Call for Applications: UChicago/Getty Dissertation Workshop in Chinese Art History August 2020

October 10, 2019

The Department of Art History at the University of Chicago is seeking applications from doctoral students in Chinese art history from North America, Europe, and Asia for the fourth University of Chicago/Getty Dissertation Workshop in Chinese Art History, funded by the Getty Foundation as part of its “Connecting Art Histories” initiative.

This is the last of four 12-day workshops hosted biannually on the University of Chicago campus and at the University’s Center in Beijing during the 2018/19 and 2019/20 academic years. The program seeks to nurture a generation of historians of Chinese art across historical eras and media in an intellectual environment that crosses continental, cultural, and disciplinary boundaries. To that end, the workshops provide an opportunity for advanced graduate students in Chinese art history from different institutions and countries to share their dissertation projects, discuss different methodologies and scholarships, hone their research and writing skills, and connect with senior experts in the field. The workshops will entail presentations of dissertation projects; intense discussion of their content, purpose, and method; and explorations of the state of the field, key texts, and research methods. Related programming for the workshops will include visits to museums, exhibitions, archives, architectural sites, private collections, and/or other art spaces. There will also be time for students to pursue specific, individual dissertation research in local libraries, archives, and collections. The cohort emerging from each workshop is encouraged to cultivate ongoing exchange and collaborations. Each workshop will be led by one senior Chinese art historian. Additional Chinese art specialists will be invited for each workshop to present on selected topics and provide additional feedback on participants’ dissertations. 

Led by Wu Hung, Harrie A. Vanderstappen Distinguished Service Professor of Art History at the University of Chicago, the fourth University of Chicago/Getty Dissertation Workshop in Chinese Art History will take place at the University of Chicago Center in Beijing from August 1-13, 2020 (with travel to/from Beijing on July 30/31 and August 14). The distinct global profile of the University of Chicago’s Center in Beijing provides opportunities for fertile scholarly connections for workshop participants based outside of Beijing by taking full advantage of Beijing’s art collections and curatorial staff at area museums, and providing opportunities to interact with several scholars in varied fields of Chinese studies at local universities. Student participants should have ABD (All But Dissertation) status, or equivalent, and be in the research or early writing phase of their doctoral work at the time of the workshop. All participant dissertation proposals will be circulated for close reading by the other participants before the workshop begins. During the workshop, participants will be asked to comment on each other’s projects that may include a range of perhaps unfamiliar topics, consider and test divergent methodologies, and think critically about their projects in historical and historiographical terms. Following the workshop, participants will be asked to revise their dissertation proposals based on the comments they received and other related discussions during the workshop. Mandarin will be the primary teaching language of this workshop, but ideally, all workshop participants should be able to communicate in both English and Mandarin.


Applications for the fourth University of Chicago/Getty Dissertation Workshop in Chinese Art History are due via email to by 11:59 pm on Monday, December 16, 2019 (Chicago time, CST). Award notifications will be sent in late January. Application materials may be shared with the Getty Foundation as part of the review and selection process, and applicants may be interviewed via Skype.


  • Student applicants should specialize in any area of Chinese art history or visual and material culture.
  • Applicants should have ABD (All But Dissertation status), or equivalent, at the time of application, and be in the research or early writing phase of their dissertation work.
  • Fluency in Mandarin is required, and an advanced level of English is also preferred.
  • Students who have participated (or will participate) in a Getty workshop at either the University of Chicago or at Heidelberg University are ineligible.


Roundtrip airfare or trains, shared lodging, shared meals, local transportation, and site admissions will be organized and fully funded by the University of Chicago Department of Art History and the Getty Foundation. Participants are responsible for securing necessary visas, and related visa fees will be reimbursed upon request to the department. Each student will also receive a $50 allowance toward book purchases.


Please note: All application materials should be organized numerically as separate documents according to the list below. The writing sample may be in either English or Mandarin, but all other documents must be in English.

  1. Application form (please click here)
  2. Statement of Interest explaining the value of this workshop for your future scholarship and career path, nothing how your research and previous experience would contribute to the objectives of the workshop (2-page maximum)
  3. Statement of dissertation work completed thus far and schedule of work to be completed after the workshop (2-page maximum)
  4. Dissertation proposal composed in narrative form, not outline (2-page maximum)
  5. One writing sample that could be a dissertation chapter, a published essay, or a polished seminar paper
  6. CV (including grants received and their sources, foreign language competence, teaching experience, any past museum/gallery experience)
  7. Two recommendation letters; one from your advisor and one from another member of your dissertation committee (letters should be sent directly to from the letter writer or department administrator)
  8. Letter of support from your home department indicating that you are a student in good academic standing and have the appropriate language proficiencies (letter should be sent directly to from the letter writer or department administrator)

For Chinese version, please click here.