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College of Arts and Letters | Michigan State University

Pre-Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship Award in American Indian Studies


The fellowship award provides office space, access to Michigan State University's outstanding library and computing facilities and to the faculty involved in the American Indian Studies Program, benefits for the year, and a substantial stipend. Applicants must be finished with all doctoral work but the dissertation, actively working in American Indian Studies, and committed to a career in Native Studies. It is expected that the Fellow will complete the dissertation during the award year.  Applicants may be pursuing the Ph.D. degree in any discipline or area offered at Michigan State University. The successful applicant will be required to teach one course and will affiliate with a department or program in one of the university's colleges, as well as participate in activities of the American Indian Studies Program. 

The Fellow must reside in the East Lansing, Michigan area for the duration of the fellowship.

Award Period:  MSU Fiscal Year, July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015

Application Deadline:  February 28, 2014

Award Amount: $38,000

Application Requirements:

  • Complete contact information, including e-mail, phone, and address

  • Cover letter detailing background, coursework, training and future plans in American Indian Studies, including any work with Native groups, organizations, or communities.

  • Curriculum Vita

  • 5 to 10 page dissertation proposal

  • Undergraduate and graduate transcripts

  • 3 letters of support from faculty on doctoral committee; one should be from your chair, indicating your ability to complete the dissertation by the end of the award period.

Applications should be sent to: 

Dr. Le Anne Silvey

552 W. Circle Drive, 13D Human Ecology

East Lansing, MI 48824


Questions should be sent to:

Dr. Le Anne Silvey



Previous Pre-Doctoral Fellows:

Chelsea Mead (2012-2013) is a doctoral candidate in history from Arizona State University. Her dissertation is a relational history of Anishinaabemowin language programs in the Midwest.  Focusing on Bemidji State University, University of Michigan and a number of other language programs, she examines how relationships between individuals, communities and establishments help foster, challenge or threatens the success of Anishinaabemowin language revitalization and programs in higher educational institutions.  She has also studied Applied Linguistics, Anthropology and Global Indigenous Studies.  During the spring term 2013, she taught Anthropology 433: Modern Indian Communities.  She has accepted a tenure-track position in Anthropology and American Indian Studies at Minnesota State University-Mankato.

Camie Augustus (2010-2011) is a doctoral candidate in history from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. Her dissertation is a comparative history of the intersection between law and the identity of mixed-ancestry Natives in Canada, the U.S., and Australia. Focusing on the late 19th and early 20th centuries, she examines the ways in which law attempted to define and redefine Aboriginal people of mixed ancestry through a process of racial categorization. She actively works in Aboriginal land claims in Canada and also has a special interest in Aboriginal education and curriculum development. Although Canada is her geographic specialty, she has also studied indigenous issues in the U.S., Latin America, and Australia – a scope which ties in with her emphasis on international and comparative histories. During the spring 2011 term, she taught a section of IAH 211C, “The Americas: Indigenous Peoples, Identity, and History.”

Angela Parker (2009-2010) is an enrolled member of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation (Mandan, Hidatsa) and also participates at her father's reservation, Rocky Boy (Cree).  As a doctoral candidate at the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, her research interests focused on Northern Plains tribes and the lived experience of the federal-tribal relationship during the Reservation Era (1880s-1934).  Her dissertation project examines the years from the Indian Reorganization Act to the early 1960s on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, when the Fort Berthold community lost the central portion of their land base due to a massive dam built by the US Corps of Engineers.  During Spring Semester she will be teaching Contemporary Native American History in the History Department.

Christina Stanciu (2008-2009) Cristina Stanciu teaches at the University of Illinois and is Assistant Acquisitions Editor at the University of Illinois Press. In 2009, Cristina was awarded The Association for the Study of American Indian Literatures (ASAIL) Emerging Scholars Professional Development Fellowship.

Chantal Norrgard (2007-2008) was awarded a two year post-doctoral fellowship in History at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Jill Doerfler (2006-2007) accepted a tenure stream position as an assistant professor in American Indian Studies at University of Minnesota Duluth.  She postponed that appointment for one year to accept a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Robert Innes (2005-2006) accepted a tenure stream position as an assistant professor in Native Studies at University of Saskatchewan, beginning in fall of 2006. 

Wendy Geniusz (2004-2005) spent the year following her fellowship at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, as the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellow in Native American Studies and Educational Studies.  She is currently the Director of American Indian Studies at University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire.

Cathleen Cahill (2003-04) accepted a tenure stream position in History at University of New Mexico following her pre-doctoral fellowship year.

Brian Klopotek (2002-03) began a tenure stream position in Ethnic Studies at University of Oregon following his fellowship year.  He received the American Studies Association award for best dissertation of 2004.

JoAnne DiNova (2001-2002) became a tenure stream assistant professor in Professional Communication at Ryerson University in Toronto in 2007.

Mindy Morgan and John Norder (2000-2001) both accepted tenure stream positions as assistant professors of Anthropology at Michigan State University following their pre-doctoral year.