New DIS 780/781 Colloquia for Doctoral Candidates

The Dean’s Office is pleased to announce the inauguration of four post-exam colloquia that will be offered in the context of DIS 780/781, starting in February 2013. These colloquia are designed to afford doctoral candidates at various stages of the dissertation process with opportunities to share their research, exchange ideas, and engage in scholarly collaboration. A description of the colloquia as well as the scheduling process appears below.

 The colloquia will be led by Dr. Shannon Smith (, who has most recently served as Associate Dean for UI&U’ Pre-Cohort Ph.D. program. Smith was born and raised in Cincinnati, and now makes his home in St. Paul, MN. He holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where he studied American Literature. He has worked at UI&U since 2008.

A series of initial, informational colloquia meetings will be scheduled for the last two weeks of February, 2013; specific dates are forthcoming.

 Please join Dr. Gregory and me in welcoming Dr. Shannon Smith to the Ph.D. Program in Interdisciplinary Studies!

 Karsten Piep

Interim Dean


DIS 780/781

Non-credit-bearing dissertation supervision is required for active doctoral candidates who have not successfully defended their dissertation by the end of their regular coursework. During the two terms following the successful completion of comps, candidates will be enrolled in DIS 780. Thereafter, candidates will be enrolled in DIS 781. During the dissertation supervision phase, which is not to exceed 4 years, candidates are working on their individual projects in close collaboration with their chairs and committee members.


During each term of enrollment DIS 780/781, dissertating students are strongly encouraged to participate in one of four semiannual colloquia described below, which provide a forum for the presentation and discussion of ongoing scholarly/creative/research projects.

 Conceptualization Colloquium (Pre-Proposal Stage)

The conceptualization colloquium is a semiformal event during which candidates working in similar fields present to each other on aspects of their research questions, literature reviews, preliminary findings, and/or theoretical/methodological conceptualizations.

 Proposal Colloquium (Proposal Stage)

This colloquium affords candidates an opportunity to present an overview of their approved dissertation proposal before a group of peers and faculty members. To provide for a wider audience, proposal presentations may be scheduled to coincide with an academic residency.       

 Work-in-Progress Colloquium (Early Dissertation Stage)

The work-in-progress colloquium is a semiformal event during which candidates working in similar fields present to each other on aspects of their methodologies, theories, findings, ongoing analyses, interpretations, creative work, et cetera.    

 Scholarly/Creative Contribution Colloquium (Advanced Dissertation Stage)

During the scholarly/creative contribution colloquium, advanced candidates will formally present on a significant aspect of their work. The presentation is to be based on a self-contained chapter or portion of the candidate’s dissertation research, and should not be an overview or synthesis of the dissertation as a whole. To provide for a wider audience, the scholarly/creative contribution presentations may be scheduled to coincide with an academic residency.   


By February 15 and August 15 of each term, chairs will officially notify the Colloquia Coordinator of the status of their dissertating students, indicating whether these are in thepre-proposal, proposal, early dissertation, or advanced dissertation stage.

 Based on these brief reports, the Colloquia Coordinator, in consultation with Area of Concentration Chairs, will group students accordingly and schedule conceptualization, work-in-progress, proposal, and scholarly/creative contribution during themonths of March, April, and May and August, September and October respectively. 

 Conceptualization, proposal, work-in-progress, and scholarly/creative contribution colloquia are held in small groups of 2-8 doctoral students working in similar fields and facilitated via conferencing tools by the Colloquia Coordinator.

 Shortly before or immediately after each colloquium, participating doctoral candidates will submit copies and/or outlines of their presentations to their chairs as well as the Colloquia Coordinator for purposes of documentation.


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