Finding Your Voice in the Humanities: Winter School for Academic Writing in English

Stift Altenburg

Daily activities, teaching responsibilities, and administrative tasks can often distract PhD students from dedicating their full attention to writing their dissertations. The aim of the “Finding Your Voice in the Humanities” Winter School for Academic Writing in English is to provide doctoral students with the opportunity for focused writing time and structured reflection on their own academic writing practices. This will be enabled through workshops and planned writing time, specialist feedback on the students’ written work and practices, and an energising and encouraging group atmosphere.

The goal of the Winter School is to enable PhD students in their active writing phase to dedicate themselves to the focused writing of dissertation chapters or papers, and to thus progress in their proposed projects over the course of the retreat. The programme consists of daily plenary meetings guided by the wWriting cCoach and the organisers. The sessions will focus on different aspects of academic writing. Students will have the opportunity to get one-to-one feedback on their individual questions and receive advice according to their needs. Students will spend most of the time writing their individual projects. Free time can be spent exploring the historical monastery, the surrounding landscape, and getting to know other participants. The Winter School will be held in English. While some sessions will focus on English language-specific issues, it is open to all PhD students regardless of the language in which they are writing their texts (be that English, German or some other language).

All costs with the exception of travel costs to the venue are covered by the Doctoral School.

Workshops and one-on-one sessions

The four workshops conducted by the writing coach will have the following topics:
1. Structure: strategies for how to structure both the dissertation and writing time;
2. Academic English: discussion on the particularities of academic writing in English;
3. Procrastination: approaches for improving efficiency in writing;
4. Dissemination: how to adapt parts of the dissertation into journal articles, book chapters, and (shorter) pieces for non-academic audiences (including in the media).

In the one-on-one sessions, the writing coach will meet with each participant for one hour to discuss their writing. Each participant will send him an example of their writing beforehand, which he will edit and comment on and then discuss with the participant during our the one-on-one session. Participants also have the opportunity to inform the writing coach beforehand about any other issues that they would like him to discuss with them personally or to address in the workshops. He will be accessible to the participants throughout the writing school for non-timetabled discussions and informal conversations and will also participate in all the other scheduled activities.

Date & Venue

21st - 26th February 2022, Stift Altenburg


Dr. Dean Vuletic is a historian of contemporary Europe based in the Research Center for the History of Transformations at the University of Vienna. He is the author of the book Postwar Europe and the Eurovision Song Contest (London: Bloomsbury, 2018). He holds a PhD from Columbia University, and he also studied at Yale University, the Australian National University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Dr. Vuletic has experience in writing instruction at different levels, having taught at institutions such as Columbia University, New York University and the University of Vienna. His work has been published by houses such as Bloomsbury, Oxford University Press and Routledge, and in international media outlets, especially as he is a leading commentator on the Eurovision Song Contest. More information about Dr. Vuletic’s activities can be found on his website


The Winter School is open to all Fellows of the Vienna Doctoral School of Historical and Cultural Studies. Participants must have successfully passed the public presentation of their doctoral project (FÖP). It is designed for students in their active writing phase to work on a specific writing project, such as dissertation chapters or a paper. It is not designed for students who have already finalised their dissertation and only need to edit it or who are preparing for the defence, since one of the main aims is to provide feedback and support during the very writing process.

The 2G rule (genesen/geimpft) or any other regulations set by the Austrian government or the University of Vienna at the time of the event applies to all participants.


Claudia Martínez Hernández and Alexandra Nachescu in collaboration with the Doctoral School of Historical and Cultural Studies


Interested Fellows are required to send

  • a completed application form;
  • a letter of motivation (approx. 300 words);
  • a CV with a list of publications, maximum 2 pages, also including the year of doctoral studies and dissertation topic;
  • a work plan (approx. 500 words), for the Winter School. The work plan should clearly describe which part of your dissertation or article you are planning to work on. The plan should set realistic targets for the duration of the Winter School

as one PDF file to: until January 15, 2022. All documents must be submitted in English!