Documenting War Grad Fellowships

As a follow-up to the 2016-2017 Mellon-funded Sawyer Seminar "Documenting War," the School of Humanities will award two pre-doctoral fellowships of $5,000 each for 2017-2018.

MFA and PhD students enrolled in a department or program in the UCI School of Humanities are eligible to apply. Recipients of the fellowships will be expected to give a presentation on their research in Spring 2018 as part of a graduate student works-in-progress series on the theme of “Documenting War.” 

The UCI Sawyer Seminar on “Documenting War” encompassed the visual representation of conflict and its aftermath; the verbal accounts of direct and indirect participants in war; the archival efforts to preserve the documents that scholars consult as they construct their histories of war; and the commemorative architecture, sculpture, landscape, and museum exhibitions of war.  We began with a working assumption that neither the war documents produced on the battlefield nor those created many years later at home were more “real.” We therefore brought together scholars, artists, refugees, soldiers, journalists and others to examine the ways in which documentary texts and images incite soldiers, on duty or retired, as well as civilians, families and activists to form communities of consent or dissent, of testimony and witness, and of sacrifice and survival.

During the year-long seminar, “Documenting War” engaged faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, and staff across the campus, in the Schools of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, Information and Computer Science, Social Ecology, and Medicine, as well as the university library and the Southeast Asian Archives.  We also engaged the community through outreach to veterans’ organizations and the Orange County Vietnamese American community.  Project co-directors Carol Burke and Cécile Whiting organized a number of events directly, co-taught a graduate seminar and each taught an undergraduate course related to the Sawyer Seminar.  They also provided funding to other faculty to organize conferences.  Finally, they collaborated with the UCI Libraries to produce an exhibit and additional events.  Although the year had three overarching themes – the experience of soldiers and war correspondents in the fall, the Vietnam War in the winter, and the refugee experience in the spring – the themes overlapped and programming spanned the 100 years from World War I to current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.  These themes were represented in several genres: architecture, journalism, photography, painting, video games, and personal narratives of the witnesses to war.

To Apply: Please submit an application via EEE Scout with the following information:
o Department or program
o Year in PhD program
o Dissertation adviser
o A description of your project and an explanation of how the topic of the seminar relates to your ongoing dissertation or MFA project, maximum 2 pages.

Submit applications by November 13, 2017 at

Photo by Camille / Kmile on Unsplash