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2018 Garden and Landscape Studies Graduate Workshop

Dumbarton Oaks
May 13  –  June 2, 2018

To develop the field of garden and landscape studies across different disciplines and to promote the depth and breadth of future landscape scholarship, Dumbarton Oaks, with the support of the Mellon Initiative in Urban Landscape Studies and in collaboration with the Center for Cultural Landscapes at the University of Virginia, will offer an intensive three-week Garden and Landscape Studies Graduate Workshop from May 13 to June 2, 2018.

Workshop Offerings

Bringing together early-career scholars and practitioners who are pursuing cross-disciplinary research on landscape-related topics, the workshop will focus on key issues and texts in landscape history and theory, situating garden and landscape design in the context of humanities scholarship: from the idea of the Three Natures to the ecological challenges of the Anthropocene and the discourse of landscape urbanism. Special emphasis will be laid on the study of urban landscapes.

Participants, typically doctoral candidates in early or advanced stages of writing dissertations and current MLA candidates or recent recipients of MLA degrees, will be invited to share among themselves selected aspects of their work; these morning presentations will be supplemented by afternoon seminars led by Dumbarton Oaks staff and invited scholars.

The program will also include two study sessions in the Rare Books Library at Dumbarton Oaks, site visits in the Washington metropolitan area (including Mount Vernon and the National Mall), and a three-day stay in Charlottesville, VA, with a visit to Richmond and James Madison’s Montpelier to explore the racial geographies of Virginia. During their residency at Dumbarton Oaks, workshop’s participants will have access to the institute’s library resources and its celebrated gardens.   

Accommodation and Costs

Dumbarton Oaks will provide accommodation in Washington, DC, reimbursement of round trip economy-class travel expenses to Washington, DC (up to $1,600 for international travel, $1,000 for domestic travel), lunches on weekdays, and transportation to and lodging in Charlottesville, VA.

Application Procedure

Prospective candidates are required to submit a letter of interest, a five-hundred-word abstract of the dissertation (in the case of MLA holders and students, a statement of research interests that would demonstrate a developed research agenda), and a current CV. All materials should be emailed in a single PDF file to and received by Friday, March 16, 2018; please write “2018 Graduate Workshop” in the subject line. Two letters of recommendation should be emailed directly by referees to

International candidates are eligible to apply; however, Dumbarton Oaks does not sponsor J visas for this program. Any geographical or chronological focus is welcome, including projects dealing specifically with urban subjects. For further information, please contact

Read about one student's experience here.

Hammocks in Governors Island Park, New York City, designed by West 8. Photo: Anatole Tchikine.