Northwestern Events Calendar


How to Write a Comparative and/or Historical Dissertation

When: Friday, November 10, 2023
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM CT

Where: Parkes Hall, 222, 1870 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Graduate Students

Contact: Ariel Sowers   (847) 491-7454

Group: Department of Political Science

Category: Academic


Please join Comparative Historical Social Sciences as they host Laura Acosta (Brown University), Yannick Coenders (Washington University in St. Louis), and Kumar Ramanathan (University of Chicago).

This fantastic panel of recent graduates in sociology and political science will discuss their experiences writing a comparative and/or historical dissertation. The panelists will share their thoughts on choosing a topic, writing the prospectus, analyzing comparative or historical evidence, and working with their committee members. There will be portions with a moderated discussion and an open question-and-answer session.

Laura Acosta is a Postdoctoral Fellow in International and Public Affairs at Brown University. She completed her PhD in Sociology at Northwestern University. Before joining Brown, Laura taught courses on social inequality, political sociology, and research methods at Trinity College Dublin. Her research brings a historical and comparative perspective to questions of nation formation and the construction and transformation of social identities and symbolic boundaries over time, especially as these processes sustain violence and war. Her research has been published in Theory and Society, Social Forces, and Quality & Quantity, and has received awards and honors from four different sections of the American Sociological Association: Culture; Human Rights; Theory; and Peace, War, and Social Conflict.

Yannick Coenders’ historical work focuses on race, urban space, and colonialism. His research agenda interrogates how race persists and continues to shape the social life of populations on both sides of the Atlantic, despite the global decline of institutions that brought it into being, such as European colonialism, slavery, and de jure segregation. Coenders’ collaborative research has been published in Antipode, Public Culture, and the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. 

Kumar Ramanathan is a political scientist and a Postdoctoral Scholar at the GenForward Survey at the University of Chicago. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Northwestern University in 2023. His research explores the politics of law and public policy, in order to understand the development of racial and other social inequalities in the United States. This includes a range of projects on civil rights, social welfare, immigration, and urban politics. His research has been published in Studies in American Political Development, Political Research Quarterly, and the Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics.


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