Center is dedicated to the teaching of the great books to undergraduates. Our program is centered on a 6-course certificate in Core Texts and Ideas, including courses in literature, philosophy, political philosophy, and religious thought. The fellow will teach one course each semester, mainly to Freshman: “The Bible and its Interpreters,” which includes readings from the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and great discussions of these readings from more than one religious or philosophic tradition. For a fuller explanation of the course, including sample past syllabuses, go to:

Applicants should have a broad background in the interdisciplinary study of the great books. Their graduate studies may be in the field of religious studies, theology, intellectual history, medieval studies, or philosophy, with a concentration in Biblical, Christian, or Jewish thought. Applicants should have received their Ph.D. on or after August 1, 2011 or should complete it by August 1, 2016. They may not hold a tenured position elsewhere.

To apply, please send one copy each of: a CV, a letter explaining research interests and plans, a statement of interest in teaching the great books in a multi-disciplinary setting, evidence of excellence in undergraduate teaching, and a research paper or other suitable evidence of scholarship. Three letters of reference, in envelopes signed over the seal, should be enclosed within the application. Please also fill out and include an application form available here.

Applications may be sent by email. All materials should be sent to: Post-Doctoral Search, Thomas Jefferson Center for the Study of Core Texts and Ideas, 158 W 21st St., Stop C4100, Austin, Texas 78712. Applications will be reviewed as and when received. The closing deadline for applications is May 16, 2016. Please address any questions to:

Current Fellow

Jonathan Koefoed

Jonathan Koefoed earned his Ph.D. in history from Boston University with a dissertation on the American Transcendental movement. His research focuses on nineteenth-century intellectual and religious history, particularly transatlantic romantic discourses and their impact on Americanintellectuals. While currently revising his dissertation manuscript for publication as a book, he is also completing articles on Kant, Coleridge, and their American interpreter James Marsh, as well as revising an analysis of the transcendentalist Catholic convert, Sophia Dana Ripley. He is teaching courses on the American Revolution and the history of religious thought.