STIP: International Fellowships: Material Migrations (Gerda Henkel Stiftung)

Blue-and-white porcelain stand, China, 1403–1424; Metal
stand, Syria or Egypt, 1300–1350 / both in British Museum (London)

The research project “Material Migrations: Mamluk Metalwork across Afro-Eurasia,” funded by the Gerda Henkel Foundation and co-directed by Gertrude Aba Mansah Eyifa-Dzidzienyo (University of Ghana), Jacopo Gnisci (University College London), Vera-Simone Schulz (Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut) and Raymond Silverman (University of Michigan), invites applications for doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships from scholars based at institutions in Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Egypt and China.

Application deadline: 31 Aug 2021

“Material Migrations” is an international research project that will examine transcultural interactions and the mobility of objects by focusing on metalwork from 13th-16th-century Mamluk Syria and Egypt that has travelled as far as Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and East Asia. The project focuses on the movements, transformations, and roles of these objects. It explores how they have asserted their presence in the societies that have adopted them, places such as modern-day Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia and China. Questioning traditional notions of “center” and “periphery,” “Material Migrations” sets out to contribute to efforts to de-center Europe, and it will present new research on connectivity, long-distance entanglements, and site-specific contexts, and how the meanings ascribed to objects are shaped by time and place.

Who can apply?
Applications are welcome from doctoral and postdoctoral scholars whose research topics and interests lie broadly within the framework of the “Material Migrations” project and who are based at an institution in Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Egypt, China. Predoctoral candidates may be at any stage of their doctoral studies. Applicants should be working in the fields that engage material and visual culture in historical contexts, for example, art history, archaeology, and history, museum and heritage studies, as well as related disciplines.

Tasks and responsibilities:
Successful candidates will become active members of the “Material Migrations” project, and will assist with its operations and the organization of relevant events. As project members, they will also take part in workshops, reading groups, and other project-related activities and will contribute a chapter to the project’s final publication.

Terms and eligibility for funded fellowships:
– One doctoral fellowship is available for a doctoral student with Asian citizenship who is based at a university, research institute and/or museum in China.
– Two fellowships for doctoral students and one postdoctoral fellowship are available for candidates based at a university, research institute and/or museum in Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia or Egypt. Applicants must be citizens of any African country – including countries that have not been mentioned above.
The fellowships are one-year appointments with the possibility of renewal. They include a monthly stipend but without health or social benefits. The fellowship cannot be held in conjunction with any other substantial source of funding.
– Doctoral fellowship stipend: 1600 EUR/month 
– Postdoctoral fellowship stipend: 2300 EUR/month

How to apply:
Applications should include:
– A cover letter.
– A project description of the PhD or postdoctoral research project which should be related to the wider scope of the “Material Migrations” project (max 3 pages).
– A CV (including, if applicable, a list of publications).
– A writing sample of no less than 15 pages (e.g., a chapter of the master thesis or doctoral dissertation, a conference paper, a published chapter or article, etc.).
– Two letters of recommendation sent directly by the referees as an email attachment to One of the letters should come from a member of the applicant’s doctoral committee who is familiar with his/her work.
– Doctoral candidates must also submit an Advisor Endorsement Form signed by an advisor from their doctoral committee or the head of the department in which they are pursuing their studies.

The form can be downloaded here:
Women are particularly encouraged to apply.

Inquiries may be directed to
Applications and recommendation letters should be sent to the same email address.

Applications due date: August 31, 2021.
Online interviews with shortlisted candidates will be held in September 2021.

For more information, please visit the Gerda Henkel Foundation website