Dissertation Fellowship in the Transatlantic Perspectives research project

The German Historical Institute (GHI) in Washington DC offers up to three multi-year dissertation fellowships to outstanding graduate students in a variety of disciplines including history, sociology of migration, urban studies and international relations as well as economic and architectural history.

The fellowships are part of a new interdisciplinary research project, Transatlantic Perspectives: Europe in the Eyes of European Immigrants to the United States, 1940-1980. Pending final budgetary approval, the four year project will begin in June 2010 and will be funded largely through a grant from the German Ministry of Research. Fellows will generally be expected to be in residence at GHI for the duration of their fellowship.

The research project aims to trace trans-cultural perspectives on Europe and the emergence of hybrid European identities among immigrants and émigrés in the United States between the 1940s and 1970s. How did immigrants who left the continent under a variety of circumstances look back at Europe? How did their views inform broader American perceptions of Europe? The project is interested in perceptions and transnational transfers as well as the links between them. For this overarching project we are inviting applications from students interested in pursuing a dissertation that falls within one of the project's broad themes:
  • Europeanization from Afar - Links between transnational migration experiences and hybrid European identities, self-identifications as Europeans or European-Americans. When and in what ways did Europeans look back at Europe as a larger political and cultural unit that transcended their individual countries of origin?
  • Perspectives on the European Economy - Perspectives on Europe among economists, entrepreneurs and union leaders who migrated to the United States. What influences did their work and their assessment of European economies have on American society? To what degree did transatlantic economic transfers run counter to the traditional perception of a postwar "Americanization" of Europe?
  • Perspectives on the European City - Notions of the "European city," European "urbanity" and transatlantic reciprocity in the realm of urban development. What role did European migrants play in American and transnational networks and discourses regarding urban planning?
The fellowship carries a tax-exempt annual stipend of $22,800, covers some research and travel expenses, and provides office space and access to local libraries. During their residency, fellows will present their research and be active participants in the GHI's intellectual life. Thanks to its location in Washington D.C., the GHI offers students valuable connections to cutting edge scholarship in both Europe and the U.S. and to a host of institutions in the metro area. It also provides easy access to premier research facilities such as the Library of Congress or the National Archives.

Applicants should be finished with their coursework and willing to pursue a dissertation project within the broad themes of the overall project. Specifics of individual research projects, research questions and methodology are of course open and the scholarly priorities of students and their thesis advisers will be accommodated as necessary. Fellows are expected to complete their dissertations by the end of their fellowship.
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