Scholarships

Harmsworth Graduate Scholarship on World War One

Chateau Thierry postcard

The RAI seeks applications for a scholarship (2018-2021) for a D.Phil. in History, specialising in the First World War. The scholarship is available to applicants who are ordinarily resident in the UK/EU/European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland and will provide at least £18,000 per annum to cover course fees, college fees and a grant for living costs. Awards are made for the full duration of fee liability for the course.

The scholarship will be known as the Captain Hon. Harold Alfred Vyvyan St. George Harmsworth Graduate Scholarship on World War One and is funded by the RAI in association with the Faculty of History’s Globalising and Localising the Great War (GLGW) programme and Pembroke College. It has been made possible thanks to a generous donation from the Rothermere Foundation.

The holder of the scholarship will be part of the RAI’s and GLGW’s community of scholars, working alongside leading academics and graduate students exploring various aspects of the First World War and the United States in the early 20th century.

We wish to encourage applications for proposed doctoral theses to be based in the History Faculty that focus wholly or in part on the United States and the genesis or implications of the First World War. The time period can encompass the long durée of 1900-1930.

Downloadable advert: Harmsworth Graduate Scholarship advert final

The deadline for applications is 12 noon UK time (midday) on Friday 19 January 2018.

To apply, visit the University of Oxford Application Guidehttps://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/applying-to-oxford/application-guide?wssl=1

For more information on Pembroke College, visit http://www.pmb.ox.ac.uk/
For more information on the Faculty of History, visit http://www.history.ox.ac.uk/home
For more information on GLGW, visit http://greatwar.history.ox.ac.uk/


Fourth-year doctoral scholarships in American History, American Literature, and American Politics and International Relations

Each year, the Rothermere American Institute invites applications from current third-year graduate students at Oxford University working in the fields of American History, American Literature, and American Politics & International Relations for election to one-year graduate scholarships. Each of these is to a value of up to £9,000 per annum.

These studentships are intended to support outstanding students who are in the process of finishing their doctoral research, and for whom a fourth year would allow the completion of their thesis. Preference will be given to candidates who have consistently and demonstrably contributed to the intellectual life of the Institute. Successful candidates will be expected to continue to play a strong role in the Institute’s activities. Candidates must not already have secured research funding elsewhere.

The RAI is very grateful to The Hon. Esmond Harmsworth for his generosity in making possible the two annual fourth-year scholarships in American literature.

Applications for 2017-18 have now closed. Scholarships for 2018-19 will be advertised in the academic year 2017-18.


Graduate Scholars 2017-18

Bárbara Gallego Larrarte is a D.Phil. candidate in English Literature at Wolfson College. Her project reverses the chronological rubric that has dominated influence studies by exploring the impact of younger generations on those who came before them. Her research is centred on intergenerational relationships forged within the literary circles of Britain and America during the interwar years, giving particular attention to the networks surrounding T. S. Eliot, E. M. Forster and Virginia Woolf. She is supervised by Professor Kate McLoughlin.  

Kristin Grogan is a D.Phil. candidate in English literature at Hertford College. Her thesis reads American modernist poetry alongside the theory and history of labour in the twentieth century, arguing that modernist poets conceive of their own literary labour in relation to other kinds of work--intellectual, manual, artisanal, and agrarian. Her research focuses particularly on Ezra Pound, Langston Hughes, Gertrude Stein, and the Objectivist poets. She is supervised by Rebecca Beasley.

Oenone Kubie is a D.Phil. candidate in US History at St. Cross College. Her research is a study of working class and immigrant boys’ street cultures in Chicago in the early twentieth century. While much has been written about the new juvenile institutions created and expanded in the Progressive Era United States, Oenone’s thesis will consider how boys evaded, challenged and lived outside of institutional spaces. In doing so, she hopes to demonstrate that boys’ use of urban space in Chicago disrupted official plans for the city and altered the urban experience for Chicagoans, old and young. She is currently the recipient of a three-year RAI studentship.

Christoph Nitschke  is a D.Phil. candidate in US history at Keble College. His dissertation, tentatively titled America in the world of crisis: the Panic of 1873 and U.S. foreign relations, will explore the transnational history of this late 19th century financial crisis. Tracing the extensive financial networks of the time, he is particularly interested in the movement of commodities, people, and ideas connected to the crash. This study will allow an assessment of how Americans and American capitalism interacted with the world, and how an international economic crisis potentially changed these dynamics. His supervisors are Dr. Jay Sexton and Dr. Stephen Tuffnell.

Previous Years

"I am extremely grateful to the RAI for providing this terrific opportunity. More time to work exclusively towards finishing and hopefully publishing my doctoral thesis will be invaluable. The RAI's support will also facilitate further fieldwork and contribute to the amount of primary evidence, particularly oral testimony, that I can access."

Travers McLeod, former holder of RAI Graduate Studentship

"The RAI graduate studentship allowed me to complete my doctoral work among the Institute's vibrant and supportive graduate community, as well as benefit from the wonderfully extensive resources available via the Vere Harmsworth Library. I was constantly stimulated by working with colleagues old and new to maintain and develop the RAI's rich intellectual engagement with all aspects of American history and politics."

Dr David Sim, Lecturer in American History, University College London, and former holder of an RAI graduate studentship in history, when working on a thesis entitled 'The Irish Question and American Diplomacy, 1840-1890'.

2016-17

Roosmarijn (Rose) de Geus is a D.Phil. candidate in Politics and studies voting behavior in the US. Specifically, she explores how partisan voters respond to negative information about their preferred party or candidate. Examples of these ‘difficult decisions’ are political scandals or the recent economic crisis. Her research relies on empirical analyses of survey and public opinion data, as well as the use of quasi-natural and lab experiments. Roosmarijn holds an MPhil in Comparative Government from Oxford, an MA in Conflict Studies & Human Rights and a BA in International Relations, both from Utrecht University.  

Oenone Kubie is a D.Phil. candidate in US History at St. Cross College. Her research is a study of working class and immigrant boys’ street cultures in Chicago in the early twentieth century. While much has been written about the new juvenile institutions created and expanded in the Progressive Era United States, Oenone’s thesis will consider how boys evaded, challenged and lived outside of institutional spaces. In doing so, she hopes to demonstrate that boys’ use of urban space in Chicago disrupted official plans for the city and altered the urban experience for Chicagoans, old and young. She is currently the recipient of a three-year RAI studentship.

Christoph Nitschke  is a D.Phil. candidate in US history at Keble College. His dissertation, tentatively titled America in the world of crisis: the Panic of 1873 and U.S. foreign relations, will explore the transnational history of this late 19th century financial crisis. Tracing the extensive financial networks of the time, he is particularly interested in the movement of commodities, people, and ideas connected to the crash. This study will allow an assessment of how Americans and American capitalism interacted with the world, and how an international economic crisis potentially changed these dynamics. His supervisors are Dr. Jay Sexton and Dr. Stephen Tuffnell.

Daniel Rowe  is a D.Phil. candidate in US History at Lincoln College. In his thesis, Fighting Rust: America’s Long Economic Crisis and the Rebuilding of the Northeast and Midwest, 1974-88, he analyses the responses of members of the business community, civic leaders, labour unions and elected officials (national and local), to the overlapping industrial and economic crises of the 1970s and 1980s. Probing topics that have received relatively little scholarly attention, he highlights the efforts that subnational and national actors made to assist struggling cities, regions and industries in coming to terms with large-scale transformations in the global economy that took place during this age of crisis.  Challenging top-down, ideologically focused, Reagan-centric interpretations of the 1970s and 1980s—that have been advanced in recent works of business history, the history of capitalism, and contemporary political history—he argues that in order to understand the roots of the economic boom of the late 1980s and early 1990s we need to look beyond Washington and ‘Reaganomics’ and examine the important, but mostly overlooked role that local politics, sub-national actors, and informal community networks played in shaping the national response to the challenges of post-industrialism.

Nina Yancy  is a D.Phil. candidate in Politics studying how matters of race, class, and geography intersect to influence white Americans' opinions on policies related to race and redistribution. Focusing on the contemporary period and using both quantitative and qualitative methods, Nina's dissertation explores how racial policy preferences vary according to the conditions of racial diversity and material inequality that whites experience in cities across the US. She is supervised by Professors Desmond King and Ben Ansell and is the recipient of a Rhodes Scholarship to support her graduate study at Oxford. She holds an M.Phil. in Comparative Government from the University of Oxford and an A.B. in Social Studies from Harvard University.

2015-16

Jurrit Daalder is working on a thesis on the fiction and non-fiction of Richard Powers, David Foster Wallace, and Jonathan Franzen,  which aims to establish a connection between these authors’ much-discussed “return to sincerity” and their construction of the Midwest as one of the few “genuine” places left in America.

Christine Fouirnaies is writing a thesis examining biographical and autobiographical works with inserted photographs, by Gertrude Stein, Vladimir Nabokov, Norman Mailer, Virginia Woolf, Doris Lessing, and W. G. Sebald. The relationship of the images to the text of the works and to the lives of the auto/biographical subjects, as well as the photographs' individual histories, are uncovered in order to illuminate how the pictorial elements contribute to the way in which the works function as life-writing. The project focuses on the role of the photographs as documentation in relation to three di erent aspects of life-writing: celebrity, criticism, and memory.

Oenone Kubie is a D.Phil. candidate in US History at St. Cross College. Her research is a study of working class and immigrant boys’ street cultures in Chicago in the early twentieth century. While much has been written about the new juvenile institutions created and expanded in the Progressive Era United States, Oenone’s thesis will consider how boys evaded, challenged and lived outside of institutional spaces. In doing so, she hopes to demonstrate that boys’ use of urban space in Chicago disrupted official plans for the city and altered the urban experience for Chicagoans, old and young. She is currently the recipient of a three-year RAI studentship.

Skye Montgomery is working on a thesis which considers the interplay between conceptions of Anglo-American kinship and national identity in the American South from the antebellum period through Reconstruction. These claims of relatedness took many forms. Whether expressed in public rituals such as the jousting tournaments held throughout the South in the years preceding the Civil War or embodied in institutions like the Episcopal Church, state historical societies, and organizations formed to encourage immigration from the British Isles, however, the impression of an enduring connection to the mother country influenced how nineteenth century Southerners viewed themselves as members of the American national family and, following secession and the establishment of the Confederate government, served to substantiate their claim to a separate national identity. The pervasiveness of these invocations of Anglo-American kinship, both literally in Southerners’ historical understandings of their region and in more figurative terms, demonstrates the capaciousness of American national identity and sheds new light on Anglo-American relations in the century following the Revolution.

Christoph Nitschke is a D.Phil. candidate in US history at Keble College. His dissertation, tentatively titled America in the world of crisis: the Panic of 1873 and U.S. foreign relations, will explore the transnational history of this late 19th century financial crisis. Tracing the extensive financial networks of the time, he is particularly interested in the movement of commodities, people, and ideas connected to the crash. This study will allow an assessment of how Americans and American capitalism interacted with the world, and how an international economic crisis potentially changed these dynamics. His supervisors are Dr. Jay Sexton and Dr. Stephen Tuffnell.

Marina Perez de Arcos is a D.Phil. candidate in International Relations at St Cross College. Her thesis explores U.S.-Spain relations in the last decade of the Cold War. She works with White House government papers, which she herself has had declassified, and oral sources, including interviews with former Secretary of State George Shultz, former President Felipe González of Spain, and former NATO Secretary General and EU High Representative Javier Solana. Marina is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and lectures at Oxford’s History Faculty: https://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/series/spain-1959-1992. She is the RAI’s 2015-2016 Politics Graduate Scholar. She was born in Seville and grew up in Madrid, London, and Paris.

2014-15

James Aber is a D.Phil. candidate in Politics at Nuffield College. He is interested in the historic defeat of the Left as a political force during the 20th century – from the promise of the workers of the world uniting in Marxist revolution at the start of the 1900s to the collapse of the Soviet Union in the East and communist and socialist parties in the West by 2000. The puzzle is why the period that followed the demise of socialism has not seen the triumph of liberal democracy. Instead, it has heralded a new crisis of democratic engagement in the capitalist West. James’s thesis is concerned with the different strategies radical social movements in the USA have taken to government since the collapse of the hopes of the radical New Left in the 1960s. The role of the state has been a highly controversial subject on the Left – from the ultra-Left rejection of all kinds of authority to the social democrats' reformist embrace of the capitalist state. He uses two contrasting case studies to hypothesise two contrasting strategies used to survive the demise of the radical hopes of the 1960s.

Oenone Kubie is a DPhil student in American History. Her work considers children in and on the streets of Chicago in the early twentieth century. She is particularly interested in how children's work, play, and delinquent behaviour overlapped in urban spaces which remained outside of adult supervision and control. She is also interested in children's culture and how children understood and formed gender, class and racial boundaries for themselves. Oenone received a BA in History from the University of Durham and an MSt in US History from the University of Oxford. She is currently the recipient of a three-year RAI studentship.

April Pierce is a D.Phil. candidate at St. Anne’s college. She explores the intersections between literature and philosophy from the Enlightenment to the 21st century. Her doctoral thesis examines connections between T.S. Eliot’s work and what American philosopher Richard Rorty calls “The Linguistic Turn” – a period of philosophy during the early 20th century that redefined the direction of European and American thought and culture. Focusing on Eliot’s philosophically transnational heritage, the thesis emphasises the influence of Eliot’s American, British, and German education on his literary and conceptual work.

Mara Tchalakov is a D.Phil. candidate in International Relations at St Antony's College. She researches the concept of ‘hawks’ and ‘doves’ in international politics, focusing on the psychological differences between the two groups and their collective impact on America’s foreign policy decision-making process. Her thesis explores both the historical and cognitive foundations of these labels in American foreign relations during the Cold War and post-Cold War period and the conditions under which each group is most likely to influence foreign policy outcomes. Mara completed her MPhil in International Relations at Oxford in 2012, having received an undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School in 2005. Prior to arriving at Oxford, she worked for a number of U.S. governmental agencies, including the White House, the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Department of Defense. Her writings have appeared in The American Interest and Foreign Policy. 

Courtney Traub is a D.Phil. candidate in English and American Literature at Linacre College, Oxford. Her research focuses on “Romanticising crisis” in contemporary experimental texts from American authors including Mark Z. Danielewski, Kathryn Davis, Ben Marcus, and Evan Dara, drawing these in comparison to nineteenth-century Romantic writings from Thoreau, Whitman, Emerson, Coleridge, Shelley, and others. The overriding aim of her research is to consider how a burgeoning digital culture and environmentalist movement work as joint pressures on American postmodern literary practices from the mid-1990s onward, extending and complicating existing scholarly accounts of ties between Romantic and Postmodern literary modes. She is also interested in exploring intersections between print and digital textuality and in material culture more generally. Courtney earned her Bachelor’s degree in Literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz and her MPhil from the Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris, where she specialised in Comparative Caribbean poetry in French, English, and Spanish. She worked as a journalist, editor, and educator for several years before undertaking her DPhil work, publishing in various forums.

2013-14

Patrick Andelic is writing a D.Phil on varieties of liberalism within the Democratic Party from 1972 to 1984, and in particular the party's failure to construct a popular liberal message post-Great Society. He holds a first class MA in History from the University of Edinburgh and an M.St in U.S. History from Oxford. From October 2011 to March 2012, he was a British Research Council Fellow at the John W. Kluge Center in the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. From 2011-13 he was also Postgraduate Representative on the steering committee of Historians of the Twentieth Century United States (HOTCUS).

Susan Barbour is investigating the poetics of documentary and loss in the art and writing of Susan Howe. Her research  connects the missing link between Howe’s historiographic poetics, her bibliographic concerns, and the elegiac turn of her late poems, proving that one of Howe’s most striking contributions to literature is her distinct mode of post-modern elegy. She received a BA in English from Dartmouth College and an MA in Poetry from The Johns Hopkins University. Her scholarship has appeared in Textual Practice and The Review of English Studies.

Angus Brown is a fourth year DPhil student at the Faculty of English. His thesis examines the role of quotation in American and English literary criticism. Focusing on two crucial institutional moments in the history of close reading, at Cambridge in the 1930s and at Yale in the 1970s, his work re-imagines quotation as a generative formal element in the writing of I. A. Richards, William Empson, Paul de Man, and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick. His research interests include literary criticism and theory, 20th century literary modernism, American literature, queer theory, artist's books, and life writing. He received his BA in English Literature and his MA in American Literature and Culture from the University of Leeds and he is a former editor-in-chief of the Oxonian Review. His work has appeared in Wave Composition and evekosofskysedgwick.net, and his article "Wait For It" is forthcoming in The Henry James Review (2014).

A Blake Ewing is a DPhil student in political theory at Oriel College, Oxford, where he works on the interrelationship between ideology, philosophy and history. He holds a MSc from The London School of Economics and a BA from Colorado College. His main interests centre around the intersection between ideas and politics and exploring how historical events shape and change how we construct political ideologies. He is a graduate member of Oxford's Centre for Political Ideologies and also co-runs a politics and international relations seminar series at the RAI. Before coming to Oxford he worked in Washington as a journalist, writing mainly for The Economist, and also as a writer/researcher at the World Bank. Other interests are intellectual history, economic and political development and, when in need of a diversion, West Ham United Football Club.

Max Thompson is a DPhil candidate in International Relations at St Edmund Hall. He researches the concept of friendship in international politics and focuses on its impact on America's foreign relations. His thesis, on amity in American foreign policy, explores the role of rhetoric and representation in the emergence and maintenance of particularly close and intimate relationships between states. Max completed his undergraduate course in PPE in 2009. He has held lectureships in politics and international relations at St Edmund Hall, Hertford, and Balliol colleges.

2012-13

Tom Cutterham works on political thought and behaviour in the aftermath of the Revolution, and the development of Federalist strategy prior to the 1787 Constitutional Convention. His research integrates analysis of cultural and economic structures and processes into the history of political ideas. He received a BA in Ancient and Modern history from St Hugh's College, Oxford, in 2009, and an MSt in US History in 2010. He has published academic reviews in the 49th Parallel and Reviews in History. Tom is also convening a conference on Charles Beard's work and legacy, hosted by the RAI, in April 2013.

Nadia Hilliard is a DPhil student at St Antony’s College. Her research focuses on post-Cold War American security state politics, addressing debates in both political institutionalism and political theory. It explores the relationship of exceptional politics (and its attendant paradoxes) to institutional development and the effects on the distribution of rights. She is a graduate of the University of Chicago and the University of Paris IV (Sorbonne) where she studied literature and philosophy, respectively, and has worked as a consultant for various research organizations, including UNESCO and the OECD. She teaches politics at Somerville and St Anne’s colleges in Oxford.

Mandy Izadi is a fourth year DPhil student in the Faculty of History. Her doctoral research investigates intersections of Native American and African American history. Her dissertation focuses on Creek and Seminole Indians, and the slaves, Britons and Spaniards with whom they allied in their struggles against nineteenth century American imperialism. The geographical parameters of their lives, and accordingly, of the project, have led Mandy to archives in New York, London, Washington DC, Georgia, and Florida. Mandy received her BA in History from New York University, and her MA in American History from the University of Maryland. She has presented papers at Harvard University’s conference on ‘Caribbean Diaspora Reconsidered’, and at the annual British American Nineteenth Century History conference on ‘Rethinking Honor and Community in the Antebellum South’. Mandy is also helping with the conceptualization and planning of the inaugural Oxford-Yale conference on Indigenous Studies at Oxford in June 2013.

Stephen Ross is completing a DPhil in English literature on the poetry of John Ashbery and its relation to traditions of nature and environmental writing from Romanticism to the present. His research interests include 19th- to 21st-century poetry and poetics, American literature, and experimental fiction. He received a BA in English from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in 2007 and an MSt. from the University of Oxford in 2009. His essays and reviews have appeared in TLS, PN Review, Comparative American Studies, and other venues.

Edward Sugden is researching the presence of non-national modes of time in the antebellum American literary imaginary. His work shows how Americans of the period grappled with unfamiliar chronologies introduced to the country by the vast expansion in global trade and exploration occasioned by the victory over the British in the War of 1812. He received his BA and MA in Literature from University College London, and his work has appeared in Comparative American Studies. He is a former Editor-in-Chief of the Oxonian Review, Editor of the online magazine Wave Composition, and his reviews have appeared in The Times Literary Supplement, Lana Turner, and The English Review.

Steve Tuffnell is completing a transnational history of American expatriate communities in Britain, c.1815–1914 for his doctorate. His research uses American expatriate communities in Britain as the object and point of observation on the United States’s protracted process of consolidating independence - cultural, economic, and social - from the British Empire. Steve is particularly interested in the place of the US within the British World; Anglo-American imperial reciprocity; and the international influences on American political culture. He received both his B.A. in History and M.St. in American History from the University of Oxford and is the author of ‘“Uncle Sam is to be sacrificed”: Anglophobia in Late Nineteenth-Century Politics and Culture’ in American Nineteenth Century History, 12.1 (March 2011).

2011-12

Edward Adkins is researching Richard Nixon's “Southern strategy” in the presidential election of 1968 and beyond. Focussing on the strained relationship between electoral promises and the exigencies of governance, his thesis questions just how far President Nixon was able, and willing, to push the reactionary agendas of southern whites once ensconced in the White House. By homing in on the state of South Carolina, he is also keen to assess the impact of Nixon's “Southern strategy” on the region's politics and society. Edward has a B.A. in Modern History from the University of Durham, and an M.St. in US History from Oxford.

Tom Cutterham works on political culture in the aftermath of the Revolution, and the development of Federalist ideas prior to the 1787 Constitutional Convention. His research integrates analysis of cultural and economic structures and processes into the history of political ideas. He received a BA in Ancient and Modern history from St Hugh's College, Oxford, in 2009, and an MSt in US History in 2010. He has published reviews in the Journal of the Oxford University History Society, and 49th Parallel.

Travers McLeod is an Australian DPhil student working on the function of law in the development and execution of US counterinsurgency doctrine. His specific focus is FM 3-24, Travers McLeodthe 2006 counterinsurgency field manual jointly written by the US Army and Marine Corps. Travers's thesis looks at the construction of this doctrine during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and its application in the field, particularly in the context of targeting, detention, and rule of law operations. Travers has a LLB (Hons) and BA (Hons) from the University of Western Australia and a MPhil (Dist) in International Relations from Oxford.

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