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Dissertate or Bust!
to discuss + to connect
17th-Mar-2006 12:14 pm
dulce et utile
Hi all.

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?
25th-Mar-2006 07:30 am (UTC) - An introduction of sorts - maybe to facilitate my joining the community?
I'm in NZ, beginning a multi-disciplinary PhD on sheet music, history, and literature. The topic question goes something like - "To what extent does the iconography and lyric writing contained within NZ sheet music from 1900-1950 serve as evidence of a burgeoning national consciousness?"

One advantage I have is being s professional librarian - I do my own interlibrary loans, and know how to use the national bibliography etc. I'm also a huge fan of EndNote software - and use it where I can (and am not shy about recommending it).

I have some of the same issues as the folk whose posts I've read - but the MAJOR one is the eight-hundred mile return drive (or two hours by plane) to supervisor meetings.. Sure - I can do much of the work in the "boondocks" where I am: but this gal (my supervisor) is an internationally known scholar, and most of the raw materials just happen to cluster around her...

The plan was, and remains, to go and do field work on holidays and at weekends - and do the number crunching (inferential statistics), model making and testing here at home in the interim. I can remain in touch with her via Blackboard and e-mail - but one cannot share coffee and badinage over a phone line easily...

I'm doing a literature review / proposal at the moment: using EndNote to log library locations and shelf listings for the books and journals I need. Also using it to hold notes and articles from databases. Next thing is to get reading and writing - one can put that off only SO long... :)

I'm not so far along the process as many here seem to be - but finding a community with this focus seems to be to be a vital step anyway....
25th-Mar-2006 05:42 pm (UTC) - Re: An introduction of sorts - maybe to facilitate my joining the community?
Can I ask what your interest is in this community? As the intro page says, this is primarily for medievalists. Does your project include anything before 1900?
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