Historical Dialogue Fellowship at Columbia University,
Based at Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights (ISHR), the Alliance for Historical Dialogue and Accountability (AHDA) is a convening body which aims to facilitate exchange among scholars, advocates, and organizations dedicated to historical dialogue and accountability.
AHDA brings together academics, representatives of civil society organization, journalists, educators and artists as well as policy makers who all pursue historical dialogue in conflict, post-conflict and post-dictatorial societies. They address the political ramifications of the historical legacy of conflicts, as well as the role and impact of the memory of past violence on contemporary politics, society and culture. These ramifications often continue to haunt contemporary societies and the memories that shape the identities of protagonists in numerous conflict and post-conflict countries around the world. AHDA builds networks and facilitates comparative as well as interdisciplinary dialogue among its members.
Historical dialogue remains an underutilized mechanism for addressing conflict. Prominent activists and academics in conflict and post-conflict countries engaged in the process of historical dialogue share similar challenges, including minimal dialogue between like-minded peers, often a result of geographical and political isolation; insufficient exchange between disciplines who work under the umbrella of historical dialogue; limited knowledge of best practices; little access to available resources, including funding opportunities and conferences; and a lack of a recognized and clearly defined field with which those working on historical dialogue can identify.
The program is designed for NGO practitioners, journalists, lawyers, teachers, social workers, community organizers, and other activists working on issues including (but not limited to) transitional justice, truth and reconciliation, historical conflict, indigenous and minority rights, social accountability, memory studies, oral history, sites of memory and related areas where historical dialogue is a central component.
Participants are selected on the basis of their previous work experience in human rights, commitment to the human rights field, and demonstrated leadership or emerging leadership abilities. Full-time students will not be considered; doctoral or post-doctoral students may apply, but be advised that this is an applied research program, and it is not recommended for individuals focused on academic research. Fluency in English is required. Fellows must provide proof of institutional endorsement from their organizations for their participation in the program and must commit to returning to that organization upon completion of the program. Preference will be given to those who can demonstrate an established work record of several years relating to historical dialogue and accountability.
ISHR makes every effort to provide full fellowships to cover program costs as well as travel and housing. A reasonable stipend is also provided to cover basic living costs while in New York City. AHDA staff will work with interested candidates who have been wait listed for the program to identify potential funding sources in cases where ISHR has not secured the resources to provide a full fellowship. In exceptional cases, self-funders will be considered.
The application must be submitted online by the deadline. Applicants should take into consideration technical issues and begin the process in advance of the deadline. The online application system will automatically close as of this deadline.