Call for Applications: University of Chicago/Getty Traveling Seminar in Chinese Art History

All day
Through January 18, 2019

Dec. 7

Application deadline:

04:59 pm on January 18, 2019 (Chicago time, CST)

Traveling Seminar Dates:

July 22 – August 10, 2019

Traveling Seminar Location:

Various Sites in China, including Xi’an and Dunhuang


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

This traveling seminar, affiliated with the University of Chicago//Getty Dissertation Workshops in Chinese Art History, will provide a unique opportunity for graduate students at a formative stage of their studies in Asian art history to be exposed to new materials, objects, and sites; to learn to conduct research in situ; to explore possible dissertation topics; and to meet and exchange ideas with local students, scholars, curators, and officials. The program as a whole 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.

Taught by University of Chicago Associate Professor of Art History Wei-Cheng Lin, the traveling seminar, From Xi’an to Dunhuang: Following Buddhist Traces in Medieval China will take place entirely in China from July 22 – August 10, 2019 (travel to/from China on July 20 and August 11). English will be the primary teaching language of the traveling seminar, but ideally, all applicants should be able to communicate in both English and Mandarin. The traveling seminar will consist of two parts: visiting sites of investigation in Xi’an and on the way to Dunhuang in the first two weeks; and an extended stay in Dunhuang for visits to major cave sites in the area, lectures, and meetings at the Dunhuang Research Academy in the third week.



The majority of Buddhist traces in medieval China are found in the region along the ancient Silk Road between the Tang capital city, today’s Xi’an, and the world-renowned Buddhist rock-cut cave site, Dunhuang. The surviving traces include Buddhist caves, monasteries, pagodas, tombs, and underground relic crypts. Many of the sites are well known and worth a revisit, while many others still await more scholarly attention and study. The three-week traveling seminar provides an opportunity for participants to investigate these Buddhist sites collectively, as well as artworks uncovered from them, tracing and mapping their historical, cultural, religious, and geographical relations, while studying their diverse artistic productions in different media (murals, sculptures, architecture), materials, and scales across different periods and regions. Guest speakers, including renowned Chinese scholars and local experts, will be invited to join each of the two parts of the three-week seminar in Xi’an and Dunhuang. Participants will also be asked to share their work and exchange ideas with scholars and students from local universities and research institutions.



Applications for the University of Chicago/Getty Traveling Seminar in Chinese Art History are due via email to by 04:59 pm on Thursday, January 18, 2019 (Chicago time, CST). Award notifications will be sent in late January. Applicants may be interviewed via Skype.



  • The seminar will be limited to 15 doctoral students from North American, European, and Chinese universities. While preference will be given to specialists in Asian art, this course will also be open to those in related fields of art history and to those explicitly specializing in material and visual culture in programs in East Asian Languages and Civilizations.
  • Fluency in English is required, and an advanced level of Mandarin is also preferred.
  • Students must still be in the coursework phase of their graduate program. Students beyond coursework are not eligible.
  • Students not enrolled at the University of Chicago will either audit the class informally or make arrangements with their graduate programs, facilitated by the seminar instructor, to have the class accepted for credit at their home institutions.



Roundtrip airfare or trains, shared lodging, shared meals, local transportation, and site admissions will be organized and fully funded by the 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.



Please note: Application materials may be shared with the Getty Foundation as part of the review and selection process. All application documents should be in English.

  1. Application form (attached)
  2. Statement describing your research interests, academic background, and why the traveling seminar is of interest (500-word maximum)
  3. CV
  4. Letter of recommendation from your advisor (letter should be sent directly to from the letter writer or department administrator)
  5. Letter of support from your home department indicating that you are a student in good academic standing, have the appropriate language proficiencies, have not yet fulfilled your program’s coursework requirements, and confirming whether the traveling seminar course may be considered for credit toward your coursework requirement (letter should be sent directly to from the letter writer or department administrator)



芝加哥大学/盖蒂基金会中国艺术史游学研讨班 招生启事



申请截止日期:2019年1月18日(04:59 pm, CST 美国中部时间)