Academic Dissertations in the News

Naomi Wolf wanted extra year-long embargo on controversial thesis

3 July 2021

By Jack Grove for Times Higher Education.

Oxford rejected her request to delay release of error-strewn dissertation.

Naomi Wolf attempted to block the publication of her error-strewn doctoral thesis for a further year after submitting it to the University of Oxford’s digital archive more than five years late.
According to internal emails seen by Times Higher Education, the American feminist requested an additional extension to embargo her D.Phil. dissertation after depositing it, alongside a lengthy corrections sheet, with Oxford’s research archive at the end of December 2020.

Read more at Inside Higher Education


What Jill Biden’s Dissertation Reveals About Her Approach to Higher Education

19 February 2021

It turns out that Jill Biden, the presumptive First Lady, has thought deeply about community colleges. In fact, she wrote her dissertation at the University of Delaware about how to improve retention at two-year colleges.

So what did she conclude? And what does it say about her thinking on higher education, as she prepares to move into the White House? Read more at by Jeffrey R. Young, Nov 20, 2020

Inside the new world of online dissertation defenses

15 January 2021

Emojis, grandmas logging in, and kudos from strangers: How MIT students have finished their PhDs during the pandemic. by Peter Dizikes, MIT News Office, May 22, 2020

For generations, dissertation defenses have been crowning moments for PhD candidates. Now, with the pandemic limiting activity on the MIT campus from mid-March onward, moving dissertation defenses to Zoom has been a necessary adjustment. Read the full story at

How to Write a Dissertation During a Pandemic

6 November 2020

Many doctoral students feel a crisis of purpose amid Covid-19: Should they bother to keep writing? By Leonard Cassuto

There’s not much good to find in a destructive pandemic, but here’s one potentially positive outcome: Covid-19 may bring graduate schools to a long-needed reckoning with the dissertation requirement. The coronavirus has effectively blown up the ....

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