Peace Studies Ph.D. Students Secure Prestigious Fellowships and Awards

Author: Vaughn, Kevin

In another strong showing from University of Notre Dame students in the doctoral program for peace studies, three Ph.D. students received major fellowships and research awards this spring. The Ph.D. Program in Peace Studies is administered by the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.

“The recognition of our doctoral students and their innovative research through these highly competitive fellowships reflects a primary strength of the Kroc Institute itself. Our Ph.D. students continue to break new ground in peace studies with their incisive, important projects, and we are immensely proud of them,” said Catherine Bolten, director of doctoral studies for the Institute.

Sarah Crane (peace studies and history) was awarded a Fulbright grant from the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board to conduct research in Germany during the 2021-22 academic year. Crane specializes in historical analysis of the Holocaust and the subsequent legal trials. Crane will be spending most of the year at the Fritz Bauer Institute for the History and Impact of the Holocaust as well as the Goethe University Frankfurt. She will research the legal work of German state prosecutors to bring Germans who administered and worked at Auschwitz to trial in the early 1960s, and study will study how legal responses to the crimes of the Holocaust have influenced Holocaust remembrance in Germany and around the world.

“My time at the Kroc Institute has encouraged me to pursue research informed by a contextualized understanding of transitions from violence, and I hope that my time in Germany will help me to engage with the Holocaust as not just a historical event, but also an ever-evolving paradigm of memory,” said Crane. 

Khan Shairani (peace studies and history) has received one of the first fellowships for high-achieving doctoral students from the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study (NDIAS). NDIAS promotes issue-engaged, inclusive, and interdisciplinary study of questions that affect our ability to lead valuable, meaningful lives. Khan’s dissertation project is entitled, "Renewing Muslim Knowledge Traditions: The Search for Authenticity in 18th-century Ottoman and Mughal Empires.”

“The NDIAS fellowship offers me a valuable space for interdisciplinary engagement around the theme of resilience,” said Shairani.“ Resilience of individuals and institutions is an enduring and invaluable thread both for my research on colonialism and its aftermaths, as well as for others joining the Institute for Advanced Study focusing on racial injustice and climate change. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow through interdisciplinary conversations, and hope to build connections that offer glimmers towards a more resilient future.” 

The pandemic brought a variety of challenges for Carli Steelman (peace studies and sociology) and her global research on state-crafted narratives of conflict through memorialization and public commemorations. To adapt, Steelman relied on the innovative use of GPS data and sociological methodology to study various European sites. As an acknowledgement of this innovative work, the Nanovic Institute for European Studies granted Steelman a Paul G. Tobin Dissertation Fellowship for her project entitled “Making Murders and Martyrs: A Spatial Analysis of Collective Memory of Violence.” 

“The Nanovic Institute has supported my research since I arrived on campus in 2016,” she said. “With their continued support I will be able to complete a rigorous, data-driven dissertation that interrogates the spatial distribution of memorialization.”

Additional awards received by peace studies doctoral students this spring include:

  • Angela Chesler (peace studies and political science), Summer Travel and Research Grant, Nanovic Institute for European Studies; Research Grant, Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies;
  • Sarah Crane (peace studies and history), Summer Travel and Research Grant, Nanovic Institute for European Studies;
  • Joséphine Lechartre (peace studies and political science), Travel and Research Grant, Kellogg Institute for International Studies;
  • Sehrazat Mart (peace studies and sociology), Outstanding Graduate Student Teacher Award, Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning;
  • Amaryst Parks (peace studies and sociology), National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship;
  • Khan Shairani (peace studies and history), Summer Travel and Research Grant, Nanovic Institute for European Studies; and
  • Flora Tang (peace studies and theology), Graduate School Professional Development Award (Downes Memorial Fund).

Learn more about the Peace Studies Ph.D. program at You can also read a Q&A with Amaryst Parks

Contact: Kevin Vaughn, assistant director for doctoral studies, 

Originally published by Vaughn, Kevin at on June 02, 2021.