I'm glad we created this community. I need somewhere to post specifically academic rants! Some of you are on my fl, but most of my list is non-academic, so that's why my posts (when they happen at all) are fairly devoid of intellectual content. At least that's how I see it.
I finished comps early this month, and have just begun my time in ABDland. During comps, my committee tore my diss proposal apart, while somehow simultaneously keeping in intact. Basically my ideas are good, the texts I'm using are fine ... I'm just not articulating it right. Not once during the comps/proposal process have they told me I'm doing the wrong thing. They just keep telling me to go back and reword it and make it more specific. And I find it endlessly frustrating, because I'm revising and revising proposals when I should be researching, because that, after all, is what I need to be doing right now. While I understand the necessity of having a research question before you begin the bulk of your research, I'm baffled as to how one actually does that. I just want to get going on my chapters.
The specifics: I'm in a Comparative Literature department, and my dissertation is on the reception of Ovid's Ars Amatoria in the Middle Ages, generally. I'm working on the reception of Ovid in the medieval classroom, and on Andreas Capellanus's De amore, Guillaume de Lorris's and Jean de Meun's Roman de la Rose and Gower's Confessio Amantis.
As a sidenote, I also work on Chaucer reception and apocrypha ... just in case anyone is interested in that area. And I'm currently teaching a class in Arthurian lit.
So there's your introduction. Who is next?