Engagement & Curriculum Fellow, American Prison Newspapers


About Job

ITHAKA’s mission is to expand access to knowledge and education around the world. Our services—Artstor, JSTOR, Portico, and Ithaka S+R—enable people everywhere to learn, to grow, and to overcome historical barriers to education. In carrying out our mission, as employees we feel a deep responsibility to each other and our well-being, and are committed to building and sustaining a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace.

The Role

ITHAKA is looking for a Fellow to join the Reveal Digital team for a 9-month appointment to support the success of American Prison Newspapers: 1800-2020, an open access digital collection of newspapers edited and produced by individuals who have been or are currently incarcerated.

As Engagement and Curriculum Fellow, you will develop teaching materials for college-level courses that encourage engagement with the collection. You will reach out to faculty and teachers who are currently teaching about the justice system, across disciplines and levels, in order to identify areas of need and support the creation of teaching materials. You will also collaborate with other ITHAKA team members working with the Collection, including our Public Engagement Editor who is producing a series of original stories for JSTOR Daily, ITHAKA’s online magazine, in an effort to stimulate public interest in and learning from these materials. These stories may form part of the curriculum as JSTOR Daily stories are often used by teachers as a way into various topics. The broader team working on ITHAKA’s Improving Higher Education in Prisons Initiative are also accessible to share ideas, insights, and contacts. In addition, the Fellow will work with the Reveal Digital and ITHAKA marketing and communications colleagues to create effective means to disseminate these materials to educators.

This is a unique opportunity for an educator, librarian, scholar, or archivist with an interest in education, and interest in, or knowledge of mass incarceration. This is a fixed-term, grant-funded position for 9 months.


Reporting to Reveal Digital’s Senior Editor, the Fellow will develop teaching materials incorporating newspapers from the collection, stories produced by the Public Engagement Editor, any other relevant content from any of ITHAKA’s other databases, including JSTOR and ArtStor. Specific tasks include:

  • Creation of teaching materials for higher education:
    • Create approximately 15 educational resources across a variety of disciplines, to be made freely available online, such as contextual materials, assignments, syllabi, or other materials described by educators.
    • Conduct outreach to educators across levels and major academic disciplines, e.g. Sociology, Criminology & Criminal Justice, Law, Public Health, Critical Race & Ethnic Studies, Journalism and Media Studies, and other disciplines the Fellow may choose.
    • Identify individual scholars and librarians with subject matter expertise to participate in providing guidance and specific suggestions.
    • Schedule and conduct interviews with these individuals, recording top findings.
    • Collaborate with the JSTOR Daily Engagement Editor and Reveal Digital staff to make connections with educators teaching journalism or other related subjects in prisons.
    • Conduct outreach to these individuals to seek input on the types of materials that will add value to their teaching aims.
    • In collaboration with the Reveal Digital team and ITHAKA marketing and communications staff, establish an online platform for these materials, via ITHAKA websites.
  • Dissemination of teaching materials:
    • Create content to support the availability of these materials, such as videos, webinars, presentations, or other content that the Fellow will have latitude to develop.
    • Create a LibGuide to showcase the available materials.
    • In collaboration with ITHAKA marketing and communications staff, conduct outreach to educators and relevant individuals, such as prison journalists and journalists covering mass incarceration and prison education to promote the availability of the materials.
    • Develop other dissemination strategies, such as using social media, or other methods the Fellow will have latitude to explore.

Experience And Skills

We strongly encourage applications from people who have been impacted by the criminal-justice system. Any combination of professional experience, volunteer work, coursework, and other transferable skills may be applied toward these qualifications.

  • Strong writing and communications skills.
  • 2-3 years experience (or equivalent) developing teaching materials, such as curricula, assignments, or syllabi at the higher education level.
  • Knowledge of a varied set of research methods; interview experience a plus.
  • Ability to work independently; self-starter.
  • Superior research skills and familiarity with educational tools and databases.
  • Experience creating online content.
  • Familiarity with relevant fields, such as prison education, prison librarianship, prison journalism, or the study of mass incarceration.
  • Record of successful teaching or instruction, preferably at the higher education level. (Librarians or archivists with instructional experience are welcome to apply.)
  • Candidates with unique combinations of skills and/or interdisciplinary experience are welcomed.

Work for ITHAKA

At ITHAKA we believe in openness and equity. Part of living those values is our commitment to clarity about salary, so candidates know what to expect. The pay range for this position is $55,000 – $65,000 for the 9 month period of this engagement. Base pay may vary with job-related knowledge, skills, experience, market location, and geography.