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Showing posts from September, 2013

Frankenstein's PhD

It may be because I spent far too much of this year thinking about 'Frankenstein' for a conference paper and journal article that never seemed to end, but I'm beginning to see my PhD as an echo of Mary Shelley's creation. The trouble is that I'm not sure if I'm Victor Frankenstein or his Creature.

Actually this came out of a conversation with a friend who has finished her PhD who told me she thought of the PhD as 'an ugly baby' and while it was ugly it was her baby so she was going to defend it always. I liked that, and I like my analogy of Frankenstein's creation.

Firstly because my PhD is very much a mish-mash of styles and approaches. It's not pure English or Drama it's not pure History or Sociology. And while few PhDs are 'pure' anything (except perhaps the purer sciences) mine feels more of a strange creation than many. What a PhD also needs is that drive, that obsession and determination to give life to what may considered life…

On Writing

A couple of things happened this week that made me want to write a little about writing.

I always loved writing stories. At Primary School 'Creative Writing' class was with History the only class I really liked (dyslexia already meaning that maths and formal English were a nightmare, and PE was a lost cause from day one) Reading always came naturally to me, and I read voraciously from a young age. I had a vocabulary beyond my years as a result and frequently was accused of somehow 'cheating' on assignments (though how a 7 year old 'cheats' at writing a poem about the Great Fire of London is still beyond me) I actually remember censoring myself then, telling myself 'don't use that word it'll make you sound too clever'

My love of writing wasn't beaten out of my by High School (most everything else was figuratively and literally at times) and reading and writing still remained my love and my escape. Though as time went on I lost some of my love…

PhD updates

I warn readers this is a not particularly interesting blog post (not that I'm suggesting many of them are what you'd term 'fascinating') but I decided I'd written very little about the actual PhD in a while.

So, after a Summer spent locked away with the thesis-and by the way what joker decided to give us the warmest Summer in years while I was chained, somewhat sweatily I must say, to my computer? I have produced what could be considered a full draft.

Woo! Yay! Rejoice! Etc..etc...

The full draft comprises of some chapters that have been written and redrafted many times over and is structurally and argument-wise pretty close to how I hope it will stay. I refined my argument in this draft and while I know there are points it isn't that clear, I know what it should be now, which is most of the battle. There are bits where, no the theory isn't strong but for me I work from my 'evidence' back to theory, not the other way around. As Mr Sherlock Holmes said …