Once again, Joshua Smart, a graduate student at the University of Missouri and instructor at Christopher Newport University, is organizing virtual dissertation writers groups for philosophy PhD students.
While advisors and committees are important, it can be incredibly helpful to discuss one’s work with peers in a lower-stakes environment, and it can be particularly enlightening to do so with those who take a different approach or have a different focus. Not only that, but there is evidence from psychological research that thinking about problems in relation to persons who are geographically distant can increase creativity. With students in programs from 8 countries and 20 different U.S. states, Virtual Dissertation Groups are a great (free!) way to capture some of these benefits.
The setup is that each member is grouped with two others working on dissertations in the same general area of philosophy. About once a month, one member sends the others a 3-6k word piece of their dissertation to the other two for feedback and comments.
Open sign-ups go through Sunday, February 5th. (Sign-ups after are conditional on having enough students to form a new group.)