Graduate Dissertation Fellowships
The Obermann Center for Advanced Studies at the University of Iowa welcomes applications for two academic year graduate dissertation fellowships with a stipend of $20,938 each (tuition scholarship up to $750 per semester, 50 percent of mandatory fees, and a contribution towards their health and dental insurance) for dissertation research, funded through the generosity of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The fellowships are for the 2022-2023 academic year and include participation in the Mellon-Sawyer Seminar, “Racial Reckoning and Social Justice through Comics” led by co-PIs Corey Creekmur (Cinematic Art, English, Gender, Women’s and Sexuality, Studies), Ana Merino (Spanish and Portuguese), and Rachel Williams (Gender Women’s, and Sexuality Studies & School of Art and Art History). The seminar is hosted by The Obermann Center for Advanced Studies and includes faculty fellows from across the university. The series is broadly interdisciplinary and includes faculty fellows working in the humanities, arts, social sciences, and professional schools.
The fellows are expected to pursue a research program engaging themes directly related to the seminar, which emphasize arts and humanities approaches to (1) visual culture and representation (2) social justice via narrative, memoir, and history (3) the functions of storytelling and images in constructions of identity (4) intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, and narrative/visual culture. We expect these fellowships to be in-person and on-campus attendance of gatherings, meetings, and the seminar.
Applicants for the graduate dissertation fellowships must be in good standing and currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program at The University of Iowa. Students need to have completed their comprehensive exams by the start of the fellowship and have a clear topic for their dissertation project related to the themes of the seminar.
The graduate dissertation fellowship also requires that the recipients participate fully in the lecture series and the seminar throughout the academic year.
For the graduate dissertation fellowship application, please submit an updated c.v., unofficial transcript, and a statement of how the Mellon Sawyer Seminar fits in with your research, as one PDF file, to Erin Hackathorn (firstname.lastname@example.org ). For graduate dissertation fellowship applications, we also require a short statement from the DGS affirming that the applicant is in good standing and eligible to apply for this position. We also require a letter of recommendation from the applicant’s dissertation advisor. Please have your DGS and dissertation advisor send their letters directly to Erin Hackathorn (email@example.com).
We encourage applicants for the graduate dissertation fellowship positions to submit materials by January 25, 2022.
Corey Creekmur is the founding and general editor of the award-winning Comics Culture book series for Rutgers University Press, and is currently Second Vice President of the Comics Studies Society (leading to the role of President in 2023), which he helped launch. His publications include essays on race and underground comics.
Ana Merino is a scholar and creative writer with an extensive background in comics criticism and the curation of comics exhibits: her publications on comics include El cómic hispánico (2003), Chris Ware: La secuencia circular (2005), and Diez ensayos para pensar el cómic (2017). For many years, she was closely affiliated with the International Comic Arts Forum (ICAF) and the Center for Cartoon Studies.
Rachel Williams teaches courses on the making of comics and is the author-artist of two recent works of graphic nonfiction, Elegy for Mary Turner: An Illustrated Account of a Lynching (Verso, 2021) and Run Home if You Don’t Want to be Killed: The Detroit Uprising of 1943 (Duke University Press, 2021), both centered on historical cases of racial injustice.