Wesleyan alumna chosen for Princeton’s first cohort of Presidential Postdoctoral Research Fellows

Wesleyan College alumna Rudo Mudiwa, Class of 2009, is one of twelve scholars from disciplines spanning the sciences and humanities to be named among Princeton’s first cohort of Presidential Postdoctoral Research Fellows, a program aimed at enhancing diversity in the professoriate.

The fellows program is intended to recognize and support scholars who can contribute to the University’s diversity, broadly defined, including groups that have been historically and are presently underrepresented in the academy or in certain disciplines. Fellows will begin their terms between July 1, 2019, and January 1, 2020.

Mudiwa is a scholar of African gender and sexuality with a focus on contemporary culture and politics in her home country Zimbabwe. She holds a Ph.D. in communication and culture from Indiana University and a bachelor’s degree in political science and communication from Wesleyan College. Mudiwa will join the Department of Comparative Literature, with research examining how anxieties regarding black women’s sexuality and physical mobilities in urban areas have been at the center of debates about how to transform space and imagine a new nation of Zimbabwe in the aftermath of colonial rule. Mudiwa will be advised by Wendy Belcher, associate professor of comparative literature and African American studies.

“The Presidential Postdoctoral Research Fellows Program is meant to encourage early-career scholars to pursue a career in academia by supporting their postdoctoral work here,” said Sanjeev Kulkarni, dean of the faculty. Candidates are nominated by Princeton faculty members, who then serve as sponsors. Each fellow plans a research project for the duration of the fellowship and fellows may be given opportunities to teach or advise undergraduates. In addition to receiving a full salary, each fellow also will receive funding for professional development, such as travel to conferences.”

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Wesleyan draws a wonderfully eclectic mix of women – about 700 in all – from across the United States and more than twenty countries, bringing to campus a multitude of backgrounds and ethnicities. Wesleyan students choose to study here because they want to test their limits. The bar is set high because our students demand it. First for Women isn’t just a claim to fame - it’s a philosophy that explains why Wesleyan women continue to make history today.


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