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. 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

2019 AIIS Dissertation Workshop pdf flyer
View/download this flyer as a PDF.

Applications to participate are due by July 31, 2019, emailed to Sarah Lamb at this dedicated email address: Participants must arrange their own transport to and all costs for the University of Wisconsin Annual Conference on South Asia in October. The workshop will begin at 7 pm Wednesday evening, Oct. 16th, and all participants are expected to be present at this time. The workshop concludes Thursday evening, October 17 with a group dinner. [Note that participants in the book workshop will not be able to participate in the Thursday “pre-conference.”]

For selection: Please submit your proposal by email (to by July 31, 2019 as an attachment, containing ONE pdf file combining:

Senior Faculty Mentors: Sarah Lamb (Anthropology, Brandeis), Convener, and several additional faculty participants from a range of disciplines and areas of expertise will serve as mentors. The role of the senior faculty mentors is to read their group’s materials prior to the meeting and be prepared to intervene and comment, in the background primarily, as the author participants lead the discussions with their peers. In 2019, senior faculty participants will include Jason Cons (Anthropology, UT-Austin), Naveeda Khan (Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University), Sarah Lamb (Anthropology, Brandeis University), Diane Mines (Anthropology, Appalachian State University), Leela Prasad (Religious Studies, Duke), Bhrigupati Singh (Anthropology, Brown University), Harleen Singh (Literature and Gender Studies, Brandeis University), and Anand Yang (History, University of Washington).


  • Wednesday evening, October 16th, 7-9 pm: Introductions, discussion by one or two recent successful authors of the dissertation-to-book transformation process, and Q&A regarding publishing, next steps, etc. A press representative may participate.
  • Thursday morning, October 17th: We will divide into three groups of approximately 8 authors and 2-3 mentors. Each project will be discussed for 30 minutes. In advance, everyone will read all of the materials for their group. For each half-hour 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 can only listen, take notes, and record if desired, how their project is being understood, misunderstood, stretched, queried, and critiqued by knowledgeable peers with closely related interests but working in varying theoretical perspectives, disciplines, settings, and time periods.
  • Thursday afternoon: After a lunch break (on one’s own), each participant is given a 40-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.
  • On Thursday evening, AIIS will host all participants at a group dinner at a nearby Indian restaurant.

Conversations can carry over into Friday and Saturday at the South Asia Conference!