Culling. How I love it.

Today I did something I'd been meaning to do for a while now: start the culling process for my dissertation. I knew when I first started the program here that I wanted my dissertation to be a feminist rhetorical analysis of blogging, so I wrote most of my seminar papers as well as a couple of my essays for my prelims with the intention that they'd be part of my dissertation.

As you might remember, I've been stressing about finishing on time, being ready to go on the market, and all that, but as of today I'm much less stressed. Just as an exercise, I pasted all the seminar papers and other essays I've written in preparation for my dissertation into one document, and it ended up being one hundred and eighty-five pages double-spaced. Of course not all that is usable, probably not even most of it, and I certainly have an enormous amount of research and writing still to do, but I do intend to use as much of the work I've already done as possible; after all, that the material would be in my dissertation was the whole point of my writing those papers. It just calms me down a lot to know that I'm not starting from nothing.

Edited to add: I forgot to mention that my next dissertation exercise is a document with two headings: "What my dissertation is..." and "What my dissertation is not...[.]" I plan to write about half a page or so under each heading. I hope it will help me clarify and crystallize the scope of my project to myself and to others. What I'm hearing from everyone I know who has finished a dissertation or who is almost finished with one is that I should keep the project small and not try to do too much.


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another heading or two

Sounds like a good strategy to me...I do have a quick suggestion, though. I'd think about breaking up "what my dissertation is" (and "isn't") into two categories each, although I wouldn't stray much beyond the half-page in answering each: what my dissertation says, and what my dissertation does.

Maybe I'm becoming more of a genre theory convert than I thought, but I think it's worth *temporarily* separating out the two...when you get around to representing it in abstracts, app letters, etc., you'll end up drawing on each, most likely...


Ooh, smarty!

It sounds like you're so far ahead of the curve it's not even funny. My diss had *nothing* to do with my coursework, b/c I am an idiot. As a result, it took me for-fucking-ever to write. But it sounds like really what you have to do is *re-write*, which is an entirely different beast (and imho a lot easier...).

Bitch. Ph.D.


hey clancy,

what do u know about blogher conference july 30 in santa clara? i was asked to be on a panel about hip hop feminist blogs. i would like to go so im trying to find funding at this short notice. but i wonder why if this is about women and blogging, you aren't listed as presenting anywhere here.


Re: blogher


I've known about the conference for a long time, but I am so broke, plus I'm teaching; I just don't know how I'd be able to go. I'm trying to block it out. Maybe I can find a cheap last-minute flight/hotel package on Hotwire. If you find a hotel and wouldn't mind having a roommate, I'll be happy to pay for half the room and just get a plane ticket.

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