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In 2014-2015 the Humanities Institute held its inaugural Dissertation Retreat in partnership with the Institute for Social Sciences (ISS). The retreat’s goal was to help doctoral students reinvent their dissertations through editing, revising and sharing. A total of 12 students were selected to participate in the retreat. Students worked in group sessions discussing their dissertations and helped each other work through the writing process.

After years of working diligently on their dissertations, at the culmination of their time in graduate school, Ph.D. students are often told “No one will ever read your dissertation.” To quote Tina Fey’s Liz Lemon, “What the what now?” This written body of work that has taken a great amount of blood, sweat and tears to produce is just going to sit in some dark corner of someone’s office, or lie buried in some obscure database? What if this didn’t have to be the fate of the dissertation? What if its form, content, publication, or all three, could be changed to give the dissertation a renewed vitality and relevance to both graduate education and the public good? This was the impetus behind the retreat: a recognition that a revised dissertation might offer opportuni- ties and parallels with a revamped vision of what doctoral scholars can offer the academic and nonacademic job markets. With our Dissertation Retreats, the DHI is committed to helping and educating UC Davis graduate students in not only reaching their goal of publication, but also in expanding their sense of community through workshops and meet-and-greets.

2014-2015 RETREAT PARTICIPANTS Nicole Kenley Detecting Globalization (English)

Rusty Bartels War Memories, Imperial Ambitions: Commemorating WWII in the U.S. Pacific National Park System (Cultural Studies)

Catherine Garoupa White Do You See What I See? Philosophies, Frames, and Tactics for Clean Air in California’s San Joaquin Valley (Geography)

Laura Pascoe “Pillow Talk is Big Talk”: Perceived Roles and Responsibilities of Men in Negotiating Contraceptive Use and Women’s Sexual Pleasure in Cape Town, South Africa (Geography/Human Ecology)

Megan Ammirati From the Backstage to the Spotlight: Women’s Performance in Chinese Theater from 1906-1966 (Comparative Literature)

Doris Duangboudda Mass Car Consumption: Mobilizing Middle Classes in Late Post-Socialist Urban China (Anthropology)

Tracy Quan Becoming Fluent Abroad: Examining the Effects of Learner Investment and Identity Development on L2 Spanish Learners (Spanish and Portuguese)


Lauren Nossett The Virginal Mother in German Literature and Culture: Discourses of Virginity and Motherhood 1771-1927 (German)

Michael Accinno Gestures of Inclusion: Blindness, Music, and Pedagogy in Nineteenth- Century Thought (Music)

La Tessa Joy Walker Signification of the Black Dancing Body: Reinscribing the Historiography of Dance and Revisioning the Discipline and its Collective Identity (Performance Studies)

Yi Zhou Friction in the Virtual Word: Women’s Affective Labor, New Media Capital and Govern- mentality in Post-Socialist China (Anthropology)

Giovanna Montenegro Textual and Visual Representations of the New World: German and Spanish Perspectives of the Conquest of Venezuela 16th-21st

Centuries (German)


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