Posts Tagged ‘PhD’

Moving along

Posted: February 21, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

Getting back to work is sometimes harder than getting to work in the first place. I’ve had to reset and recenter myself several times over the last few years, and it doesn’t seem to get any easier. But when I do manage, it always seems to be worth the effort.

(more…)

Advertisements

I haven’t posted here in quite some time. There’s a simple reason for that: the last six months of my life has been pretty hard. My cat died, then I had cancer, and then my father died. All in the last 6 months. It’s pretty mind boggling. The cancer was minor, and I’m recovered from it, but it still threw my world for a loop.

Naturally, my work has suffered from these constant shifts. So much so that I lost sight of what I was doing and started trying to do too much. I was trying to look at a book instead of a sentence.

Let me explain. (more…)

And so it begins

Posted: September 15, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

My exams are done and passed. My prospectus is all but done, awaiting only the official word of my committee. But while waiting for that official word, I did get the go ahead from my adviser to just keep going. He said that he is glad I learned not to wait around, and that I should continue to just forge ahead, and not worry about hearing the official word. I am taking that to mean that the prospectus has met his approval, meaning it will eventually get the official word.

That’s both liberating and terrifying. It’s liberating because I am finally able to start on my dissertation. It’s terrifying for exactly the same reason. I have to write a dissertation. This is a book, and a scholarly one. (more…)

No one ever did this for me. I wish someone had. I wish I’d known before I started. But I didn’t.

I started my prospectus with no idea what I was doing. I had two others I had seen, things to model after, but I didn’t know even the basic format, aside from what my colleagues had done before me.

So, I followed the model before me, and I put in a section describing the project, one about preliminary theory, one about research questions, and then a vague outline of the chapters in my dissertation. On top of that, I put in a literature review, which was largely taken from this blog. I ended up with a ‘draft’ of 52 pages.

I also ended up using the wrong tone, writing to the wrong audience, and generally doing everything wrong. That’s okay; it’s kind of how I work. I do it, I get told what’s wrong, and I do it again. Not very efficient, but it works. Still, there are a few things it would have been nice to know: (more…)

For the last few days, I’ve been approaching the prospectus in the “Throw it all, see what sticks” format. No attention really paid to structure beyond a few basic signposts, I’ve just been trying to get the ideas down on (electronic) paper. Thankfully, I’ve been collecting sources and doing little outlines for quite some time now. I’m already up to 52 sources, and still feel like I’m just getting started.

Anyway, I don’t know if the way I’m heading is the right way. There’s another way to do this. Actually, there are a lot of different ways, but for me, usually one of these two is the best one to use. So if not the scattershot format I’ve been doing, what do I do? An outline. First basic, then fleshed out, then more fleshed out, and eventually into a paper of significant length. So let’s start with the outline.

(more…)

First, a bit of unofficial news: I have been told that I have passed my exams, or at least that I should and should proceed as if I have. The other reader is out of town, so nothing is official, but I have gotten some assurance, which takes off a whole lot of pressure.

And then adds some. I need to get started on this prospectus thing. Which means more research. Which is good; I’m good at research.

This leads me to the article for today: “Building Boxes and Policing Boundaries: (De)Constructing Intersexuality, Transgender and Bisexuality” by Betsy Lucal.

(more…)

As promised, I have more research to share. Today I will be discussing Judith Butler’s article “Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory.” For those who don’t know, Butler is one of the most important voices in feminist theory, and one of the most cited authors in the humanities (almost more than Marx and Nietzsche put together).

One of the things I like best about this article is how it talks about gender as a performance, as something in flux. Butler tells us early on that “gender is in no way a stable identity or locus of agency from which various acts proceede [sic]; rather, it is an identity tenuously constituted in time – an identity instituted through a stylized repetition of acts. Further, gender is instituted through the stylization of the body and, hence, must be understood as the mundane way in which bodily gestures, movements, and enactments of various kinds constitute the illusion of an abiding gendered self” (519, emphasis in original). She is saying that the way we act informs our gender identity. That is, we have to act a certain way in order to have a gender. Theoretically, if we acted a different way, if we did not repeat the acts , the gestures, movements, and other enactments, we would lose or change that gender identity. (more…)