Generations and Dynasties: Rhode Island Families and Their Legacies
Call For Fellows
The Preservation Society of Newport County is now welcoming applications for one-year research fellowships, which will begin on September 1, 2017. Applications for six-month fellowships and sabbaticals will also be considered.
Interested scholars are invited to submit proposals that will utilize Newport’s historic and cultural resources to examine the topic of “Generations and Dynasties: Rhode Island Families and their Legacies”, as it relates to history, culture, design, and/or the arts.
While Rhode Island was founded in the 17th century as a refuge for outsiders, the cosmopolitan trade culture and wealth of Newport soon gave rise to families of immense political, economic, intellectual, artistic, philanthropic and social influence. By the mid-19th century, the network of Newport’s influential families extended across the world and the city was transformed by aspiring dynasts and newcomers to the established social network. How did these enduring families/family networks develop? How did they maintain or expand their influence? How did different communities within Newport define their leading families? What kinds of political, industrial and aesthetic marks did they leave? How did their contributions shape the larger American cultural landscape? What institutions supported them? What kinds of built environments and material culture did they create? How did these historic prominent families interact with and impact each other? What are their legacies today?
Topics may include (but are not limited to): history and material culture; architectural history; conservation; horticultural and landscape history and design; social history; art and literature; preservation policy and theory. Broad interpretations and interdisciplinary approaches to this theme are highly encouraged.
An M.A. or Ph.D. in a relevant academic field
such as the history of art, architecture or the decorative arts, landscape
design history, historic preservation, material culture, literature, cultural
geography, history, and public policy as it relates to cultural heritage.
Doctoral candidates conducting dissertation research will also be considered.
Proven ability to work independently, organize and manage multiple projects and
meet rigorous deadlines is necessary, as are strong research, writing, and
public speaking skills.
Fellows receive a stipend of $24,000, a travel and research stipend of $1,000
and housing at no cost in our newly renovated Berwind-Stautberg Scholars Center,
located in the historic Horace Trumbauer-designed Carriage House of the Elms.
All fellows should be prepared to deliver a public presentation of their
project at the conclusion of their fellowship.
Previous fellowships have explored such diverse subjects as the roots of cultural philanthropy in the slave trade; hygiene and resort culture; Gilded Age music; post-civil war developments in domestic service spaces; 18th century trade networks and artisans; preservation policy; colonial-era coastal archaeology, lighting technology, historic fashion and textiles as well as specific makers, patrons and media.
Step 1: Prepare Materials
- Application form: Complete the application form.
- Project proposal: Please provide an abstract (250-500 words) describing your project, the work you plan to undertake in Newport and the surrounding area, and identifying specific resources in local institutions and/or repositories that will inform your work.
- Vita: Please provide a copy of your current curriculum vitae.
- References: Please provide two letters of reference from scholars or advisors who are familiar with your work.
Step 2: Submit Materials
- Reference letters: Please instruct your reference writers to submit their letters via email to
. The email subject should include your last name and the word “reference”
- Application: E-mail your complete application, including application form, essay, and vita, to
Please put your name in the subject line.
You may submit your materials directly via the online application form
, or download a PDF
of the instructions and application form here.
The deadline for submission of materials is March 3, 2017. After reviewing all applications, fellowship finalists will be selected for in-person or telephone interviews.