PhD thesis

Productivity in the context of academic research is an unusual phenomenon. While elements like data entry may have a pretty direct and straightforward relationship between effort and outcomes, coming up with new ideas and writing can both involve a lot of unpredictability and spontaneity. Academic productivity is also social, or at least networked. The extent […]


Where have all the activists gone? The Varsity By Anna Osterberg Published: 7:28 pm, 17 May 2019


Today was the end of term party in the political science department. I showed up in a suit in part to convey to any of my committee members present that I am focused on getting the dissertation done. * I have promised my supervisor two big packages of work. First — The output from the […]

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in Daily updates, PhD thesis

I have one last blast of grading for my current TA contract: then I have dedicated the summer to completing my dissertation, getting chapters to committee members, implementing their proposed changes, and getting it defended as soon as possible. I’ll be trying to write every day at home, starting with the completion of data analysis.


At the end of January, Middlebury College (home institution of 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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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: […]


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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