PhD thesis

At 2am on the 31st, we have reached the end of “the summer” and I have loosely defined it academically for many years now (school starts early in September, but never in August in my experience — I moved in at my Oxford college on September 23rd) and I feel better than OK about how […]


I have discussed my introductory chapter with my supervisor, received comments, and incorporated them. Tomorrow, we are meeting about my literature review chapter. At the same time, I am working on reading through blocks of my tag-sorted interview reports corresponding to the four central chapters of the dissertation: Political opportunities — including the history of […]


The most common physical health symptom described by the participants was chronic insomnia. Heidi explained: ‘One of the first indicators for me is insomnia. . . . I’m waking up in the middle of the night thinking about how I need to do this or bring this in or what time I am meeting with […]


One concern about the informal and non-hierarchical approach used in most campus fossil fuel divestment campaigns, and in the climate activist movement more broadly, is that it impairs institutional memory and thus prevents people from having a strong understanding of what has already been done and learned. In an effective and intriguing effort to counter […]


I am deviating somewhat from the planned timeline here, moving forward the first soft edit of the whole manuscript for coherence and structure to before finishing the literature review and incorporation of material from interviews. In part, that’s just an effort to break out of a low productivity pattern of toiling at the same very […]

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I have all of my data analysis done and printed in a thick binder sorted by subject matter. With a 58 page bibliography, I feel like I am a good way through the literature review, though my room and computer are still well populated with a set of things which I have read and annotated […]

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Professor Joe Curnow, now at the University of Manitoba, studied the / divestment campaign at the University of Toronto, in part using multi-angle video recordings of campaign planning meetings. Her dissertation is now available on TSpace: Politicization in Practice: Learning the Politics of Racialization, Patriarchy, and Settler Colonialism in the Youth Climate Movement


It complicates the process of completing my PhD dissertation, but there has been highly encouraging movement from administrations targeted by fossil fuel divestment campaigns. While McGill has again said no, Concordia and UBC have pledged to go beyond their prior partial commitments and entirely divest from fossil fuels: Concordia University Foundation to divest and aim […]




in PhD thesis, Writing

I have been productively refining the dissertation, adding to the precision and extent of its content. There is still NVivo analysis to be done and the iterative process of refining the manuscript with the committee, but all the indications so far are that the interviews I conducted provide useful information for what happened during these […]

Given how much I have been thinking about ‘the summer’ as a unit, September might have been expected to arrive with a feeling like a sonic boom experienced from the ground or the tolling of an ancient clock bell. The temporary life reorganization arising from my mother’s short visit blurred the transition, as I had […]