PhD thesis

At the end of January, Middlebury College (home institution of 350.org founder Bill McKibben) committed to fossil fuel divestment as part of a four-part response to climate change. As far as I know, this is the first university which had formally said no to a divestment campaign and has since been brought around to saying […]

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Louis Sobol recently wrote a piece in the National Observer about university divestment organizing in New Brunswick: Lessons from campaigning for divestment at Mount Allison University. It covers some themes of the movement: the sense of ecological threat motivating people to take action, the dominant perspectives within the movement about intersectionality and progressive allyship, an […]

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I am preparing to present a preliminary version of my research results at the Power Shift conference in Ottawa, which takes place from February 14th to 18th. It’s an unusual venue for presenting academic research. The website says that it will “convene hundreds of young people from across this land to build a powerful and […]

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I didn’t go anywhere over the break, aside from a one night Christmas bus trip to Hamilton, because I wanted to use the time to advance my dissertation project. Important progress has been made on that front, with my committee now in agreement about what the chapters should be, which questions each should seek to […]

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I have reached the stage in the dissertation process where I am setting aside 146 draft pages which are comprehensible to me but not so much to others and which are written more in blocks than in smoothly-flowing chapters and starting over to write something that will be markedly better. Target defence and completion date: […]

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Lots on the go — I’ve had a sudden flurry of late year photo bookings, including a three day Canada-UK artificial intelligence conference at the Munk School. I’m still working on the dissertation of course, continuing with interviews and the literature review while working with my committee to structure the final document. I’ll be doing […]

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These are double spaced Word pages with placeholder footnotes. None of it has been edited yet, but I expect that most of what’s in these six chapter drafts will be usable for the final dissertation.

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One of my main strategies for organizing information is to create databases for subjects of interest. I’m using the term in the broad Wikipedia sense of “an organized collection of data, stored and accessed electronically” here, and it includes everything from a single folder where PDF versions of all the references cited in a particular […]

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It’s weird how silence here can be indicative of unproductive inactivity or times when I am so busy I don’t have the time to put anything together for a sibilant intake of breath. I’m focusing on the thesis research as much as possible in the period before classes resume.

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This is my first intense batch of academic interviews, and I feel like they have been going remarkably smoothly. It has been pretty straightforward to start getting in touch with people, scheduling times, doing preparatory research, and then having conversations people about their experiences with divestment at Canadian universities. I don’t think it constitutes the […]

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