Nicholson Fellowship at Cornell Summer Institute

Applications are invited from full-time graduate students for the Nicholson Graduate Fellowship, which allows two Sponsored Participants selected by the Unit for Criticism to participate in the School of Criticism and Theory (SCT) at Cornell University. We welcome applications from graduate students whose research centers on critical and interpretive theory or the interdisciplinary study of culture and the arts.

General Information 

The Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory has historically offered fellowships for two graduate students to attend the School of Criticism and Theory (SCT) at Cornell University. Currently directed by Hent de Vries, the Paulette Goddard Professor of the Humanities at New York University, the SCT is a six-week summer institute that has existed for more than thirty years and provides the opportunity for graduate students and faculty members to take seminars with some of the world’s leading critical theorists. The SCT provides an unparalleled opportunity for advanced training in critical theory and for making connections with an international cohort of peers and world-class scholars. Under the SCT’s “Sponsored Participant” program, the Unit for Criticism has been able to select two graduate students to send to Cornell. With the help of funds from the Nicholson Gift Fund, LAS, and the Graduate College, the Unit pays for the SCT tuition in full, and also contributes $1,600 for housing, food, and transportation costs. (On campus housing at Cornell costs $1,100, but less expensive options in town are also possible.) The Sponsored Participants chosen by the Unit do not have to go through the SCT application process; they simply file an abbreviated application and are generally guaranteed the seminar of their choice. Congratulations to the winners of the 2022 Nicholson Graduate Fellowships, Debayudh Chatterjee (English) and Soumya Dasgupta (Architecture)! 

See the eligibility criterion for more information, including the application link. For more information about the SCT, including detailed seminar descriptions, see Cornell's School of Criticism and Theory website.


2022 Major Seminars

This summer’s SCT will take place in-person from June 12 - July 21, 2022 and will feature the following four six-week seminars from which participants pick one:

  • Adolph Reed — "Beyond the Race/Class Dichotomy
  • Amy Allen — "Marxism and the Problem of History" 
  • Andrew Cole — "The Dialectic of Space"
  • Dagmar Herzog — "The Third Reich: Critical Controversies"

Want to know more about what SCT could be like for you? Read our past Unit SCT fellows' reflections:


2022 Fellows

Debayudh Chatterjee (English) Reflection

Soumya Dasgupta (Architecture) Reflection

2021 Fellows

Sabrina Lee's (English) Reflection

Joseph Coyle's (Anthropology) Reflection

2019 Fellows

Alana Ackerman's (Anthropology) Reflection

Jamillah R. Gabriel's (Information Science) Reflection

2018 Fellows

Lettycia Terrones's (Information Science and Latina/o Studies) Reflection

Anirban Mukhopadhyay's (Institute of Communications Research) Reflection

2017 Fellows

Eman Ghanayem's (English) Reflection

Peter Thompson's (History) Reflection


Previous Unit SCT Fellows

2016: Jennifer L. Thomas and Daniel F. Johnson Mardones 

2015: Jeffrey Okla Elliot and Roman Friedman

2014: Andrew Santana Kaplan and Brenda Sanya 

2013: Julie McCormick Weng and Brandon Jones 

2012: Ben Bascom and Michael Uhall 

2011: Chase Dimock and Claire Barber 

2010: Ergin Bulut and Austin Riede 

2009: Melissa Free and Zia Gluhbegivic