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Research Fellowships

The Mary Savage Snouffer Dissertation Fellowship

The College of Arts and Humanities is seeking nominations for the Mary S. Snouffer Dissertation Fellowship for 2017-2018.  The Mary S. Snouffer Scholarship Fund will support up to three fellowships for qualified students pursuing the doctorate in any discipline in the humanities, including the study of language, literature, culture, philosophy, history or the arts.  Preference will be given to students in English, but scholarships can be awarded to students in other disciplines in the humanities and arts.  Recipients of the scholarship shall be selected by a committee appointed by the Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities.  Criteria for selection shall be based upon both academic merit and need.  Each department should put forward its very best candidate and no department should submit more than three nominations.  Proposals should be written with a non-specialist audience in mind.

Applicant Requirements:

  • Must be a graduate student who has reached the dissertation stage.
  • Must have completed all coursework and passed the qualifying examination for the doctorate degree.
  • Students receiving the Mary Savage Snouffer Dissertation Fellowship are expected to enroll full-time and to devote full time to work on their dissertation. To be certified as a full-time student, recipients of the Fellowship must be officially registered for 6 credits of 899.
  • Recipients are not allowed to hold on- or off-campus jobs of more than ten hours per week.

The 9.5-month stipend for the Mary Savage Snouffer Dissertation Fellowship for the 2017-2018 Academic Year is $20,000.  This amount does not cover health benefits and is not tax exempt.

  • The Graduate School will provide a Graduate School Fellowship Tuition Award to cover the candidate's tuition remission for each fellowship recipient. The Award will only cover six credits of 899; students taking additional credits will have to pay for them themselves. The Graduate School will process all paperwork through Student Financial Aid at or 301-314-9000.  The fellowship is non-renewable.

Nominations for the Mary Savage Snouffer Dissertation Fellowship must be received by  March 30, 2017

Nomination packets should be sent as a single pdf from each department and should include the following for each student (in this order):

  • Nomination letter (by Chair or Graduate Director)
  • Project description (2-3 pages) by the nominee
  • Copy of the nominee's curriculum vita
  • Letter of recommendation from the nominee's advisor

Send nomination packet to Betsy Yuen at

For further information please contact Trevor Parry-Giles at 301-641-0019 or

Mary Savage Snouffer Dissertation Fellowship Awards for the year 2016-2017:

Mary Ann Ginsburg, Art History (Dissertation Advisor: Stephen Mansbach)

There are few Russian topics as engaging intellectually and significant historically as the dissertation proposed by Mary Ann Ginsberg entitled “The Revolution Before the Revolution: The Art Bureau of Nadezhda Dobychina, 1912-1919.” By focusing on the short-lived St. Petersburg art gallery founded and operated by Nadezhda Dobychina, Ginsberg speaks to the most decisive decade in the history of Russian modern art broadly understood. Her dissertation reveals the unique nexus between advanced art and social transformation, between avant-garde aesthetics and political revolution, and between patriarchal structures and the emergence of feminist dynamism within the shifting Russian society of the early 20th century.


John Macintosh, English (Dissertation Advisor: Sangeeta Ray)

Mr. Macintosh’s dissertation, “The Trouble with Precarity: Representations of Labor in Post-1980 U.S. Fiction,” examines how contemporary U.S. multiethnic fiction represents—or fails to represent—working people. He uses these representations to critique increasingly dominant theorizations of precarious labor, which characterize work in terms of increasing flexibility, contingency, and risk as a result of globalization and the rise of finance capitalism since the late 1970s. There is no doubt that work has become more fraught for many workers in the neoliberal era. However, the trouble with precarity is that theorists imagine it as a basis for a new form of political subjectivity. The project argues that literary representation can be used to show how theories of precarious labor ultimately privilege workers who lately and unexpectedly begin to feel the effects of capitalist exploitation. Put simply, these theories address those newly precarious workers whose labor has been labeled variously as “immaterial,” “cognitive,” or “creative,” while neglecting lower-segment workers for whom precarity has been the norm, not an exception.


Rachel Walker, History (Dissertation Advisor: Clare Lyons)

What can the outward body reveal about the inner nature of mankind? For eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Americans, the answer would have been obvious: they believed the human countenance revealed critical clues about the moral and mental capacities of individuals. Using the popular science of physiognomy, they regularly “read” facial features in an attempt to penetrate the deepest recesses of the human brain. Although physiognomy became a widespread technology of character detection in the post-Enlightenment era, American historians have largely neglected its cultural impact. Rachel Walker’s dissertation, entitled “A Beautiful Mind: Faces, Beauty, and Brains in the Anglo-Atlantic World, 1760-1860,” recovers this hidden history, revealing how physiognomy shaped debates about social distinction in early America. Her project contends that for much of the nineteenth century, early Americans believed the human countenance was the physical feature that best revealed a person’s internal character. As a result, it argues if we want to comprehend how early Americans made sense of human nature—and how they negotiated the meaning of racial and sexual difference—we must first understand the links they drew between faces, bodies, and brains.

Charles A. Caramello Distinguished Dissertation Award

The Charles A. Caramello Distinguished Dissertation Award recognizes original work that makes an unusually significant contribution to the discipline. Both methodological and substantive quality will be judged. Awards will be given each year in four broad disciplinary areas: 1) Mathematics, Physical Sciences, and Engineering; 2) Social Sciences; 3) Humanities and Fine Arts; and 4) Biological and Life Sciences. The Council of Graduate Schools uses these categories for its annual national dissertation awards. Recipients of the Caramello Distinguished Dissertation Award will receive an honorarium of $1,000 and may be nominated by the University for the CGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award.

ARHU can submit up to four nominations to the Graduate School for the 2017 award.

Eligibility: PhD dissertations defended and submitted to the Graduate School in the calendar year 2016. (This year's selection process will occur in Spring 2017.)

Below is a brief description of the nomination process and materials for the College of Arts and Humanities. Your department is responsible for compiling the necessary components.

  1. an electronic copy of the whole dissertation in PDF form.
  2. a PDF attachment to include the remaining required elements of the nomination package (with bookmarks, if possible), in the following order:
    • a Distinguished Dissertation Award cover sheet (available here)
    • one letter of nomination from the dissertation supervisor (the College will append its own letter describing the substantive contribution of the dissertation, as per Grad School guidelines.)
    • a double-spaced abstract of the dissertation in PDF form not to exceed 10 pages (appendices containing non-textual material, such as charts or tables, may be included; the pages should be numbered, and each should bear the name of the nominee)
    • the nominee’s brief CV, not to exceed 4 pages, and including correct contact information
    • the dissertation advisor, in consultation with the student, should indicate in the letter which chapter the ARHU committee should read in detail.

February 1, 2017 is the deadline to submit applications to ARHU for the Caramello Distinguished Dissertation Award. Each unit may nominate one dissertation. Nominations should be submitted to Betsy Yuen at on behalf of Trevor Parry-Giles, Chair of the ARHU Graduate Fellowships Committee.

Distinguished Dissertation Award guidelines and nomination forms are available here.


Congratulations to Dr. Amanda Visconti, English (Ph.D., 2015)!

Recipient of the University of Maryland’s Distinguished Dissertation Award, Arts & Humanities category, 2016

Dr. Visconti’s dissertation, “‘How can you love a work if you don’t know it?’: Critical Code and Design toward Participatory Digital Editions,” is a truly innovative, unique project that challenges and provokes new ways of seeing, studying, and investigating literary texts, with a particular focus on James Joyce’s Ulysses. The dissertation is less interested in a literary evaluation of Ulysses than it is in how users experience and interact with digital editions of important literary texts. To that end, Dr. Visconti conducted extensive “user testing” experiments, including one-on-one observational sessions recording how readers/users actually interacted with her website about the novel, Infinite Ulysses. She also examined site analytic data culled from over 13,000 visitations to the site. Following these pursuits, her work is comparable to the fieldwork undertaken by scholars in pedagogy who study what happens in classrooms; Dr. Visconti wants to know how users with different levels of experience interact with a digital edition of an important literary work. Highly imaginative in both design and execution, Dr. Visconti’s project is at the forefront of the “Digital Humanities” and may portend exciting new digital interventions to come.


Graduate Student Summer Research Fellowships

Graduate Student Summer Research Fellowships provide support to outstanding doctoral students at “mid-career,” that is, in the period approximately before, during, or after achievement of candidacy, and are intended to enable students to complete a key benchmark in their program's requirements. Summer Research Fellowships typically carry stipends of $5,000. 

Each department or program may submit 2 nominations. Programs must submit their nominations by March 8, 2017, at noon to the Graduate School.

**Students should consult their Director of Graduate Studies for their doctoral program’s internal deadline. 

Summer Research Fellowship Guidelines (Summer 2017): Link forthcoming 
Nomination Form: Link forthcoming
Advisor and DGS Letter Instruction Sheet: PDF

For more information see the Graduate School website here.

Ann G. Wylie Dissertation Completion Fellowships

The Ann G. Wylie Dissertation Fellowship is a one-semester fellowship designed to help expedite time-to-degree for students in the final stages of their dissertation writing.  It includes a stipend of $10,000; tuition remission; a credit for mandatory fees; and $800 towards the cost of health insurance. Students are nominated by their departments.

The Graduate School awards approximately 40 Wylie Dissertation Fellowships each year. 

Each department or program may submit 2 nominations. Programs must submit their nominations by February 15, 2017, at noon to the Graduate School.

**Students should consult their Director of Graduate Studies for their doctoral program’s internal deadline. 

Ann G. Wylie Dissertation Fellowship Guidelines: Link forthcoming
Nomination Form: Link forthcoming
Advisor and DGS Letter Request Form: Link forthcoming

For more information see the Graduate School website here.

Graduate Dean's Dissertation Fellowship

Graduate Dean's Dissertation Fellowships are one-year awards intended to support outstanding doctoral students who will have achieved candidacy by June 1, 2017. The Fellowship carries a stipend of $25,000; candidacy tuition remission; a credit for mandatory fees; and $1,600 toward the cost of health insurance for the academic year. The Graduate School will award up to 10 Graduate Dean's Dissertation Fellowships each year. 

Each department or program may submit 1 nomination. Programs must submit their nomination by February 15, 2017, at noon to the Graduate School.

**Students should consult their Director of Graduate Studies for their doctoral program’s internal deadline. 

Graduate Dean's Dissertation Fellowship Guidelines: Link forthcoming
Nomination Form: Link forthcoming
Advisor and DGS Letter Instruction Sheet: PDF

For more information see the Graduate School website here.