Ok, so it has been a couple of weeks since I last updated. Both Sarita and I have been up to our cerebella in work. She had two articles to send off and I had to finish off a directed study before I could start work on my dissertation proposal.
In my last entry I celebrated some progress with respect to outlining prospective chapters. In the process I realised just how big this dissertation has grown conceptually. I'm only just now realising how mammoth a task this is going to be. What disturbs me most isn't the sheer number of pages, but rather how to contain my discussion to those "few" pages; insert chestnut phrase about brevity being the soul of something or other.
The other revelation, if I may indulge in such dramatic syntax, is how much "original" material I'll have to produce. I'll be swimming in a sea of my own aesthetic theory on a genre that, in the academy, is still musica non grata. I met this week with my supervisor (we'll call her "Nancy") to discuss a few lingering questions I've had about the timeline for submitting my proposal and area exam. The discussion was encouraging, not akin to a pep talk, but more of an "I'm looking forward to reading what you have to say about 'X'." More than that, I'm also looking forward to reading what I have to say about it.
Tomorrow I give my first presentation of conference season–the first of seven (!) It's for the "Western Research Forum," hosted every year by the Western Society of Graduate Students as an opportunity to air ideas and enjoy interdisciplinary discourse and dialogue. Last year's presentation got some recognition, which was gratifying, but this year I'm going to discuss some potential article ideas that have finally congealed. More on that in a later post.
Next week I will start my proposal. My first big step.