PhD Dissertation Workshop

"A mother's vision includes tough nurturance, survival love, a demanding state of grace. It is a vision slowly forming from the body of work created by women. I imagine a wide and encompassing room filled with women lost in concentration. They are absorbed in the creation of an emotional tapestry, an intellectual quilt."      --- Louise Erdrich, The Blue Jay's Dance  

Held on Mondays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Gender Institute's PhD Dissertation Workshop provides a supportive, rigorous structure for PhD students who are writing dissertations on topics related to women, gender, and/or sexuality. Participants make steady, demonstrable progress each week by meeting to write, discuss their work, and report on their progress. Each workshop begins with two hours of writing followed by discussion over lunch (provided by the institute). The workshop is free, but space is limited and registration is required. Staunch commitment to the weekly meetings is required for participation; more than two missed sessions will result in dismissal from the workshop.

The Fall 2017 workshop will run on Mondays from September 11 - December 4, 2017. 

Register here

For more information contact the workshop's facilitator, Anne Marie Butler

Testimonials from Participants

"The opportunity to participate in the Dissertation Workshop...offered a terrific boost to my project. The weekly meetings were incredibly helpful." 
Ronan Crowley, English 

"I enjoyed having a time set aside dedicated to writing, and consistent group of colleagues for support; what a great way to meet new people, make friends, and form new networks within the University. I found it beneficial because not only did it set aside that time on Monday for writing, but it helped to keep my dissertation prospectus at the front of my attention, which motivated me to write throughout the week, as well. By the last meeting of the group, I had completed my prospectus. I hope to be involved again in the future!"
Sarah Handley-Cousins, History

"The Gender Institute's dissertation writing workshop provided me with a unique space to unplug and focus on my work. As a teaching instructor it is hard for me to find the mental distance to really be able to focus on my dissertation, and the workshop managed to do just that. Just as important as having the scheduled time and space to work on my dissertation was the fellowship with other women working on their dissertations. From conversations about dissertation writing strategies to fellowship applications to how to deal with teaching problems, a healthy life-work balance, and the constant need for chocolate and caffeine, the community of women that the dissertation writing workshop provided really made a difference in my life. It certainly started out the week on a positive note and gave me energy to get through the rest of it!"
Tanja Aho, Transnational Studies

"[A] rewarding and inspiring experience... When I joined the group I had barely started writing my the end of the Gender Institute Workshop, I had submitted four of my seven chapters with a total of almost 125 pages. On average I would write 700 to a 1000 words every Monday morning that would motivate me to go to the library and continue working."
Rehab Ghazal, Educational Leadership & Policy


Inaugurated in January 2013 the Dissertation Workshop has met every semester and for two sessions each summer. Participants have included dozens of doctoral students from 14 countries of origin and ten academic fields in four UB schools (Arts and Sciences, Nursing, Social Work, and Graduate School of Education).