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Grabar Travel & Post-Doctoral Awards
An Orange-Headed Ground Thrush and a Death's Head Moth on a Purple Ebony Orchid Branch. 1778. Calcutta. Learn Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Grabar Travel & Post-Doctoral Awards

These competitive grants and fellowships, established in memory of Professor Oleg Grabar and supported by the Oleg Grabar Memorial Fund, are intended to encourage and further the professional development of graduate students (Ph.D. candidates) and post-doctoral scholars in all areas of the history of Islamic art, architecture and archaeology. The number and amount of the grants and fellowships will be announced annually in accordance with available funds. The Grabar Grants and Fellowships are administered by HIAA’s Grants and Fellowships Committee. For the post-doctoral fellowship, the committee is chaired by Hala Auji. For the travel grant, the committee is chaired by Matt Saba. 

Oleg Grabar Memorial Fund

The Historians of Islamic Art Association (HIAA) has established a permanent fund in memory of Professor Oleg Grabar and in support of the annual award of Grabar Grants and Fellowships. 
 

Funding Request and Levels

HIAA invites you to join this continuing development effort and to become a donor to the Oleg Grabar Memorial Fund in support of the new program of Grabar Grants and Fellowships. 

  • Leadership Donors: $10,000 or above 
  • Sponsors: $5,000 or more
  • Sustainers: $1,000 or more
  • Supporters: $500 or more
  • Contributors: any amount up to $500
     

Donation Options

Donation by check, drawn on a US bank and made out to Historians of Islamic Art Association, may be mailed to:

Simon Rettig
HIAA Treasurer
1127 C Street SE,  Unit 4
Washington, DC 20003   USA

For donation by wire transfer, please contact the HIAA Treasurer at historiansofislamicart@gmail.com
 

Acknowledgment

Donors of $500 or more will be acknowledged in the Grabar Grant and Fellowship program information and publicly at HIAA’s Biennial Symposia. 

How to apply

Applicants must be HIAA members in good standing at the time of application. Membership status will be verified by the HIAA Secretary, as necessary. Applicants from outside the United States are responsible for meeting the requirements for and obtaining any visas necessary for visits to or residence and research in the United States. Upon request, HIAA will supply documentation of the grant and/or fellowship award, the dates of the award, and financial support.
 

Grabar Travel Grant

This competition is open to graduate students (doctoral candidates) who have been invited or accepted as participants in a scholarly conference or other professional meeting for the purpose of presenting papers, chairing sessions or moderating discussions.

The maximum amount of the award is $700 US.

Applications are accepted for two deadlines each year: August 1 and December 15. Notification will be sent within six weeks of the application deadline. Grabar Travel Grants must be used within 12 months of the award date. 

Applications must include in a single PDF the following five components and must be submitted in English.

  1. Application cover sheet
  2. A cover letter explaining the applicant’s purpose in participating in the conference, the expected benefits of participation, and an itemized travel budget
  3. Curriculum vitae
  4. Letter of acceptance from the conference/session organizer(s). 
  5. Abstract of the paper to be presented.

A letter of recommendation from the applicant’s primary supervisor must be sent via email to the Grabar Committee Chair by the deadline.

All materials should be submitted by email to the Chair of HIAA's Grants and Fellowships Committee.
 

Grabar Post-doctoral Fellowship

The Grabar Post-doctoral Fellowship is intended to support post-doctoral scholars at early stage of their careers in advancing their research. Fellowship funds may be used in one of two ways:

  • To spend up to two months in residence as a visiting professor or fellow/research scholar at a university, museum, research institute or similar institution outside their usual country of residence or employment.
  • To support additional research to aid in preparing the dissertation for publication. The Grabar Post-doctoral Fellowship will provide up to $2000 US per month, for a maximum of two months. An additional $1000 may be requested for travel or for supplies.

Applicants should have completed their PhD within the last five years or have submitted their dissertations by the start of the fellowship. The fellowship is open to scholars of all nationalities; however applicants are responsible for obtaining required visas for residence and research in the country specified in their application.

Applications are accepted for one deadline each year: November 15. Notification of the award will be sent in January. The fellowship must be completed within twelve months of the award date.

Applications must be submitted in English and must include in a single PDF:

  1. Application cover sheet 
  2. Curriculum vitae with contact information
  3. Project proposal (maximum 2,000 words) including the following:
    1. For the residential fellowship: The proposal should outline proposed research or teaching, and identify the host institution. Make sure to explain why residency at that particular institution is necessary and what resources you anticipate using there. Also please discuss project outcomes and how this opportunity will advance your research or professional development. Please include a schedule of work and a select bibliography.
    2. For the publication fellowship: The proposal should describe the additional research required and what impact it will have on the finished project. Please provide specifics about research location(s) and the resources required. Explain what will be required to turn the dissertation into a publishable work and provide a schedule of work for the entire project, including the fellowship period.
  4. Budget organized in the following categories: a) Round-trip travel to research location; b) Lodging and subsistence costs for the fellowship period; c) Local transportation; and d) Research expenses such as visas, permits, photocopies, photographs for publication and permissions ($1000 maximum). The fellowship cannot cover the costs of translators, research assistants, or equipment such as cameras or laptop computers. The maximum award will be $2000 US per month; the maximum award period is two months.
  5. Letter of recommendation. This must be submitted via email directly from the referee to the Chair of the Grants and Fellowships Committee. The reviewer should comment on the merits of the proposal and the feasibility of the research plan, as well as the potential impact of the fellowship opportunity for the candidate.
  6. lf applying for the residential fellowship, a letter of invitation from the host institution indicating willingness to host the applicant and the availability of research materials if applicable. This may be forwarded directly to the email address indicated below or it may be included in the application.

All materials should be submitted by email to the Chair of HIAA's Grants and Fellowships Committee. To be considered, applications must have all components included and complete, including the letters of recommendation and letter of invitation, if required.

Prize history

2021

Awarded to

Dr. Alya Karame

Research Affiliate, The American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon

Grabar Post-Doctoral Fellowship

The Missing Centuries: Qur’an Manuscripts from the Central and Eastern Islamic Lands, c. 950-1250 CE

This project focuses on a corpus of Qur’an manuscripts and dispersed folios from the Central and Eastern Islamic world dating from c. 950-1250. This period is surprisingly understudied considering the major technical and aesthetic changes in Qur’an manuscripts especially those produced under the Ghaznavids and Ghurids who ruled over lands stretching from eastern Iran to the Indus valley. The project challenges existing epistemological frameworks and geographical biases of the ‘centre-periphery’ model by following three axes of investigation: the circulation of motifs across borders, their translation across media, and the materiality of the Qur’an with the shifting meanings of the manuscript throughout time. Karame identifies over two hundred previously unknown or marginalized manuscripts and orphaned folios written in post-Kufic scripts that demonstrate strong regional schools of calligraphy and potentially challenge our assumptions about the artistic trends of the period. Her commitment to the production of a public-facing, open access digital resource during her Grabar Post-Doc fellowship assures a continued legacy of the project for future scholarship.

Selected by

Ruba Kana‘an (Chair), University of Toronto
Heather Coffey, OCAD University
NancyUm, Binghamton University

2020

Awarded to

Dr. Corinne Mühlemann

Institute for Art History, Department of the History of Textile Arts, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland

Grabar Post-Doctoral Fellowship

"Complex Weaves: Technique, Text, and Cultural History of Striped Silks"

2020

Awarded to

Zohreh Soltani

PhD Candidate, Art History, University of Binghamton, Binghamton, N.Y.

Grabar Travel Award

"The Prison of Time: Tehran's Qasr Prison Museum as a Transfunctional Monument."

For attendance of the annual conference of the College Art Association, 2020

2019

Awarded to

Maria Gomez Lopez

PhD candidate, History of Art, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Grabar Travel Award​

"A Latent Landscape"

This paper is part of panel co-organized by the grantee entitled "Palestine Through its Landscape: Memory, Invention, and Continuity in the Arts."

2018

Awarded to

Maxime Durocher

Grabar Post-Doctoral Fellowship

Zawiyas and Sufis in Medieval Anatolia: Architecture, History, and Settlement Archaeology

2018

Awarded to

Berin Golonu

Grabar Post-Doctoral Fellowship

Structuring Public Leisure Space in Ottoman Cities, from the Late Nineteenth Century to the Present

2018

Awarded to

Erin Nolan

Grabar Post-Doctoral Fellowship

Portrait Atlas: The Circulation of Nineteenth Century Ottoman Photographs

2018

Awarded to

Elizabeth Rauh

Grabar Travel Award

To deliver a paper on ""The Epic of Martyrs: Heroic Imagery and Shi'i Muslim Mythologies in Post-1963 Iraq" at the College Art Association conference, February 2019

2018

Awarded to

Anissa Rahadiningtyas

Grabar Travel Award

To deliver a paper on, “The Elusive Horse Dance and the Discursive Absence of Islam in the History of Modern Art in Indonesia,” at the 2018 HIAA symposium, Yale University

2018

Awarded to

Mikael Muehlbauer

Grabar Travel Award

To deliver a paper on “‘The Canopied Circuit:’ Reconstructing Veils in Medieval Ethiopian Rock-Cut Churches,” at the 20th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies, Mekelle University, Ethiopia

2017

Awarded to

Cailah Jackson

Grabar Post-Doctoral Fellowship

Illuminated Manuscripts of Medieval Anatolia, 1270s-1370s

2017

Awarded to

Naciem Nikkhah

Grabar Travel Award

To deliver a paper on "The Nasir al-Din Shah Album: A Narrative of Collecting from the Mughals to the Qajars" at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the College Art Association, Los Angeles

2017

Awarded to

Vivek Gupta

Grabar Travel Award

To deliver a paper on "Process and Poetics, Past and Present: Historicizing Shahzia Sikander's Disruption as Rapture (2016) at the symposium “Intersections: Visual Cultures of Islamic Cosmopolitanism" at the Dallas Museum of Art

2016

Awarded to

Paulina Banas

Grabar Post-Doctoral Fellowship

Between Artists, Publishers, and Printmakers: Art, Technology and the Marketing of Islamic Egypt in Nineteenth-Century Illustrated Books

2016

Awarded to

Nikolaos Vryzdis

Grabar Post-Doctoral Fellowship

Ottoman Textiles from Monastic Collections

2016

Awarded to

Nancy Demerdash-Fatemi

Grabar Travel Award

To deliver a paper on “Victor Valensi’s L’Habitation Tunisienne (1928): Jewish Perspectives on Pluralist Vernacular Modernities in Tunisia,” at the 50th Annual Meeting of the Middle East Studies Association, Boston

2015

Awarded to

Alexandra Dika Seggerman

Grabar Post-Doctoral Fellowship

Reawakening Modernism: Art in Egypt 1879-1967

2015

Awarded to

Adeline Laclau

Grabar Travel Award

To deliver a paper on “Exchange in the Mamluk Sultanate: Economic and Cultural,” at the Third Annual Conference on Mamluk Studies, Chicago

2014

Awarded to

Anna McSweeney

Grabar Post-Doctoral Fellowship

The Alhambra Cupola at the Museum für Islamische Kunst, Berlin

2014

Awarded to

Emily Neumeier

Grabar Travel Award

To deliver a paper on “Confronting the Baroque in Republican Istanbul,” at the 69th Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, Los Angeles

2014

Awarded to

Natalia Di Pietrantonio

Grabar Travel Award

To deliver a paper on "The visual and social history of Awadhi erotic miniatures with reference to the the 'Ishqnama," at the AAH Conference, University of East Anglia

2013

Awarded to

Ashley Dimmig

Grabar Travel Award

To present a paper on “The European Afterlife of Ottoman Tents,” at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Middle East Studies Association, Washington D.C.

2013

Awarded to

Roland Betancourt

Grabar Travel Award

To chair a two-part session on “The Medium, Before and After Modernism,” at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the College Art Association, Chicago

2012

Awarded to

Peter Christiansen

Grabar Travel Award

To present a paper on “Sketchbook, Spade, Gauge: Archaeology and the Construction of the Ottoman Rail Network, 1869-1919,” at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Society of Architectural Historians, Buffalo

2011

Awarded to

Ayala Lester

Grabar Post-Doctoral Award

Fatimid Jewelry from Palestine

2011

Awarded to

Hala Auji

Grabar Travel Award

To present a paper on “Arabic Books in Flux: The Early Publications of the American Syria Mission (1836-1860),” at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Middle East Studies Association, Denver