UCSC SSRC-Dissertation Proposal Development Program


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UC Santa Cruz is one of five universities to take part in the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) University Initiative program. With a three year grant from SSRC, we are launching a Dissertation Proposal Development program meant to promote interdisciplinary scholarship and train doctoral students to apply these approaches in the early stages of their graduate careers.

At UCSC, the SSRC-DPD project supports dissertation proposal development through interdisciplinary peer discussion and faculty perspectives; training in key research and related professional skills; introduction to a range of social science, cultural, and humanistic methodologies; and practical workshop activities to advance PhD students’ progress towards candidacy and dissertation research/writing. As students shift from coursework and exploratory research to independent, original research, they will learn from their peers and benefit from the program’s emphasis on communicating across disciplinary boundaries.



Grace Delgado, History (2016 – 2019)

Miriam Greenberg, Sociology (2016 – 2018, 2019 – 2020)

Debbie Gould, Sociology (2018 – 2020)



A series of profiles focused on graduate students highlights the diversity of research on campus and the impact of interdisciplinary training fostered through the SSRC-DPD program.


The SSRC-DPD program welcomes participants from a wide-range of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Arts Division departments including History, Environmental Studies, Feminist Studies, History of Consciousness, Sociology, Latin American and Latino Studies, and History of Art and Visual Culture. Congratulations to the 2019 Fellows! See the list of past participants here.

2019-2020 Cohort

Christian Alvarado, History of Consciousness
“New Ways of Life Together”: Pedagogical Thought in Anticolonial Kenya”

Axelle Boyer, History of Art and Visual Culture
“Gungu la Mcezo: Performing Citizenship Through Anticolonial Resistance”

Raed El Rafei, Film & Digital Media
“Queer Subjectivity and Space in Tripoli”

Eli Erlick, Feminist Studies
“Biopolitics, Activism, and Transgender Resilience in the United States”

Donald Hickey, History
“The Logics of Power, Citizenship, and Greater Reconstruction in San Fransisco, 1865-1906”

Leslie Lodwick, History of Art and Visual Culture
“Public School Buildings as Politics: Civic Identity, Nation Making and Modern Architecture”

Alexandra Macheski, History of Art and Visual Culture
“The Sub-Altern’s “Other”: Relations of Extraction and Alterity between the Inka and the Amazon”

Aysha Peterson, Environmental Studies
“Towards farmer-centered water quality governance in a nitrate-polluted region”

Gabriela Segura, Latin American and Latino Studies
“Defending Western Civilization: Immigration Policy and the Rise of Right-Wing Authoritarian Populism in the Americas”

Ankit Sharma, Sociology
“Worlds of Precarity: Memory, Narrative, and Labor Movements”

Roxanna Villalobos, Sociology
“Latina Rural Girlhoods in the United States”

Jinghong Zhang, History
“Good Deeds, Changing Needs: Religion, Philanthropy and the Making of Modern Chinese Welfare in Sichuan, 1895-1966”