University of Notre Dame Offers Black Doctoral Students Help in Completing Their Dissertations

The University of Notre Dame’s Erskine A. Peters Dissertation Year Fellowship program offers African-American doctoral students an opportunity to complete their doctoral dissertations in an academic environment that is free from monetary concerns. The fellowship is aimed toward black students in the arts, humanities, or the social sciences. It encompasses a full academic year beginning in August and concluding in May. The fellowship includes a $25,000 stipend and a $2,000 research budget.

In addition to access to all university facilities, fellows are provided office space, use of a personal computer, an official academic home in the department of the fellow’s specialization, and access to a faculty mentor in the fellow’s discipline. Fellows also participate in professional development workshops focused on employment strategies and career development. Students selected for the program are expected to be in residence at the university and to devote most of their time to the completion of their doctoral dissertation.

Here are this year’s Peters Fellows:

Denise Challenger is a doctoral candidate in history at York University in Toronto. Her dissertation, “Constructing the Colonial Moral Order,” examines race and political power in Barbados in the nineteenth century.

Seth Markle is completing his Ph.D. in history at New York University. He is writing his dissertation with the working title, “We Are Not Tourists: The Black Power Movement and the Making of Socialist Tanzania, 1964 to 1974.”

Jessica Graham is a doctoral student in history at the University of Chicago. She is comparing race relations in Brazil with those in the United States. Her dissertation is titled, “Representations of Racial Democracy: State Cultural Policy, Race, and National Identity in the U.S. and Brazil, 1922 to 1945.”

Erskine Peters was a professor of English and African-American studies at Notre Dame. He died from pneumonia in 1998 at the age of 49.