Community Forum

4-Year Funded PhD Position: The Anthropocene Household (A Project of Rivers of the Anthropocene)

  • 1.  4-Year Funded PhD Position: The Anthropocene Household (A Project of Rivers of the Anthropocene)

    Posted 01-11-2018 06:10

    Qualification type: PhD
    Location: Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Funding for: US and International Students
    Hours: Full Time
    Placed on: 10 January 2017
    Closes: 15 March 2018

    Project: The Anthropocene Household
    Principal Supervisor: Jason M. Kelly, PhD.

    Project Description

    The Anthropocene Household Project explores the Anthropocene at the local level by focusing on the household as an essential element to understanding the day-to-day lived experiences, knowledges, and practices associated with environmental change. The purpose of this project is threefold: 1) to work with communities to produce local narratives and understanding about water specifically, and the environment more generally; 2) to develop new approaches to interdisciplinary, community-based research grounded; and 3) to develop, synthesize, and analyze quantitative and qualitative data sets that generate actionable knowledge relevant for policy makers, community organizations, residents, and scholars.

    This interdisciplinary project uses a Participation Action Research framework, working with residents, community organizations, neighborhood groups, schools etc. as co-producers of knowledge. PhD students working on this project will be trained in mixed methods approaches, including surveys, participant observation, focus groups, interviews, and oral histories. Moreover, they will be trained in community-based research collaboration practices and ethics.


    This project builds on the work of the Rivers of the Anthropoceneproject and its research network, which has been active publishing, curating exhibitions, and holding scholarly workshops, and developing community-based educational programming since its creation in 2012. The Anthropocene Household will continue on this trajectory through:

    • holding scholarly workshops and conferences
    • producing articles, white papers, and monographs based on the project's research
    • developing informal educational programming focused on understanding local environmental histories and legacies and expanding knowledge about the environment
    • working with residents to develop installations and exhibitions focused on the issues of water, sustainability, and environmental change in their communities
    • conducting a multi-year "citizen science" project that will produce GIS-based, open access data sets on household water quality

    The Anthropocene Household is part of the Rivers of the Anthropocene Project. It is funded in part through the IU Grand Challenges: Prepared for Environmental Change initiative. It is affiliated with the Memory, Place and Community in Global Water Systems Working Group of the Sustainable Water Future Programme, a project of Future Earth.

    Lead Researchers
    Jason M. Kelly, PHD
    Director, IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute
    Associate Professor of History, IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI
    755 W. Michigan St., UL 4115T; Indianapolis, IN 46202 | 317-274-1689

    Fiona P. McDonald, PHD
    Postdoctoral Researcher, IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute
    755 W. Michigan St., UL 4115p; Indianapolis, IN 46202 

    Course of Study

    As an applied PhD program, students will pursue both a course of traditional coursework and a four-year, community engaged research assistantship based at the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute (IAHI).

    In the first two years of the program, the PhD student will take the required core courses in the PhD program, which will be supplemented with relevant courses in disciplines including environmental studies, geography, history, and anthropology. While taking coursework, the PhD student will be employed as a research assistant at the IAHI. This research assistantship is the centerpiece of the program and replaces the role that teaching assistantships often play in graduate programs. Through their internship, the student will develop relevant technical skills in participant observation, interviews, oral histories, exhibition and program design, and community engagement. They will also have the opportunity to co-author publications and grants with the project team as well as present at conferences. In years three and four, the student will pursue research that culminates in the doctoral research project.

    Subject Areas / Keywords

    Participant Action Research; Applied Anthropology; Visual Anthropology; Environmental Humanities; Urban Anthropology; Human Geography; History; Public History; Museum Studies; Science and Technology Studies (STS); community-engaged research; citizen science; public scholarship

    Candidate Requirements

    This project is ideal for a student with a master's level degree in anthropology, history, public history, geography, digital humanities, environmental studies, or field related to this research topic.

    The ideal candidate will

    • Have a familiarity with basic concepts in environmental science
    • Demonstrate an aptitude to develop technical skills including GIS, audio/video editing, and basic web design.
    • Have previous coursework or experience in ethnography, oral history, and/or exhibition design.
    • Be prepared to work in a collaborative environment.

    Further information

    You are encouraged to reach out to Jason M. Kelly at jaskelly@iupui.edubefore submitting your application.

    American Studies PhD at IUPUI:
    Rivers of the Anthropocene:

    The Anthropocene Household:


    To apply for the program, visit

    In your letter of application, please mention the project title: "The Anthropocene Household."

    Jason M. Kelly, PHD FSA
    Director, IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute
    Associate Professor of History in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI

    IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute
    755 W. Michigan Ave., UL 4115S
    Indianapolis, IN 46202-5140

    telephone: 317.274.1689
    fax: 317.278.7800