PhD Students: Call for Applications

The World Studies Interdisciplinary Project (WSIP) invites applications from UMass PhD students in HFA and SBS working on decolonial projects. Students must have completed PhD coursework by June 2022 to be eligible. Preference will be given to applicants whose research has an historical orientation as well as a non-eurocentric and intersectional focus. Selected scholars will participate as Mellon Fellows in the development of a Graduate Certificate Program in Decolonial Global Studies (DGS) and in building an interdisciplinary community of decolonial scholars at UMass-Amherst.

Each Mellon PhD Fellow will receive a full year’s fellowship (equivalent to a 20-hr TAship) in 2022-23.  During this year, Fellows will be expected to devote half their time to their own decolonial research, and the other half to participation in the DGS Reading and Rethinking Seminar and to other work with Mellon Faculty Fellows to build the Certificate. Fellowship responsibilities will include seminar attendance, syllabus research, event planning, and in some cases digital support. The DGS R&R Seminar will meet 3-4 times/semester in 2022-23, with 1-2 preparatory meetings in Spring/Summer of 2022 and 1-2 follow-up meetings in Fall 2023. R&R seminar discussions will center on relevant scholarship and on presentations by Visiting Mellon Fellows, who will range from activists and policy makers to artists and scholars. Fellows will participate in all meetings and events linked to the Certificate, as well as in outreach for the Certificate.  

The envisioned curriculum of the DGS Certificate will unpack the assumptions that distort contemporary global studies and still pervade both university curricula and public narratives; and it will consider diverse legacies of ethical-epistemological imagining. In particular, we aim to dismantle narratives rooted in notions of progress, development and modernity that implicitly center on white European peoples and heteronormative practices and in turn perpetuate systemic political and planetary violence.

As in past WSIP initiatives, the DGS Certificate will address these deeply-rooted problems by exposing the false historical paradigms that underlie them and by articulating nonhegemonic perspectives.  The main aims of the project are to:

  • conceive and launch a Graduate Certificate in Decolonial Global    Studies (DGS) that dismantles eurocentric/androcentric narratives and fosters sustaining practices and legacies
  • build interdisciplinary intellectual community for indigenous, decolonial, intersectional, and race studies scholars at UMass and the Five Colleges and creative a supportive environment for research in these fields
  • generate epistemological and institutional transformation at UMass by engaging faculty and students in decolonial thought and practice
  • work to forge institutional norms and systems that facilitate interdisciplinary co-teaching and research at UMass

Before preparing your application, read this important information about the DGS Project History and Principles. We also encourage you to learn more about the World Studies Interdisciplinary Project at WSIP.

To apply, follow this link to the Mellon PhD Application Form. You may want to take a look at all the questions in the pdf version of the form before you fill out the google form. Applications are due Tuesday February 22, midnight. Notifications will be sent in mid-March. Your advisor will also be required to submit a reference letter at the reference letter portal.