2014-15 UC San Diego Center for the Humanities
Dissertation Writing Workshop Fellows Call for Applications

The Dissertation Writing Workshop opportunity provides support to UC San Diego PhD candidates engaged in humanities-based work (broadly defined) in the completion of the dissertation. Funding for this program comes from the Division of Social Sciences Dean’s Office and the Center for the Humanities.

About the Workshop

The dissertation writing workshop will have several goals. The most immediate will be peer and instructor feedback on the dissertation chapters presented by the members. The feedback will address character and quality of the chapter’s argument, the use of sources, and the art of persuasion. Discussion will also focus on how the chapter fits into the overall thesis and how to develop the chapter and the thesis for publication. More broadly, the workshop will provide an interdisciplinary setting that will offer valuable insights into each participant’s work and help the writer see his or her topic in a broader scholarly and intellectual context. Finally, the workshop will also provide a structure that should aid in the completion of the dissertation.

The workshop will be led by Stanley Chodorow, professor emeritus of history. Professor Chodorow has taught similar writing workshops in the Department of History and has extensive interdisciplinary experience through work in the colleges, the division, and the university.

Structure of the Workshop

The workshop will meet during Winter and Spring quarters every two or three weeks. There will be an introductory and organizational meeting in the Fall quarter. The workshop will focus on chapters submitted by student members. The presenter will distribute the chapter electronically one week before the meeting to allow readers time to comment. The meetings last two to two-and-one-half hours.

All members of the workshop critique the chapter presented. The instructor will participate in the discussion and give the presenter a detailed, careful critique of the chapter from the workshop instructor. This general commentary will include the clarity and coherence of the thesis of the chapter, the way the chapter relates to the dissertation as a whole, the quality and order of the argument, the use of sources, the art of persuasion as it applies to what the writer has done, the way the issues discussed or raised relate to prior scholarship on the subject, and other general issues that affect the quality of the work. It will also try to characterize the strengths, weaknesses, tics, and other habits of the writer in order to improve the writer’s ability to edit and revise his or her own work.

Eligibilty and Stipend

Graduate students from the humanities and humanistically-oriented social sciences who are in the writing stage of their dissertations are eligible. The workshop will be oriented toward those who rely on archival, literary, artistic, or survey sources. Participation will be limited to eight graduate students. Students should be registered in the dissertation writing class of their home discipline.

Workshop participants will receive $1,500 in research funds that can be used for research-related expenses or travel. Fellows will also have the opportunity to participate in professional development workshops put on by the Center for the Humanities and a writing seminar with Faculty Fellows.

Application Guidelines

Applications are due Monday, April 18. Send applications by email or campus mail to the Center for the Humanities Program Administrator, Victoria Gerginis-Mellos (vgerginismellos@ucsd.edu, campus mail code 0406). Upon receipt, you will receive a confirmation email.

A complete application should include the following three items:

Dissertation Prospectus (800 words). The prospectus should include the following:
• State the research question and the argument of the dissertation, sources (archival, field work, etc.), and methodologies deployed,
• Discuss the project’s significance and contribution to current scholarship and/or arts practice,
• Include a timetable and work plan for completion,
• Specify the chapter you wish to share in an interdisciplinary writing workshop, and the importance of interdisciplinary feedback for this chapter.

Curriculum vitae (as a separate document)

Letter of support from dissertation chair or faculty mentor (can be sent directly to vgerginismellos@ucsd.edu).


Contact Sarah McCullough, Associate Director at the Center for the Humanities, at smcc@ucsd.edu or 858-822-0131.