Shaping the Digital Dissertation: Knowledge Production in the Arts and Humanities - cover image


Virginia Kuhn; Anke Finger; Copyright of individual chapters is maintained by the chapters’ authors.

Published On





  • English

Print Length

290 pages (xiv+276)


Paperback156 x 20 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.79" x 9.21")
Hardback156 x 24 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.94" x 9.21")


Paperback1223g (43.14oz)
Hardback1613g (56.90oz)



OCLC Number





  • JNT
  • H
  • JNV
  • CAL
  • U


  • EDU037000
  • TEC000000


  • Z692.E42


  • digital dissertation
  • academic research
  • interactive dissertation
  • paper dissertation
  • digital projects
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Shaping the Digital Dissertation

Knowledge Production in the Arts and Humanities

Digital dissertations have been a part of academic research for years now, yet there are still many questions surrounding their processes. Are interactive dissertations significantly different from their paper-based counterparts? What are the effects of digital projects on doctoral education? How does one choose and defend a digital dissertation? This book explores the wider implications of digital scholarship across institutional, geographic, and disciplinary divides.

The volume is arranged in two sections: the first, written by senior scholars, addresses conceptual concerns regarding the direction and assessment of digital dissertations in the broader context of doctoral education. The second section consists of case studies by PhD students whose research resulted in a natively digital dissertation that they have successfully defended. These early-career researchers have been selected to represent a range of disciplines and institutions.

Despite the profound effect of incorporated digital tools on dissertations, the literature concerning them is limited. This volume aims to provide a fresh, up-to-date view on the digital dissertation, considering the newest technological advances. It is especially relevant in the European context where digital dissertations, mostly in arts-based research, are more popular.

Shaping the Digital Dissertation aims to provide insights, precedents and best practices to graduate students, doctoral advisors, institutional agents, and dissertation committees. As digital dissertations have a potential impact on the state of research as a whole, this edited collection will be a useful resource for the wider academic community and anyone interested in the future of doctoral studies.


This volume is a timely intervention that not only helps demystify the idea of a digital dissertation for students and their advisors, but will be broadly applicable to the work of librarians, administrators, and anyone else concerned with the future of graduate study in the humanities and digital scholarly publishing.

Roxanne Shirazi

The City University of New York


1. Dissertating in Public

(pp. 19–24)
  • Kathleen Fitzpatrick

2. Publication Models and Open Access

(pp. 25–34)
  • Cheryl E. Ball

3. The Digital Monograph? Key Issues in Evaluation

(pp. 35–48)
  • Virginia Kuhn

4. #DigiDiss: A Project Exploring Digital Dissertation Policies, Practices and Archiving

(pp. 49–64)
  • Kathie Gossett
  • Liza Potts

5. The Gutenberg Galaxy will be Pixelated or How to Think of Digital Scholarship as The Present: An Advisor’s Perspective

(pp. 65–82)
  • Anke Finger

6. Findable, Impactful, Citable, Usable, Sustainable (FICUS): A Heuristic for Digital Publishing

(pp. 83–104)
  • Nicky Agate
  • Cheryl E. Ball
  • Allison Belan
  • Monica McCormick
  • Joshua Neds-Fox

7. Navigating Institutions and Fully Embracing the Interdisciplinary Humanities: American Studies and the Digital Dissertation

(pp. 107–118)
  • Katherine Walden
  • Thomas Oates

8. MADSpace: A Janus-Faced Digital Companion to a PhD Dissertation in Chinese History

(pp. 119–128)
  • Cécile Armand

9. Publish Less, Communicate More!: Reflecting the Potentials and Challenges of a Hybrid Self-Publishing Project

(pp. 129–150)
  • Sarah-Mai Dang

10. #SocialDiss: Transforming the Dissertation into Networked Knowledge Production

(pp. 151–164)
  • Erin Rose Glass

11. Highly Available Dissertations: Open Sourcing Humanities Scholarship

(pp. 165–186)
  • Lisa Tagliaferri

12. The Digital Thesis as a Website:, from Graphic Design to Online Tools

(pp. 187–204)
  • Anthony Masure

13. Writing a Dissertation with Images, Sounds and Movements: Cinematic Bricolage

(pp. 205–236)
  • Lena Redman

14. Precarity and Promise: Negotiating Research Ethics and Copyright in a History Dissertation

(pp. 237–246)
  • Celeste Tường Vy Sharpe

15. Lessons from the Sandbox: Linking Readership, Representation and Reflection in Tactile Paths

(pp. 247–260)
  • Christopher Williams

Introduction: Shedding Light on the Process of Digital Knowledge Production

(pp. 1–16)
  • Anke Finger
  • Virginia Kuhn


Virginia Kuhn

Professor of Cinema and Associate Director of the Institute for Multimedia Literacy in the Division of Media Arts + Practice at University of Southern California

Anke Finger

Professor of German and Media Studies and Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies at University of Connecticut