PhD thesis

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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The three days of dissertation boot camp, organized by the Graduate Centre for Academic Communication, have been highly productive for me. While the advice was good, I could personally have done without the short instructional segments on things like goal setting and editing. What was extremely useful was the structure: sitting in a room with […]

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I spent much of today’s boot camp doing research online about Canadian university divestment campaigns and trying to contact people who have been involved. Even though all the campaigns have happened since 2012, there’s a lot that has clearly already disappeared from the internet, though some of the websites established by campaigns remain in the […]

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I’m at my first day of a three day “dissertation boot camp”. I’m working on adding to four chapters: my issue and literature context chapters and the ones I have started on repertoires of contention and political opportunities. In the lead-up to starting my undergrad program I bought the only printer I have ever owned. […]

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There are some good discussions online about the relative merits of different types of software for writing long scholarly documents like a PhD thesis. For instance, Amrys O. Williams’ “Why you should LaTeX your dissertation; or, why you don’t have to write your dissertation in Word“. I’ve seen the plusses and minuses of using LaTeX […]

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My central aim for this summer was to focus on developing my PhD research project. To that end I didn’t seek a teaching assistant position or other paid work, like commercial photography or the time I helped run the Summer Residence Program at Massey College. Mostly that has gone well. I’ve gone from seeking ethical […]

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From August 21st to 23rd I will be doing an internet-free dissertation boot camp. In some ways it’s a bad match for my project and the current state of my research, since a lot of my research materials are in an encrypted archive on a computer I won’t be able to bring with me, while […]

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Lately I have been getting a lot of writing done. I have a few thousands words each in my first three thesis chapters, providing context on campus fossil fuel divestment, going through the relevant literature, and discussing the repertoires from which activists draw their tactics. A non-academic book project is also developing, with almost 23,000 […]

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