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Future of Dissertations

To reconsider the future of the doctoral degree requires us to re-evaluate the role of the dissertation as a means of preparing and evaluating students. GC Digital Fellows and four guest speakers converse about the future of the dissertation as digital scholarship. What are the possibilities? the challenges? the options? The event will feature speakers who have completed non-traditional and/or digital dissertations and faculty mentors of such dissertations. This program is supported with funding from the PublicsLab and the English department.

This online event will take place on Monday, March 27, 2023 from 12:30 PM to 2 PM EST.

Recorded livestream:

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.

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