Celebrating the Tenth Anniversary of the Graduate Certificate in Early Modern Studies

Published: August 18, 2023

UCLA offers a number of certificate programs for graduate students, which are interdisciplinary in nature and draw upon the strengths of faculty and their research specializations. These programs are designed to provide additional advanced training in emerging fields of research and knowledge.

One such program is the Graduate Certificate in Early Modern Studies, administered by the Center for 17th– & 18th-Century Studies. Now in its tenth year, our program offers opportunities for students to explore the increasingly transnational and interdisciplinary nature of early modern studies. The small cohort of students accepted into the program each year complement their training in traditional disciplines with specially designated comparative courses taught by Center & Clark Core Faculty.

In addition to gaining a certificate for completion of this coursework, students in the program are invited to attend and participate in academic programming at the Clark Library, and to write responses to affiliated conferences and lectures. The Center & Clark’s most recent conference, “From Bodies to Things: The Commodification of Human Life in the Early Modern Atlantic,” featured certificate program student Elizabeth Landers (History) as a session chair. A thoughtful response to this conference written by another current student, Rebecca Smith (Comparative Literature), can also be found in Latest News.

Additionally, graduate students in the certificate program have access to unique fellowship and mentoring opportunities. The competitive Summer Mentorship, available only to students in the  program who have completed certain requirements, provides financial support (currently a $6,000 award) to complete the program’s required 25-page paper on an early modern studies topic of interdisciplinary breadth. Students work with a faculty mentor to develop their paper for presentation at an academic conference or for potential publication, and are required to publicly present their research with their mentor in attendance following the completion of their mentorship.

To date, the Center has awarded 30 Summer Mentorships totaling over $155,000 in funding to students in the Graduate Certificate in Early Modern Studies. We invite you to help support this innovative graduate student research at the Center & Clark by contributing at our dedicated giving webpage.

We are pleased to announce the 2023-24 Summer Mentorship awardees:

Rachel Schloss (Archaeology): “The Meaning of Tapial: An Earthen Architectural Study of Early Modern Andalusia.” Rachel is mentored by Professor Stella Nair (Art History).

Chase Caldwell Smith (History): “Saltwater Catholicisms: Forging Seventeenth-Century Transpacific Networks of the Sacred Between Mexico and Maritime Southeast Asia.” Chase is mentored by Professor Kevin Terraciano (History).

Rebecca Smith (Comparative Literature): Project on the stench of blood in four 16th- century histories in Spanish and Nahuatl. Rebecca is mentored by Professor Barbara Fuchs (Spanish & Portuguese and English).

We also welcome the 2023-24 cohort of the Graduate Certificate in Early Modern Studies, who will be starting the program in the Fall:

Sunhui Choi (Art History)
Diana Echeverria Palencia (English)
Earl John Hernandez (Archaeology)
Adela McKay (Spanish & Portuguese)
Sarah Ortiz-Monasterio (Art History)
Sylvia Qiu (Art History)
Gabriel Silva Collins (Archaeology)

-Jeanette LaVere, Manager of Programs & Development