Workshop: Transform Your Dissertation into a Book

Sponsored by AIIS, AIBS, AIPS and AISLS

AIIS holds an annual dissertation to book workshop at the Madison South Asia Conference every October. The workshop is intended to assist recent PhDs convert their doctoral dissertations into publishable monographs. This year the workshop will be held in conjunction with the virtual conference. More detailed information on the workshop schedule is available below.

This workshop aims to help a select number of recent PhDs re-vision their doctoral dissertations as books.

The list of books published by past workshop participants is available here

 View/download this flyer as a PDF

Applications to participate are due by July 31, 2021, emailed to Sarah Lamb at this dedicated email address:  The workshop will begin at 7 pm Wednesday evening, Oct. 20, and all participants are expected to be present at this time. The workshop concludes Thursday evening, October 21, with a virtual group social event.

For selection: Please submit your proposal by email (to by July 31, 2021 as an attachment, containing ONE pdf file combining:

Senior Faculty Mentors: Faculty from a range of disciplines and areas of expertise will serve as mentors. In 2021, the senior faculty mentors will include: Sarah Lamb (convener; Anthropology and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Brandeis University), Ulka Anjaria (English, Brandeis University), Nusrat Chowdhury (Anthropology and Sociology, Amherst College), Douglas Haynes (History, Dartmouth College), Usha Iyer (Art and Art History, Stanford University), Rachel McDermott (Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures, Religion, Barnard College, Columbia University),  Lucinda Ramberg (Anthropology, Cornell University), Bhrigupati Singh (Anthropology, Ashoka University and Brown University), Anand Yang (History, University of Washington).

Schedule: All meetings will take place in a virtual format as the Madison Annual Conference on South Asia will be held virtually in 2021.

  • Wednesday evening, October 20, 7-9 pm: “The Secrets of Publishing”—Mentors share tips and invite questions on the dissertation-to-book transformation process and publishing strategies. A press representative may also participate.
  • Thursday morning, October 21, Writing Workshop I: We will divide into three groups of approximately 8 authors and 2-3 mentors. Each project will be discussed for 25 minutes. In advance, everyone will read all of the materials for their group. For each 25-minute segment, one participant will make a 5-minute presentation on someone else’s project, and then all of the other participants will join in to discuss the project—except the project’s author, who is not allowed to speak. The author of the project under discussion may only listen, take notes, and record if desired, how their project is being understood, misunderstood, stretched, queried, and critiqued by knowledgeable peers with related interests but working in varying theoretical perspectives, disciplines, settings, and time periods.
  • Thursday afternoon, Writing Workshop II: After a lunch break (on one’s own), each participant is given a 25-minute time slot to respond to the more important queries, issues, and suggestions raised in the morning, and, most important, to seek feedback or further discussion of areas of their project with which they recognize they are having difficulty.
  • Thursday evening: There will be a virtual social event.