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Northwestern University Mellon Sawyer Seminar Dissertation Fellowships

Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Communication invite applications for two 12-month Dissertation Fellowships sponsored by the Andrew Mellon Foundation as a part of the “Black Arts Archive: The Challenge of Translation” Sawyer Seminar. The Seminar’s thematic of translation seeks to enable conversations among scholars and practitioners across media, disciplines, languages, and geographies in order to understand the shared structural predicaments among and important differences between modes of black arts production across the globe through a series of symposia, graduate seminars, and a summer institute.

The Sawyer Seminar will include three symposiums and three graduate seminars on the following themes: “Black Arts Chicago: The Forgotten Story”; “Black Caribbean Waters: Decolonizing the Archive”; and, “Black Arts in Anti-Black Worlds: From Chicago to Cape Town.” The Seminar will culminate in a summer institute, “Afrodiasporic Art and the Archive.”

This Fellowship is residential and will provide a $33,830 stipend. The dissertation fellows will work in concert with the Sawyer Seminar Postdoctoral Fellow in the organization of the Seminar and will be directly involved with the three graduate courses and symposia (one course and symposium per quarter). For the graduate seminars, fellows might facilitate discussion or have the opportunity to give one lecture in their area of expertise. Other duties may include assisting with preparation of the graduate courses; engaging and documenting the intellectual and artistic exchanges of the symposia and seminars over the course of the year; and, presenting their own research as a part of the summer institute in 2021 in relation to the Sawyer Seminar.

The two fellowships are open to any student with a research focus on African diasporic arts and aesthetics in their scholarship or creative practice. 

Applicants must be ABD, with a preference for those who are in the last stages of dissertation writing. They must also be in good academic standing, have the approval of the program DGS and primary dissertation adviser to accept the appointment, and must be a TGS student.

Applicants should submit one copy of:

  1. A cover letter encapsulating your research, teaching, and related interests in African diasporic arts and aesthetics
  2. A cv, including the contact information of your doctoral advisor or another referee (no letter needed at the time of application)
  3. A polished writing sample, preferably a dissertation chapter

Application materials should be submitted in a single PDF electronically to: afas@northwestern.edu no later than Sunday, May 10

Categories: Fellowships