Digital Dissertations

Public Group active 2 weeks ago

Digital Dissertations

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Welcome and Introductions

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    A.L. McMichael

    Please introduce yourself and let us know what your interests are in terms of digital dissertations.

    A.L. McMichael

    Hi, I’m Alice Lynn, a candidate in Byzantine art history. I’m interested in creating a database and online catalog of images as part of my dissertation. You can find my related New Media Lab website here:


    Hi All — I’m Matt Gold, and I work in various capacities at the Graduate Center on a range of digital initiatives. Most importantly with regard to digital dissertations, I serve as Advisor to the Provost for Master’s Programs and Digital Initiatives, and — in association with the Provost’s Office, the New Media Lab, and colleagues at the GC like Steve Brier, Josh Brown, Andrea Vasquez, and Polly Thistlewaite (among others) — I’m very much interested in supporting GC students who are exploring new digital forms for their work (be they digital in whole or in part). My homepage is here – and I’m @mkgold on twitter.

    At the GC and at CUNY more broadly, we’re exploring the possibility of building a much-needed open-access repository for scholarship, and many of us are adamant that such a repository support digital scholarly work in native digital forms. That repository, in its final form, is likely to involve the CUNY Academic Commons, so it’s particularly great that we’re using this forum to explore this issue.

    Of course, we’re not alone in looking at new forms for the dissertation; this was a topic discussed with some frequency at the 2013 Modern Language Association convention in panels on graduate education, and there is also an NEH Start-Up Grant on the issue:

    — Building an Open-Source Archive for Born-Digital Dissertations (related lightning talk – )

    At any rate, I’m very much looking forward to the discussions of this group. Thanks to Alice Lynn for starting it.

    Amy Ballmer

    Hi, I’m Amy Ballmer and I’m a librarian at the Graduate Center. Happy to be part of this group! My interest in digital dissertations is mostly with discovery – how can researchers (and librarians) direct people to these resources and how can students best deposit dissertations that involve more than words on the printed page.

    Steve Brier

    Hi. Delighted this group is up and running. I’m the founder and coordinator of the GC’s Interactive Technology & Pedagogy certificate program, co-founder and co-director of the New Media Lab, and also the college’s Senior Academic Technology Officer. In that position I am, among other things, a faculty advocate for doctoral students interested in incorporating digital media into their doctoral dissertation research and presentations. I work closely with Matt Gold and folks in the library to facilitate these possibilities and stand ready to work with any student who needs academic and administrative support in convincing his or her dissertation advisor and/or members of the dissertation committee or the Executive Officer that it is appropriate (even desirable) for dissertations to have a digital dimension.

    Jared Simard

    Hi Everyone. I’m in the Classics program at the GC. I first got involved with digital projects and digital humanities through the ITP Certificate Program and then through the NML. My first on-going project is Mapping Mythology (, a digital collection of classical mythology in post-antique art. For my dissertation, I’m interested in creating a digital resource that will house and allow for greater exploration of the mythological iconography of certain environments in NYC. I think one thing this group can help address is how the auto-publishing of dissertations may/will affect the digital components, if they are envisioned as ongoing research projects and open-source. I think a student can embargo the publishing, but only for so long.

    Stephen Klein

    Hi Everyone. I am a librarian at the GC and have been having discussions with folks around the building and with Proquest our ETD Admin (vendor who students submit with) to prepare and facilitate for the ingestion of the first borne digital dissertation fromGC students.


    Hi, All, I’m the Chief Librarian at the CUNY Graduate Center. Our Library supports graduate work up to and including dissertation projects. We administer the deposit of GC theses and dissertations; Judy Waldman, the Dissertation Assistant, is a member of the library staff. The Library currently accepts a print copy of all deposits. We contract with the ProQuest Company, also the primary indexer of North American dissertations, to accept our dissertations (up to now exclusively in PDF format) and and supplemental files. More info about the deposit process is here . We’re eager to encounter digital theses in more thoroughly digital formats, and we look forward to working with this group to transform scholarly publishing in the academy.

    Amanda Licastro

    Hi, I am in my third year of the English PhD program studying the relationship between technology and writing. I am interested in bringing the digital into each stage of the dissertation process; crowdsourcing reading lists, using digital tools to manage research, experimenting with digital humanities research methodologies, composing in a public facing blog with open peer review and collaborative writing practices, and ultimately creating a public-facing digital component that is useful to a wide audience (which many of you are doing!). Sorry I am late to the discussion, but I hope to catch up and learn from the collective wisdom. Thanks!


    Hi everyone,

    I just discovered this Group listing in Fall 2013 and I’m hoping it will be active again this coming academic year.

    I’m in my fifth year in the GC Anthropology department and I’m interested in processes of documentation and representation in human rights/social justice activism, particularly digital archiving projects and mapping/visualization projects in the aftermath of state violence.

    Since I’ll be looking at what some human rights groups have done with digital documentation as part of my dissertation research, I also want to offer a digital resource as part of the end result of what I do, preferably a publicly available one designed for a broad audience. I’m still figuring out what that might look like and hope to develop a clearer vision for it over the upcoming academic year as I begin my research.

    I spent a while building databases and information management systems in nonprofit and media organizations before coming back to graduate school and so I’m very excited by the growth in digital-interests activity at the GC over the past few years — it’s exciting to be able to better combine my interests in technology and my interests in social science and I see more and more great models around the GC for ways of doing this!
    I’m looking forward to hearing more about the projects of the people in this group.



    Welcome, Rachel! Yes, I think we can all agree that we need to have this
    group be active in the coming year — looking forward to hearing more about
    your project.

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