The DEADLINE for the ROSANNA Fund Scholarship applications is coming up: December the 1st, 2018!

The ROSANNA Fund supports talented and disadvantaged women students and researchers who intend to build their careers at Utrecht University. The fund offers women students and researchers financial support to help them achieve academic success. The ROSANNA Fund wishes to make higher education more accessible to women, so that no female researcher has to be excluded because of limited financial means.

Interested in applying for a scholarship? The ROSANNA Fund offers short-term scholarships between € 2.500 and € 5.000. The awarded amount depends on the candidate’s financial situation, academic record, and feasibility of the plans. A ROSANNA Fund scholarship can differ for each candidate, depending on the specific needs of the candidate in question. For more information, please visit our website or send an e-mail.

With best wishes, Prof. Rosi Braidotti and Prof. Anneke Smelik

Graduate School of North American Studies Freie Universitat Berlin offers Doctoral Grants

Application Procedure

Applications for doctoral grants (funded by the DFG or DAAD-GSSP) and doctoral memberships (Promotionsplätze) for candidates with third-party funding for the academic year 2019 can now be submitted via our application platform. Applicants will have to upload the documents listed below and can either prepare their application dossiers offline or (in several steps) online. Please note that only projects related to the field of North American Studies can be considered (i.e. the dissertation has to relate to the U.S. and/or Canada). We will be glad to answer any further questions via email.
The deadline for applications is November 30, 2018.

The following documents will have to be included in the online application. You will find all relevant details on the specificities (length, file size, etc,) of the documents listed below after registering on our application platform. We therefore kindly ask you to refrain from inquiries on application documents before accessing the online application form.
You can revise your application before submitting the complete application dossier and hence complete the application process in several steps. Please note that the referees who are supposed to submit a reference letter will not be informed before the application has been submitted. Deadline for the upload of reference letters is December 15, 2018.

  1. Curriculum Vitae (in English)
  2. Statement of Purpose of approx. 2 pages (in English)
  3. Copies of Earned Degrees/Diplomas/Graduation Certificates (High School, BA, MA, etc.)
    Please note: Applicants who have not obtained their MA/MSc degree by the deadline must provide a transcript of records specifying that the coursework for the master’s degree has been completed. In addition, applicants must provide a written confirmation that the MA/MSc thesis has been submitted. The final grade of the MA thesis/program must be sent to the attention of the GSNAS office before the interviews. The official diploma for the final degree (MA, MSc) must be submitted no later than May 31, 2019 in order to ensure the admission by the respective school/department (Fachbereich).
  4. An Outline of the Dissertation Project of 8-10 pages (in English)
  5. work plan/timeline (in English)
  6. Writing Sample based on a chapter of the M.A. thesis or an already published journal article (in English or German)
  7. Proof of Language Proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS, CAS, CPE)
    All applicants who are neither native English speakers nor have earned a degree at a university with English as language of instruction are required to submit certification of their English proficiency: minimum TOEFL scores of 600 (paper-based), 250 (computer-based) and 100 (internet-based) or equivalent minimum CAE (A and B), CPE (A, B, C) or IELTS (7.0) scores. A degree in North American Studies or English Language and Literature, earned at a German university is not sufficient as a proof of English language skills. It will only be accepted if the entire curriculum was taught in English. In addition, stays/semesters abroad will not be accepted as a substitute for a language test.
  8. Two Recent Letters of Reference (to be uploaded separately by the respective referee until Dec 15, 2018)


Visual Story Telling – Thinking and Making

Masterclass with Simon Grennan, 14 November 2018
and invitation to Amsterdam Comics’ 2nd international conference
Drawing Yourself In and Out of It

15-17 November 2018
Free University Amsterdam

From 15-17 November 2018, Amsterdam Comics, in cooperation with NICA, CLUE+, VU, and ASCA, will organize its 2nd International comics conference, “Drawing Yourself In and Out of It.” Hosted at the Free University Amsterdam, the conference will bring together comics artists and scholars from around the world to discuss ongoing research on the topics of documentary comics, graphic medicine, and the poetics of the medium.

Keynote lectures will be given by world-renowned comics journalist Joe Sacco and documentary comics scholar Nina Mickwitz. Students and researchers participating in the masterclass will receive free entrance to all conference events.

Masterclass and Workshop with Dr. Simon Grennan:  14 November, 13:00-16:00 (room to be determined)

In conjunction with the conference, Amsterdam Comics and NICA will organize a masterclass and workshop focusing on visual story telling. In the masterclass, students will be introduced to the various terminology, definitions, and debates in the discourse and practice of visual storytelling. In the workshop, students will become familiar with comics scholarship and visual storytelling, and will be challenged to create visual stories of their own.

Existing drawing skills aren’t required: the workshop component is about making stories, not Rembrandts (although if anyone is a Rembrandt, that’s great)!

Please also note that all drawing materials will be provided. You are also welcome to bring your own, should you so choose.


13:00-13:30 Introduction to the masterclass, conference, assignment, and Dr. Grennan
13:30-14:30 Illustrated Introduction to Visual Storytelling
14:30-15:00 Activity 01 – “Who, What, Where, Why, How?” – individual work (30 minutes)
15:00-15:30 Activity 02 – “Story Jam” – collaborative work (30 minutes)

15:30-16:00 Closing remarks

To Apply:

Interested participants may apply for the masterclass by sending an email to NICA (nica-fgw @ by 15 October with the subject line: Visual Storytelling. The masterclass will be limited to 25 participants.


Students and researchers will earn 2 ECTS for their participation in the masterclass, attendance at the conference, and final paper reflection (1000 words on a keynote lecture or panel of their choice, due 23 November, 17:00, via email).

Dr. Simon Grennan is a scholar of visual narrative and graphic novelist. He is author of A Theory of Narrative Drawing (Palgrave Macmillan 2017), Drawing in Drag by Marie Duval (Book Works 2018) and Dispossession, a graphic adaptation of a novel by Anthony Trollope (Jonathan Cape and Les Impressions Nouvelles 2015 – one of The Guardian Books of the Year 2015)He is co-author, with Roger Sabin and Julian Waite, of Marie Duval: Maverick Victorian Cartoonist (Manchester University Press 2019), Marie Duval (Myriad 2018) and The Marie Duval Archive (, among others. Since 1990, he has been half of international artists team Grennan & Sperandio, producer of over forty comics and books. Dr. Grennan is Leading Research Fellow at the University of Chester and Principal Investigator for the two-year research project Marie Duval presents Ally Sloper: the female cartoonist and popular theatre in London 1869-85, funded by an AHRC Research Grant: Early Career (2014).


  • Andrews, C. (2003) “Constraint and Convention: The Formalism of Oulipo,” Neoplilogus 87: 223-32.
  • Baetens, J. (2007) “Revealing Traces: a new theory of graphic enunciation” in Varnum, R. and C. Gibbons (2007) The Language of Comics: Word and Image. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.
  • Baetens, J. (2010) Expanding the Field of Constraint: Novelization as an Example of Multiply Constrained Writing,” Poetics Today 31.1: 51-79.
  • Baetens, J. and H. Frey (2015) The Graphic Novel: An Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Bolter, J. D. and Richard A. Grusin (1999) Remediation: Understanding New Media. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Chatman, S. (1980) Story and Discourse: Narrative Structure in Fiction and Film. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
  • Genette, G. (1980) Narrative Disourse: An Essay in Method. Ithaca NY: Cornell University Press.
  • Grennan, S. (2015) “Arts Practice and Research: Locating Alterity and Expertise,” International Journal of Art and Design Education (iJADE) 34.2: 95-105.
  • Hague, I. (2014) Comics and the Senses: A Multisensory Approach to Comics and Graphic Novels. London: Routledge.
  • Husserl, E. (1983) Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy: First Book: General Introduction to a Pure Phenomenology. London: Springer.
  • Kukkonen, K. (2013) Studying Comics and Graphic Novels. Hoboken NJ: Wiley Blackwell.
  • Peterson, R. A. (1982) “Five Constraints on the Production of Culture: Law, Technology, Market, Organisational Structure, and Occupational Careers,” Journal of Popular Culture 16.2: 143-53.
  • Sartre, J-P. (2010) The Imaginary: A Phenomenological Psychology of the Imagination. London: Routledge.
  • Simpson, P. (2014) Stylistics: A Resource Book for Students. London: Routledge.
  • Walton, K. (1993) Mimesis and Make-believe: On the Foundations of the Representational Arts. Cambridge Mass: Harvard University Press.


Voices Unheard. Intersections of Race in Transnational and Postcolonial Research

Workshop by Clive Webb (University of Sussex)

Date: 8 November 2018
Time: 10:00-18:00
Venue: Amsterdam, VU Amsterdam (exact venua TBA)
Open to: scholars, PhD students, (R)MA students
Credits: 1 ECTS (available upon request)
Coordination: Dr Dienke Hondius (VU Amsterdam), Lonneke Geerlings (VU Amsterdam)
Maximum participants in this event: 15
Registration (before 10 October 2018)

This workshop focuses on hidden and forgotten stories at historical crossroads, with a special focus on the African diaspora and discourses on race. Intersections of historical narratives have become increasingly important for historians. We saw this – just to name a few – in research on W.E.B. Du Bois who examined the impact of the Holocaust in Warsaw (Michael Rothberg 2001); on African students in Soviet Russia (Maxim Matusevich 2012); or in the popular novel and movie on the role of Black women in the American space race (Margot Lee Shetterly 2016). The combining of historical narratives often reveal the impact of discourses of race, both on a global scale as well on an individual level.

During this 1-day workshop, researchers are encouraged to look for marginalized or unheard voices in their own materials and to examine their own blind spots. Professor Clive Webb (University of Sussex) will comment on presentations and will also give a guest lecture on how the Holocaust helped shape the American Civil Rights Movement. This workshop may be of interest to PhD students and (research) MA students working on (early) modern history, (post)colonial history, memory studies, comparative and transnational history, and researchers working on gender, race and class.

The masterclass is followed by a VU Graduate School guest lecture of Clive Webb on ‘The Holocaust and The African-American Freedom Struggle’ and is co-organized by the VU Graduate School of Humanities and VU’s CLUE+ Research Institute for Culture, History and Heritage.


Clive Webb is Professor of Modern American History at the University of Sussex in Brighton (United Kingdom). He is specialized in the history of race and ethnicity in Britain and the United States. His first book, Fight Against Fear, focused on the reaction of the small Jewish minority in the American South to the black civil rights struggle. A second book, Rabble Rousers, looked at white extremists who used violence to resist civil rights reform. Most recently, he co-wrote with William Carrigan of Rowan University in New Jersey Forgotten Dead, a book that assesses mob violence against Mexicans in the United States. His current research focuses on the historical relationship between Britain and the United States including such issues as race, politics and culture. For more details see


  • 10:00
  • 10:15
    Screening documentary (TBA)
  • 11:30
    Creative writing exercises
  • 12:30
    Lunch break (at own expense / bring-your-own)
  • 13:30
    Presentations by contributors, followed by discussion and feedback from Clive Webb
  • 14:45
    Short break
  • 15:00
    Presentations + discussion (part 2)
  • 16:15
    Coffee & tea break
  • 16:30
    VU Graduate School Guest lecture with Clive Webb: ‘The Holocaust and The African-American Freedom Struggle’
  • 17:30


All participants are asked to write an essay (max. 2 pages) on their own research, connecting their research with the proposed readings. In addition, they should also prepare a short presentation. Non-participants should read the supporting texts in advance and prepare comments or questions arising from the readings. Participants who want to receive 1 ECTS are expected to complete the following assignments. Please send the essay and PowerPoint presentation to the organizers one week before the workshop.

1: Writing exercise (all participants)

Please bring pen and paper (preferably) – or a laptop. Through creative writing exercises all participants and attendants will practice their writing skills. This is a perfect exercise if you need to overcome your writer’s block.

2: Essay (only for participants wanting to receive credits)

Describe in an essay of approximately two pages how you use, or could use, intersections in history to reveal hidden, forgotten or marginalized histories. What voices remain unheard in the historical sources that you use for your project? Would a comparative, transnational or postcolonial approach be a valuable addition to your research?

3: PowerPoint presentation (only for participants wanting to receive credits)

Prepare a PowerPoint presentation (4 to 5 minutes) about your essay. This will be followed by 5 minutes for comments and discussion. These presentations are a showcase of your research: there is ample time to discuss your research further during the breaks and drinks afterwards.


Please read the following articles/chapters (these will be shared with you after signing up):

  • Clive Webb, Fight Against Fear. Southern Jews and Black Civil Rights. University of Georgia Press, 2001. Chapter 4, pages 69-87.
  • Michael Rothberg, Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization. Stanford University Press, 2009. Introduction, pages 1-29.

Credits and certificate

Interested students and researchers can participate in two ways: as an active auditor or as a contributor. Contributors are expected to submit a short paper (max 2 pages, may be sent to one week before the workshop) and give a presentation, which are both required for earning 1 ECTS. These papers, together with the proposed literature from the speakers, will be distributed to all participants in advance, and will be a starting point for the discussion.

Certificates of participation and credits are available upon request after the event. Event coordinators will decide whether the participant has fulfilled all requirements for the ECTS. Please direct your request to and include the postal address you want the certificate to be sent to. Note: the certificate itself is not valid as ECTS; you need to validate it yourself at your local Graduate School.

The Academy and the Idea of Decolonisation

Masterclass and Lecture by Toyin Falola (University of Texas)

The aim of this workshop is to revisit the state of the art on theories of decolonisation of mind and knowledge. More information to be announced soon.

Date: 10 December 2018
Time: 10:00-12:30 (masterclass) & 14:00-17:00 (keynote lecture and discussion)
Venue: Amsterdam, Bushuis (VOC-zaal) & University Library (Doelenzaal)
Open to: scholars, PhD students, (R)MA students
Credits: 1 ECTS (for PhD and RMa students only)
Coordination: Larissa Schulte Nordholt (Leiden University) and Marleen Reichgelt (Radboud University Nijmegen)
Maximum participants in this event: 20
Registration (before 1 November 2018)

NOTE: separate registration for masterclass and keynote
(A list of required readings and information about the assignment will be sent to the admitted participants in the course of November.)

One day masterclass: The Academy and the Idea of Decolonisation

It has been argued that the academic system of knowledge production—as we have known it since the Age of Imperialism/the Enlightenment—is fundamentally Western, wherein the west assumes the status of the “universal”. Although many former colonies around the world (Asia, Africa and Latin America) received political freedom in the second half of the twentieth century, the dominant mode of knowledge production and critical thinking within the academy was, and still is, largely determined by a western white male perception. Although universities worldwide are able to flourish to some extent, it remains difficult to truly escape from a normative western hegemony on the system of knowledge production and academic research.

The dominance of these thought-patterns originating in the west was never completely unchallenged and gained momentum from the second half of the twentieth century onwards through anticolonial and postcolonial critique, feminist discourse and the emergence of global intellectual history. The new tide of such critical thinking questioned Eurocentric approaches in history, philosophy and anthropology, among others, and argued in favour of a decolonisation of (academic) knowledge production. As a result the humanities have been enriched by crucial debates regarding the place of ‘Europe’ within Academic research as a whole.

To apply the insights from these debates to one’s research, however, can be a challenging feat – both on a theoretical and a practical level. The Huizinga masterclass ‘The Academy and the idea of Decolonisation’ aims to revisit the state of the art on theories of decolonisation of academic research. The plenary keynote lecture  will reflect on the state of the (historical) academy regarding the ‘Idea of Decolonisation’ and raise the question what it means to attempt a ‘Decolonisation of Knowledge’. Is there one Decolonisation or multiple Decolonisations? Is Decolonisation within the academy a monolithic concept or are there multiple layers within this broader academic issue? Most importantly, has knowledge been decolonised at all or is a culture of recolonisation replacing older thought patterns? Through the lecture and the input by local respondents we hope to be able to create an atmosphere in which there will be space for both conceptual in-depth questions and more practical concerns regarding the ‘Idea of Decolonisation’.

The workshop  is dedicated to critically engaging with the above-mentioned questions on a more practical level. Junior researchers will be given the chance to engage with questions concerning mental decolonization as they pertain to their own research projects. The goal is to inform students and researchers of cultural history about ongoing debates on Decolonisation and knowledge production from a global intellectual perspective.

Both the masterclass and the keynote lecture are given by Toyin Falola (1953). Prof. Dr. Falola is a Nigerian historian of Africa who currently holds the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair Professor in the Humanities and a Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. Falola, who took his PhD-degree at the university of Ile-Ife in Nigeria, is a prolific scholar on African history from the 19th century onwards. He has written both local histories, focusing on Yoruba history in Nigeria, and more globally oriented accounts on the histories of Africa as a whole. Moreover, he has taught and written extensively on African intellectual history and the emergence of the field of African and Black studies, focusing on its pedagogies, methodologies and epistemologies.