PhD thesis

Here’s the converse of having fairly clear expectations of the future: suddenly having to start thinking about all sorts of long-term choices with no confidence about where in the world I will be after a certain date. It may be that I will be leaving the PhD program and, in that case, I really don’t […]

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Charley Tilley has studied social movements overall and activism specifically as a set of “contentious performances”, in which organizers choose from a “repertoire” on the basis of who they want to influence and what opportunities exist for doing so. Repertoires which are familiar can easily become stale and ineffective, as Micah White discusses in the […]

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I went into my thesis proposal presentation on Tuesday with the hope that it would meet with general approval and that I would soon be moving on to seeking ethical approval and beginning research. Things have worked out dramatically differently, and I am now engaged in an intense effort to write an entirely new proposal […]

I have assembled a pretty comprehensive to-do list for the next while. I have assignments to grade for the environmentalism and social media course where I am a teaching assistant, and a coordination meeting with the other TA. Tomorrow, I am doing faculty and PhD student portraits for the department of political science. Saturday we […]

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Saying mainstream environmentalism now reflects the interests and concerns of the rich is like coming upon a river of spawning salmon and noting the colour red. There are naturally many shades of difference. Not all of the mainstream, everywhere, has to the same extent come to embrace markets, corporations, and technologies as solutions. Nor does […]

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I was surprised to get an email today saying that three unions (USW1998, CUPE3902 (my union), and CUPE1230) along with the Association of Part-time Undergraduate Students wrote to President Gertler to endorse fossil fuel divestment. The letter highlights how receiving financial benefit from the fossil fuel industry compromises academic integrity and how the industry harms […]

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Today, for my research design class, I gave my first presentation on my new PhD topic, fossil fuel divestment campaigns. I got some useful feedback which I will use to produce a revised draft before meeting with my supervisor next week.

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My supervisors have been encouraging me to switch thesis topics. I find myself resisting because the proposed alternative topic has very little to do with the intersection between environmental and indigenous politics, which I judge to be the most important ongoing change in the contemporary politics of the United States and Canada. At the same […]

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Nothing about my PhD so far has been easy. As long-time readers may recall, my first comprehensive exam was only passed after two attempts and a lot of effort. The strike was painful, and has made me particularly question the quality of undergraduate education that U of T provides, in terms of class and tutorial […]

My PhD committee members probably feel like I have fallen off the face of the Earth. Seemingly decades ago, my hope was to have my thesis proposal submitted for approval by December 2015. Now, I am getting close to the point where I think the draft will be worth circulating to committee members and potential […]

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