PhD Dissertation Fellowship

The Gender Institute dissertation fellowship supports students engaged in dissertation research related to women, gender, and/or sexuality.

2020-2021 Dissertation Fellow

Image of a smiling woman with long curly hair wearing a red shirt next to a stack of books.

Dana Venerable, Department of English

Dana Venerable is a writer, an occasional tap dancer, co-editor of P-QUEUE poetry journal, and an English PhD candidate at UB. Her dissertation explores black performance, dance, notation, social choreography, and sound through their intersections and poetics. Dana is invested in how marginalized communities resist against the archive/record, while (re)inserting themselves within it. She has written for The Journal of American Drama and Theatre, P-QUEUE, VIDA Review, Snail Trail Press and Zoomoozophone Review.

Dana's dissertation is entitled "Collective Composition for Weathering Black Experience: Embodying Signature Moves of 20th and 21st Century Black Performance." The project investigates primarily black women artists/theorists and how they develop maneuvers through signature moves, via a methodology of notation and noticing. It focuses on how their signature moves exist through constant citational practices and bridge literary and performance studies in their                                                                              emphasis on composition. These moves enact a series of teaching                                                                        methods that black women devise through praxis.

Past Awardees

2019-2020: Maryam Muliaee, PhD Candidate, Department of Media Study


Maryam Muliaee is a media artist-researcher, and a PhD candidate in Media Study at UB. Her dissertation focuses on feminist media archaeologies that suggest an embodied approach to the themes of place/city. She is an art director at Buffalo Documentary Project, and the co-founder of media-as-things, a media art practice+research collective. Maryam's artwork has been exhibited and screened in the galleries and juried festivals around the world since 2007.

Dissertation: "Re-visiting the Urban: Feminist Media Archaeologies as Counter-mapping"

Muliaee's dissertation explores feminist media archaeologies for their evocative standpoints and concerns with the themes of place/city. She argues for and frames the lateral, radical, resistant and relational cartographies that feminist media archaeologies offer for the spatial metaphors such as place/space, architecture and city.


2018-2019: Alexandra Prince, PhD Candidate, History


Alexandra Prince's project concerns the history of the turn of the 20th century Jamaican religious movement known as Bedwardism. A majority female movement, the history of Bedwardism has been mired in misrepresentations and allegations of insanity that have prevented both popular and scholarly considerations of Bedwardism as proto-black nationalist group principally comprised of black women. With support from the fellowship, she will be traveling to Kingston to conduct research at the Jamaica Memory Bank, a governmental organization that maintains audio interviews with the last surviving members of the Bedward's church, the Native Free Baptists. This is in support of her history dissertation project which examines the embedded gendered and racialized assessments within historical charges of religious insanity.


Elizabeth Masarik, History

Molly Ranahan, Urban Planning, School of Architecture

Kristina Darling, English 

Averill Earls, History
Lara Iverson, Geography

David Squires, English
Bincy Wilson, Social Work

Leah Benedict, English
Krishni Burns, Classics
Jessica MacNamara, Sociology

C. Michael Hurst, English
Katie Grenell, American Studies

The next deadline will be in April 2021

To apply:

The applicant must:
* be registered as a UB PhD student
* be engaged in dissertation research related to women, gender, and/or sexuality
* have passed her/his comprehensive examinations
* plan to work full-time on researching and writing the dissertation
* be available to participate in a monthly works-in-progress workshop at UB
* if selected, present a portion of her/his dissertation at a Gender Institute event in 2019-20

Please submit the following materials :
1. application cover sheet, available here
2. a one-paragraph (200-word) synopsis of your dissertation topic
3. a writing sample of 8-10 pages
4. a confidential recommendation letter from your dissertation adviser
5. a curriculum vita, including all funding received as a graduate student
6. a short description of your plans for the fellowship year, including a time-line for completion of your dissertation

Please submit all application materials to the Gender Institute Fellowship Review Committee at, including recommendation letters which should be sent directly by the adviser, with the subject line: PhD Dissertation Fellowship.    The fellow will be announced in early May.

* evidence of the dissertation's scholarly quality and significance 
* relevance of the research to expanding our knowledge of women, gender, and/or sexuality
* applicant's academic accomplishments to date and promise of future scholarly productivity

UB International as well as domestic students are invited and encouraged to apply.  The Gender Institute supports UB's nondiscrimination policy that "applies to all persons without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, gender, pregnancy, gender identity, sexual orientation, predisposing genetic characteristics, marital status, veteran status, military status, domestic violence victim status, or ex-offender status."