The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York


Site-specific Arts Archive Fellowships

Site-specific Arts Archive Fellowships

Deadline: Friday, February 22

Awards available:

  • Site-specific Arts Archive research awards available immediately for spring 2019, $4,000
  • SAA research awards in summer 2019, up to $5,000
  • SAA research awards in fall 2019, from $5,000 to $10,000
  • Semester-long SAA Fellowships available in fall 2019, $15,000


Obligations and Desired Outcomes


Site-specific Arts Archivists will be expected to do preliminary research on the interdisciplinary formation of a web archive (and possible print publications) on the history of the land on which the World Trade Center is located, as well as adjacent neighborhoods.  The ultimate intended audiences for this archive include artists developing commissioned works for performance at the Perelman Arts Center and visitors to the Arts Center, which is currently under construction.


The initial research goal will be to gather a comprehensive catalogue of scholarship on the waves of communities flowing through and inhabiting this land over time (Native Americans, settlers, slaves, and immigrants), historical trends in commerce and the development of communal identity, moments of change and crisis, the movement of various communities in and around New York, and the impact of the experience of arrival on their later lives and histories.  Researchers will be asked to identify and make contact with local scholars and groups. Their duties will include bibliographic surveying, site visits, and interviews.


The next goals, to be pursued in fall 2019, are the collation of the research done to date and the design of a web archive that will offer a history of the area’s housing and migration patterns; cultural and ethnic diversity; interactions among groups; economic change and infrastructure; processes of self-definition, inclusion, and exclusion; social services; and the emergence of artistic, political, religious and social movements. Fellows may be invited to pursue ongoing public involvement through talks or other outreach at the Perelman Arts Center or other downtown venues.


Work in summer and fall will be supervised by a faculty adviser.




The smaller SAA awards available in spring, summer, and fall 2019 are intended to support preliminary work in service of the Site-specific Arts Archive project. Fellows will work a total of 120 hours over the course of 3-4 months.  Work will begin March 11 for spring awards.  The SAA Research Fellowships, which support a full semester of research and website development in fall 2019, will build on the work completed by the earlier awardees and will require 225 hours.  Students are eligible to apply to the Research Fellowship after the dissertation proposal has been approved, and work will begin in July 2019.


Applicants need not be writing dissertations on New York City history, but they should explain their interest in New York City or urban history, with a special focus on community formation – ethnic, racial, religious, commercial. Applicants must be Level 3 and may be working in any of the social sciences or humanities.  Preference will be given to applicants with expertise in New York City or another major global city and the experiences of that city’s diverse communities.


To apply, please send a letter of interest (up to three pages) detailing your interest and experience, and indicating which award(s) you wish to be considered for,  a 2-page cv, and 10-page writing sample to by Friday, February 22, 2019.  Combine all materials into a single document (word or pdf).  Your primary adviser should send a letter of reference to the same email by the deadline.


Deadline: Friday, February 22