Additional Notes for Applicants for Garden and Landscape Studies Fellowships
In selecting fellows, the Garden and Landscape Studies program at Dumbarton Oaks seeks a balance between historical research and investigations of current practice, between inquiries at the scale of the garden and those addressing larger landscapes. The program invites consideration of all aspects of this interdisciplinary and international field: agricultural, architectural, art historical, botanical, cultural, ecological, economic, geographical, horticultural, social, and technological. Applicants are encouraged to consider topics from a variety of perspectives, including design, patronage, iconography, ideology, reception, preservation, landscape performance, and user experience; and using methods from other relevant fields of the humanities (art history and criticism, literary studies, philosophy) and of the social sciences (social history, cultural geography, cultural studies, social anthropology). Complementing a traditional focus on garden history, the program invites research into the impact of current environmental conditions-accelerated global urbanization and climate change, for example-on contemporary design. Whatever their topics or methods, however, all research proposals will be considered and evaluated on their own merits.
Applicants may want to consider the suitability of their proposals to the resources available at Dumbarton Oaks and in Washington. The Garden Library Rare Book Collection is especially rich in American and European materials on architecture, botany, horticulture and all aspects of garden design, as well as in selected Chinese and Japanese texts; holdings include books, but also drawings, manuscripts and prints. The reference collection has a wider scope, collecting material on garden and landscape architecture throughout the world, together with some works in social history, anthropology, geography, and iconography, including a fast-growing collection of Asian publications relevant to recent research conducted at Dumbarton Oaks. The Contemporary Landscape Design Collection includes primary materials on approximately two dozen landscape designers and artists. It is customary for topics to be geared to the availability of materials in the Dumbarton Oaks collections, but fellows are encouraged to use the resources of other specialist libraries and collections in Washington.
Fellowships have been awarded in the past to scholars from all over the world and from a wide array of disciplines. The range of topics can be assessed from the list of current and former fellows in Garden and Landscape Studies; however, applicants are encouraged to develop proposals independent of precedent.