Workshop on ‘Making Stories: Dissertation as Parables‘ at the Northeast STS Graduate Student Conference – Making Do: Muddling Through to Dissertation (Troy: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 11-13 March 2016).
Dissertations are not just analytic accounts of an empirical case study that enable extensions of disciplinary knowledge. They are stories of struggle, making do, tinkering, and most of all an account of moments of care. As a part of NESTS 2016, I propose a workshop on storytelling through dissertation work. The workshop will bring into focus the one story from the field (or otherwise) that forms the foundation of your dissertation work. A story that changes not only the way you understand your empirics, but also influences the analytic frames that you employ to unpack the complexities of your case study. The objective of the workshop is to look for ways of turning your dissertation into parables, which is not simply a way of remembering the analytic point that you wish to make through your dissertation, but also a way of illustrating your work to your grandparents (in a colloquial sense). The 30 minute workshop will be a space for reflection on your dissertation and we will together write individual stories that best explains the kind of work we do and post it on a private blog shared between the participants of the workshop. The blogposts will be published immediately at the end of 30 minutes. We will read each other’s stories over the weekend and post what we individually think of the insights that emerge from each stories as comments. The objective here is to ascertain the extent to which the story that we tell about our dissertations coincides with the analytic point that we wish to make. Ultimately, we will work towards figuring out new ways of telling the stories of our dissertation by not only trying to write it out in 30 minutes, but also understanding the ways in which graduate student community understands our stories.