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Media Studies Graduate Working Groups

The Media Studies Initiative invites applications for Dissertation Writing Groups, generously funded by the Office of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.  These competitive grants will encourage supportive and critical discussion of materials related to the A-exam, dissertation prospecti, and drafts of dissertation chapters in any graduate field.

The funds will provide support for small groups of interdisciplinary graduate students to convene regularly to discuss collaboratively scholarship in the field of media studies, share drafts of dissertation chapters and to discuss research and writing strategies for approaches to the group’s common interdisciplinary focus.  The selected groups of graduate students will meet throughout the 2018-19 academic year.

Grants of $1200 will be made available to groups of 4-5 participants who can demonstrate that their research interests productively converge.  These groups would include students working in at least two different graduate fields or groups within a single field whose research lends an interdisciplinary approach to their fields.  The use of these funds will be flexible, from copying and dinner/refreshments to financial support for special research materials or trips to be shared by the group.

Applications should include a schedule of meetings (roughly one every 2-3 weeks) to be held in the course of the academic year, which would necessarily include regular circulation to the group of chapters-in-progress, or of secondary readings, by each member.  Such sessions should offer substantive response and discussion by the group of each individual chapter.  If the groups consist of students who have very recently passed the A-Exam, their sessions could be focused on penning a prospectus.

Application Guidelines

Applications for Media Studies Graduate Working Groups should be submitted by one member who will assume organizational responsibility for an additional stipend.  Each writing group should consist of a minimum of four members (with no more than five). Groups should be prepared to convene by September 1, 2018.

Applicants should submit the following materials electronically, preferably in one pdf file:

  1. A dissertation writing group title and statement of no more than 750 words describing a rationale for linking the work of participants from different disciplines or disciplinary perspectives. The statement should show how each participant’s perspective would contribute to elaborating and enriching a common context for writing.
  2. A one-paragraph description of the dissertation project from each participant.
  3. A CV for each member of the group.
  4. A schedule of meetings and activities for the coming year. The basic requirement is a series of meetings organized around the circulation, presentation, and discussion of 1 chapter in progress, or seminar paper, by each member (a prospectus counts as a chapter), or secondary reading of importance and common interest, related to the study of media.

No budget is necessary.

Applications should be submitted electronically to Paula Epps-Cepero ( by May 15, 2018.  Awards will be announced by June 1.