PhD Dissertation Fellowship

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

The next deadline will be April 20, 2022

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 their comprehensive examinations
* have exhausted their initial package of support from the home department
* be available to participate in a monthly works-in-progress workshop at UB

Please submit the following materials :
1. a one-paragraph (200-word) synopsis of your dissertation topic, including the title of dissertation
2. a writing sample of 8-10 pages, authored by the apllicant only, no co-authors
3. a confidential recommendation letter from your dissertation adviser
4. a curriculum vita, including all funding received and future funding as a graduate student
5. 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 Scholarship Portal.  Through the portal, invite recommendation letters from your the adviser. 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."

2021-2022 Dissertation Fellow: Alyssa Schwendener

Dissertation Title: "It's the 90s: Lesbian Chic in Context"

Image of a woman wearing glasses with rose lenses and a navy blue sweater smiling at the camera while holding a cat.

Alyssa Schwendener, Visual Studies

Alyssa Schwendener researches lesbian and queer histories and visual cultures in the United States. Her dissertation returns to an under-theorized moment in the history of lesbian visibility in the US, highlighting the ways in which decade specificity curtails popular and academic approaches to the study of marginalized histories.
This focus on temporality is highlighted in the title’s use of the phrase “it’s the 90s,” a phrase used repeatedly in popular media of the decade as shorthand for the yoking of chronological advancement with political and social progress. The dissertation analyzes representations of lesbian identities, cultures, and politics in the early 1990s, taking the lesbian chic trend as a prime site for the study of visibility, respectability politics, and linear narratives of progress.

Past Awardees

Dana Venerable, English

Maryam Muliaee, Media Study

Alexandra Prince, History

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