Morrisseau Project PhD Fellowship

Application Deadline: 1 February 2020

PhD Program Start: 1 September 2020

Contemporary Indigenous art history in Canada owes a debt to the art and life of Anishinaabe artist Norval Morrisseau, a trail blazer and cultural warrior whose unique visual language has shaped diverse ways of thinking about Indigenous arts today. Under the directorship of Dr. Carmen Robertson, Tier I Canada Research Chair in North American Indigenous Art and Material Culture, the Morrisseau Project (1955-85) at Carleton University is investigating the aesthetic, political, and cultural work of this Anishinaabe artist in order to create a comprehensive understanding of Morrisseau’s art and artistic impact that will enable new ways of analyzing Indigenous artworks and their circulation.

The Morrisseau Project (MP) is currently recruiting a new PhD student to join the Morrisseau Project team and conduct original dissertation research on some aspect of Indigenous art history in Canada or the United States that contributes to conceiving of art through Indigenous ways of knowing. Potential dissertation topics include: Woodland School and Anishinaabe artistic contributions by artists in communities, art galleries or museum collections; contemporary curatorial articulations of Indigenous ways of knowing; the impact of the Woodland School on Indigenous popular culture; theorizing Indigenous histories of art;  building new histories of art inspired by Morrisseau’s entry into the mainstream art world since the 1960s. (Note that our Morrisseau Project focuses particularly on the period from 1955 through 1985.)

In addition to the admissions funding packagetravel bursaries, and awards offered by Carleton University, the MP PhD fellow will be guaranteed the following funding package in Year 1, which will be renewable for up to four years:

  • A scholarship of $500/semester (up to $1,500/year)
  • Two semester-long research assistantships (of 130 hours/semester x $41.70/hour x 2 semesters = $10,842)
  • Up to $1,000 funding for research or conference travel related to the Morrisseau Project

If the PhD student is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, they may also be eligible to receive a $2,000 top-up fellowship from Carleton University in Year 1.

The MP PhD Fellowship is available to students beginning their studies in Fall 2020 in the Cultural Mediations PhD program in Carleton’s Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art and Culture (ICSLAC).  Please contact Dr. Paul Theberge ( for more information about the Cultural Mediations PhD program.

The Morrisseau Project especially encourages Anishinaabe or other Indigenous candidates to apply.

To Apply:

  • Email Dr. Carmen Robertson ( to indicate your interest in the position.
  • Follow the online instructions to apply for the Cultural Mediations program. In the Statement of Intent in the application:
  • Indicate your interest in the Morrisseau Project PhD Fellowship and include the following sentence: “I give permission for the graduate admissions committee to share my application materials and letters of reference with Dr. Carmen Robertson”;
  • Describe your proposed Morrisseau-related dissertation project;
  • Indigenous candidates are invited to self-identify.

The deadline to apply for these PhD programs is 1 February 2020.

For more information please contact Dr. Carmen Robertson (

program start: September 2020