Research and Funding

Premodern map detail

The Center for Premodern Studies provides a variety of funds to help students and faculty conduct valuable research. Recipients rely on our many grants and fellowships to conduct summer research, develop and produce course materials, and consult archives. Each semester, we host events in the form of lectures and workshops that allow scholars to showcase their Center-funded research. 

Each year, the Center for Premodern Studies provides funding for five to six graduate students beginning their dissertation research to participate in a Dissertation Development Fellowship Program. This summer the workshop will be led by Professor Michael Gaudio of the Department of Art History. The workshop helps doctoral students to launch their projects by thinking about their scholarship in comparative, premodern, global, and interdisciplinary ways. 

The application deadline is Feb. 4, 2022. Click here for more information. 

The Center for Premodern Studies funds approximately twenty research workshops each academic year. These faculty- and graduate student-led initiatives involve scholars at the University as well as partners at local, national, and international institutions. Research workshops address intellectual questions in global premodern studies; their activities range from reading groups and seminars to symposia and conferences.

Click here to learn more about our research workshops.

The Center for Premodern Studies’ Saltus Grants support graduate students in expanding or strengthening their work as scholars of Premodern Studies. They encourage students to take a leap toward a new skill or perspective in their scholarship or career. Saltus Grants contribute to professional goals and are complementary to research project/s. Prioritizing new skills, platforms and approaches, Saltus Grants fund opportunities beyond regular research. We strongly encourage students to consult with us prior to submitting their application to determine if their proposed project is suitable for this grant. Applications for the next round of Saltus Grants are due on December 15, 2021.

Full details are available at

Summer 2022 Saltus Grant Recipients:

  • Kate Tuley (History)
  • Kara Barker (History)
  • Karen Soto (English)
  • Alexandra Leong (Comparative Literature): "My dissertation explores the “woman question” in early eighteenth- and nineteenth-century novels such as Clarissa; Or, The History of a Young Lady and Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded by Samuel Richardson, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre.  In particular it considers the dilemma that women in novels occupy one of only two available positions: the “Proper Lady” or the outcast “madwoman”—terms coined by Mary Poovey, and Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, respectively.  Thus my project reflects on broader questions about the role of women in eighteenth-century society, as well as more generally as these novels were received throughout the modern and contemporary periods.  It is also concerned with women’s responses to the constraints on their behavior delimited by genteel society and what resources were available to women novelists in particular who wished to remain within this authorial sphere but also challenge sexist representations of women as obedient wives and dutiful daughters"

See below for a list of summer funds available through the Center for Premodern Studies

Union Pacific Research Grants:

The Center usually awards 10-15 grants to graduate students conducting dissertation or pre-dissertation research in Premodern Studies. Two grants are available: Union Pacific Research Grant and Union Pacific Research Materials Grant. We are now accepting applications for 2022-2023 which are due on March 25, 2022. Click here for full information.

2021-2022 Union Pacific Grant Recipients:

  • Chris Saladin (History): "Mapping Urban Change in Roman Carthage"
  • Katherine Pierpont (History): "Of Dominas and Dovecotes, or How to Outwit, Outplay, and Outlast your Sources"
  • Sultan Toprak (History): "Bans on Alcohol and Taverns in Seventeenth Century Istanbul"
  • K.A. Tuley (History): "The Centrality of Betweenness and Distance of Closeness: Power vs. Influence in Diplomatic and Dynastic Networks in the 13th c. Eastern Mediterranean"
  • Heather Wares (History): "Whitewashed Horizon:  The role of maritime technology in the making of South Africa’s historical maritime narrative and the resulting black erasure along the Eastern Cape Coastline"

  • Rushika Hage (History): "Separating the Sheep from the Goats: The Making of the Canepa Portolan"

McNally Grant:

The McNally Graduate Fellowship fund demonstrates Sheila McNally’s support and
commitment to medieval studies and her desire to foster graduate
student research at the University of Minnesota. The fellowship has been established to support summer research for
graduate students in medieval studies. Up to two $1,000 fellowships are available.

The application window for the 2022 McNally Grant is now closed. Click here for full information. 

Summer 2021 McNally Grant Recipients:

Stephan Knott (History): "Heirs of Troy: Legitimizing and Remembering the Fourth Crusade"

Ben Hansen (History): "Christian Piety in Palestinian Arabic: The Life of Stephen of Mar Saba"

Alex Korte (Spanish & Portuguese): "The Exiled Pirate: Double Agents, Revenge, and Returning Home in Cervantine Fiction"

  • Note: Alex Korte received the Erik Kwakkel Fellowship for summer funding. The Center was able to offer this one-time funding opportunity of $700 after Dr. Kwakkel, who gave the fall Sheppard Lecture for the Center for Medieval Studies, devoted the funds that would have been used for his honorarium to support graduate students in Medieval Studies during these trying times of the pandemic.

Up to fourteen $5,000 Fellowships are offered through the Center for German and European Studies. The Hella Mears Graduate Fellowship fund demonstrates Hella Mears's support and commitment to the Center for German & European Studies and fostering graduate student research on a wide variety of German and European topics. Since the fellowship's inception, fellowships have been awarded to advanced graduate students in a number of liberal arts disciplines. 

There are two types of Fellowships: 1) For outstanding incoming students (Nomination deadline Feb. 18, 2022); 2) For outstanding full-time graduate students in the College of Liberal Arts (due Mar. 15, 2022). Click here for more information. 

Summer 2021 Hella Mears Fellowship Recipients:

  • Rachel Cartwright (Anthropology)

  • Jonas Gardsby (English)

  • Emily Groepper (GNSD)
    • "In summer 2021, I received a Hella Lindemeyer Mears Graduate Fellowship to work on Chapter 3 of my dissertation, which examines a compilation manuscript of 68 short verse narratives from the fourteenth century, Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (ÖNB), Cod. 2885 to demonstrate that it is a purposefully curated collection. In this chapter, I analyze the variety of featured characters mentioned in the individual texts to tease out patterns formed by constellations of character types, and I discuss the significance of the characters as well as their behaviors to draw conclusions about the manuscript's target audience based on the people implicated by the social structures and portrayals of moral ideals."
  • Alex Magnolia (History)

    • "In summer 2021, I received a Hella Mears Graduate Fellowship to work on a dissertation chapter concerning Byzantine Italy in the tenth century as read through the letters of Patriarch Nicholas Mystikos. I reveal a fragile situation with respect to Constantinople’s imperial grasp on the mezzogiornio. Constantinople clearly asserted sovereignty over the regions of Longibardia, Calabria, and Campania, but did so by relying on a mixture of local systems, Lombard lords, and loyal appointees from the Byzantine heartland. I also studied a crucial bout of violence in 921, which was neither as disastrous as a full-scale revolt against the Roman imperium, nor as jejune as a blood-feud between warring borderland lords."