Integrative Graduate Humanities Education and Research Training (IGHERT)
Call for Applications
Theme: Indigeneity in an Expanded Field: Transnationality, Migration, and Human/Nonhuman Belonging

Multi-Year Fellowships for UWM Dissertators
Multi-Year Research and Mentoring Opportunities for UWM Faculty


Deadline has passed
Application Deadline: March 14, 2014


Sateelite view of Earth at night

The Center for 21st Century Studies (C21), with three other humanities centers across the globe, is participating in a three-year pilot program for an innovative international model in Integrative Graduate Humanities Education and Research Training (IGHERT) funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation through the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI). In addition to C21, the humanities centers include the Institute for Humanities Research at the University of California, Santa Cruz; the International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture at Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany; and the Humanities Research Centre at the Australian National University in Canberra.


The IGHERT program brings together faculty, doctoral students, and postdoctoral scholars in a series of structured collaborations to undertake jointly mentored, international research. The four humanities centers will engage graduate students in a series of collaborative training and research activities, and will test, refine, and assess a scalable model of skill training and digital archiving that can be applied in multiple contexts and to multiple themes.


The IGHERT program seeks to bring an interdisciplinary, problem-based approach to graduate training, in which mentors and students, working across diverse fields and geographies, may develop innovative research projects and cultivate lifelong habits of internationalized, collaborative inquiry.

  • For students: IGHERT will support pursuit of their doctoral studies at their home institutions while also providing them the opportunity to participate with one another in doctoral symposia, workshops, master classes, and graduate conferences to be held at each of the partner humanities centers.

  • For faculty: IGHERT will require mentoring of doctoral students at the four participating institutions, in conjunction with other program faculty, as well as participation in doctoral symposia, workshops, master classes, and graduate conferences to be held at each of the partner humanities centers over the period of the grant.

In conceptualizing the theme for the pilot—Indigeneity in an Expanded Field—we have differentiated four topical foci that will organize our discussions and facilitate communication across disciplines and geographical locations. Although the foci are interrelated and overlapping to some extent, we will utilize them to lend an identifiable thematic emphasis to each of the various collaborative occasions on which we will assemble the faculty-student group and to consider in depth different facets of the complex issue of indigeneity. These four foci are:

  • Memories / Objects / Stories: pursues how artifacts and narratives (histories, legends, literary fictions, testimony) work together to construct indigenous memories, and how in turn memorial processes spur culturally creative production or reinterpretation of objects and inherited narratives. Especially considering contested colonial histories and claims in the present to speak for an authorized indigenous past, we will build upon thinkers such as Ranajit Guha and Dipesh Chakrabarty to broaden our understanding of how indigenous peoples “make history.” Guha, for example, discusses how both Indian history-writers during the Raj and the personal meditations of the poet Tagore may be understood as different symbolic expressions of indigenous experiences of historicity, which remain largely unrecognizable within Western notions of world history.

  • Territories / Spaces / Environments: considers dynamics of place and displacement in indigeneity, with special attention to how traditional conceptions of territory interact with more abstract notions of space and with highly contested, often transnationally scaled conceptions of environment. Michael Hathaway, for example, has documented how recent environmentalist concerns in China have led Chinese public intellectuals to designate an expanding range of rural peoples in environmentally sensitive or unique spaces as “indigenous,” to help strengthen their environmentalist case before transnational institutions like the World Bank and World Wildlife Fund.

  • Peoples / Migrations / Claims: concentrates on two major forces redefining indigeneity, geographical/cultural displacement in migration and the diversifying range of domains in which claims to indigeneity may be made (legal, political, cultural, linguistic, genomic, etc.). For example, in Australia’s Northern Territory, a Catholic Mission Station still owned by the Church and the attachment of the aboriginal “Mission people” to this “alienated” land rather than their traditional homeland together considerably complicate their indigenous identity. Local, national, and supernational contexts, expressed through interwoven cultural, territorial, and legal factors, have shaped their sense of tradition, their feelings of belonging with respect to both land sites, and their migratory movements between the sites in response to changing social contexts.

  • Human and Nonhuman Belonging: expands the defining frame of indigeneity to include human and nonhuman actors (e.g., climate, animal and plant species, topographical aspects of land, technical instruments) and their complex interactions. The internationally best-selling success of Lü Jiamin’s 2004 novel Wolf Totem, which draws together Lü’s memories of the Chinese Cultural Revolution with the long trajectory of Chinese subjugation of the Mongols, the extermination of the Mongolian wolf, and the environmental devastation of the inner Mongolian grasslands, provides a useful example of how indigeneity is being redefined globally in relation to both human and nonhuman contexts. In parallel, Lü’s novel condemns Maoist collective agriculture and Han ethnic domination of the Mongol people, the ecological consequences of Chinese communist control over Mongolian territory and the destruction of indigenous nomadic forms of life in favor of stationary farming. Its impact in depicting the status of Mongol indigeneity cannot be separated from China’s economic liberalization and its prominent role in globalization, nor from the extraordinary global translation and dissemination of Lü’s book.

For dissertators

The dissertator fellowships are three-year awards: two years of twelve-month dissertation support, which includes $24,500 annually plus benefits and tuition for the first two years of the program, as well as travel and associated expenses for participating in colloquia and conferences at each of the four member institutes over the entire three-year period. We welcome applications from UWM graduate students working across the humanities whose research addresses the problem of indigeneity across one or more of the foci outlined above. In order to be eligible for the fellowship, applicants must have completed all of the requirements necessary for dissertator status, including an approved dissertation proposal, by the program start date (August 2014). Two UWM dissertators will be awarded IGHERT grants.


Interested candidates should submit a cover letter outlining their interest in the program and how their research relates to indigeneity and one or more of the four foci, current CV, dissertation proposal, and a writing sample. Please email application materials as a single .pdf attachment to C21 director Richard Grusin’s attention at c21@uwm.edu. Two letters of reference, one of which must be from the applicant’s dissertation director, should be emailed directly to C21 director Richard Grusin’s attention at c21@uwm.edu. If the applicant has not yet reached dissertator status, the director’s letter should affirm the applicant’s ability to reach said status by August 2014. Application deadline: March 14, 2014. Deadline has passed.


Call for Multi-Year Dissertation Fellowship (PDF)


For faculty researchers and mentors

The faculty research and mentoring opportunities are three-year awards, which include an annual research stipend of $2,000 for the first two years, along with travel and associated expenses for participating in colloquia and conferences at each of the four member institutes over the entire three-year period. We welcome applications from UWM faculty working across the humanities whose research addresses the problem of indigeneity across one or more of the foci outlined above. Two UWM faculty members will be awarded IGHERT grants.


Interested candidates should submit a cover letter outlining their interest in the program and how their research relates to indigeneity and one or more of the four foci, a current CV, and a letter of support from their department chair. Please email application materials as a single .pdf attachment to C21 director Richard Grusin’s attention at c21@uwm.edu. Application deadline: March 14, 2014 Deadline has passed.


Call for Multi-Year Faculty Research and Mentoring Opportunity (PDF)



IGHERT Awardees 2014-17


Dissertator Fellowships

Lara Ghisleni (Anthropology)

“Shifting Ground: Landscape and Mobility in Late Iron Age and Early Roman Southern England”


Ashkan Rezvani Naraghi (Urban Studies)

“Spaces of Transformation and Transformations of Space: Places of Insurgency in Tehran, 1906–1953”


Faculty mentoring and research awards

Aneesh Aneesh (Sociology)

Kennan Ferguson (Political Science)



Background information on the IGHERT grant


  • Facebook logo          Twitter logo          YouTube logo          Instagram logo          Instagram logo
  • postal address: p.o. box 413 milwaukee, wi 53201
  • street address: curtin hall 929 3243 n downer ave milwaukee, wi 53211
  • phone: 414.229.4141
  • fax: 414.229.5964
  • email: C21@uwm.edu