Dissertation Futures (Monday, Mar 27th @ 1230pm – 2pm ONLINE)

CUNY Graduate Center doctoral students are known for pushing the boundaries of what a dissertation could be and alumni often speak to the value of doing scholarship in alternative, digital formats. Some examples of GC alumni’s dissertations include Gregory T. Donovan’s MyDigitalFootprint.ORG, Christina Katapodis’ The Walden Soundscape, Jessie Merandy’s Vanishing Leaves, and Kalle Westerling’s Gayboys and Playboys. Inspired by these examples and past conversations from Futures Initiative’s #remixthediss event in 2014, we revisit questions such as, How do these projects begin? What are the options and the requirements? And how can students continue to do innovative work that pushes the boundaries of scholarly research and publication without increasing time to degree?

Reconsidering the future of the doctoral degree requires us to re-evaluate the role of the dissertation as a means of preparing and evaluating students, and the GC Digital Fellows have been working to revitalize, extend, and refocus the resources available to GC students, faculty and staff who are interested in reimagining what it means to produce the culminating scholarly product for a doctoral degree.

Join the GC Digital Fellows and four guest speakers online on Monday, March 27, 2023 at 12:30 – 2:00 PM for Dissertation Futures – a conversation about the future of the dissertation as digital scholarship. What are the possibilities? the challenges? the options?

With thanks to the PublicsLab and the English program for their generous support, Dissertation Futures will feature speakers with deep experience producing, advising, and theorizing alternative and/or digital dissertations. We will learn from their experience and consider what the future of digital dissertations can look like at the GC and the wider CUNY community.

At the event, we will also share our forthcoming GC Digital Dissertations Resource Guide, which will include podcast episodes, links to resources, advice, and much more.

Roundtable Speakers

Dr. Kathleen Fitzpatrick is the Director of Digital Humanities and Professor of English at Michigan State University. She has written extensively about the future of academic publishing, including addressing key social and institutional issues to ensure that scholarly communication remains relevant in the digital future and establishing the Humanities Commons.

Dr. Marisa Parham is a Professor of English and Digital Studies at the University of Maryland at College Park, where she directs the African American Digital and Experimental Humanities initiative (AADHUM), and is associate director for the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH). As the current chair of the ACLS Commission on Fostering and Sustaining Diverse Digital Scholarship, she is leading discussions on systems and institutional change in providing  equitable access to the creation and sustainability of digital resources and projects related to social and racial justice.

Dr. Kay Sohini is a comics maker based in New York. She has a PhD from Stony Brook University, where she drew her doctoral dissertation, “Drawing Unbelonging,” as a comic. The project was supported by a generous grant from the Mellon Foundation and the American Council of Learned Society. In both her creative and academic work, Kay focuses on how comics can be utilized by scholars and artists alike in healthcare justice, in environmental humanities, in resisting disinformation, and in espousing an equitable future for all. Her debut graphic memoir Unbelonging is slated to be published by Penn State University Press in Fall 2023.

Dr. Zoe LeBlanc is an Assistant Professor at the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois. She currently serves on the editorial board of the Programming Historian and the executive committee of the Association for Computers and the Humanities. Her dissertation was the first digital history dissertation at Vanderbilt, and she used computational methods to analyze archival sources and craft historical arguments.

Join us!

Please join us on Monday, March 27th at 12:30 PM, in this discussion on the future of dissertations. Students and advisors at all stages of the doctoral degree are encouraged to attend. Register here for the Zoom event link and please do submit questions in advance to help us better tailor the roundtable discussion to the community’s interest.