attracted to more than one gender/sex?? wanna talk about it???
My thesis involves interviewing people who practice or identify as being attracted to more than one gender/sex. it is completely confidential. if you’re interested, follow this account. If you have any questions, please message either this account or the one in the link. I will not be able to begin interviewing until I get IRB permission (hopefully within the month). You must be 18 years old or older to participate, as stated by the IRB.
Please feel free to share this or refer this to others! The more the better!
This is going to sound awfully snobbish and arrogant. But I am struggling so much with the concept of narrowing my thesis. I'm writing a PhD and want to write about something meaningful (cue eye rolls...I know) but I keep on being told to narrow, narrow, narrow. I know this is very good advice, but it often feels like my topic is becoming uselessly niche and generally not very interesting or important. Have you experienced this feeling before? How do you get past this!?
So, I’m really mad because I wrote like a six-paragraph response to this and then acidentally hit the ‘back’ button. Fuck Tumblr for not saving drafts automatically. Fuck me for not doing it manually. Anyway I’m going to try to remember everything I just wrote:
This doesn’t sound arrogant to me, but it does sound a little
naïve. Now, bear with me while I talk about bees for a minute. (Yes, you read that right. Bees.) Bees are small. Some people are scared of them and some shitty people kill them, but most just don’t think about them very often. But without bees pollination wouldn’t happen, plants would die, animals that eat plants would die, and animals that eat animals that eat plants would die. Basically, without bees we’d be pretty much fucked. The same is true of academia. If you want to say anything meaningful, you have to know the minutiae first. You want to have big majestic bears, you can’t kill off the bees. Everybody who starts working on a thesis or dissertation wants to say something grand and meaningful, but those romantic notions will wear off pretty much as soon as you sit down to actually do the work and realize how many little things you need to know just to be qualified to attempt that. Academia is not the place for romance. It’s a place to be realistic. What kind of argument can you make convincingly in about 20,000 words?
Here’s the other thing: Believe it or not, the ‘niche’ research is often what ends up being the most valuable. I mean, thank God Marcus Nordlund wrote 95 pages on the economy of candles in the early modern indoor playhouse so I didn’t have to in order to talk about darkness in The Duchess of Malfi. Thank God Charles S. Forker understands the Renaissance legal system in Naples so I didn’t have to learn Latin to edit one scene of The Devil’s Law-Case. You get the idea. All scholars have different specialties, and what might not seem particularly interesting to one may up being vitally important to another. ‘Niche’ is not a bad thing. Writing something ‘niche’ actually enables you to to make a sharp, pointed, and thoroughly researched argument instead of trying shoehorn a huge philosophical statement into a graduate thesis. At best it’s going to come out feeling cramped, at worst woefully incomplete, and either way two weeks before your deadline you will want to die. Trust me. I’ve made that mistake too many times to tell it any other way.
Here’s what I’d suggest: Start with one of those big ideas you’re passionate about. Feminism, atheism, colonialism, whatever. Start there and start reading primary/secondary material. (Pro-tip: Start with the most recent criticism and use their bibliographies to follow the breadcrumbs back to the origins.) As you do this reading, look for themes or trends or specific details of the argument that intrigue you. For instance: My dissertation started with the huge unwieldy topic of n/Nature in King Lear. Eight months later I’m using a very specific strain of Aristotelian ethics to explore the question of culpability for three of Shakespeare’s tragic villains. Narrow? Hell yes. But because the argument is so narrow it actually enables me to say, “Shakespeare was really the only early modern playwright (besides Chapman, sort of) who eschewed the absolute moral binary in favor of weighing characters’ actions against intent, agency, and other mitigating/aggravating factors. This matters because it’s the same legal framework we still use today, which makes it much easier to understand the plays and supports their continued relevance.“ That’s a big statement. But I can back it up because my research has been both exhaustive and specific. Have I had to read a lot of really dense philosophy and theology and jurisprudence dating back several thousand years? Yes. Has all of it been fun? Absolutely fucking not. But all of that ‘niche’ work has enabled me to present what I feel is a meaningful interpretation of Shakespeare’s tragic villains, which is something I care a whole lot about. This is a really long of way of saying: Start with the big idea and find a little idea inside the big idea. That’s how you stay excited without biting off more than you can chew.
Make it about the bees. When you have a professorship and twelve research assistants you can worry about bears.
As of today 6 February until April 16 I will be doing a research for my bachelor thesis about Dragon age players and how they think and talk about gender in relation to the games. I might approach you with the question if it’s ok to follow you so I can see the things you post about dragon age, or ask you to give your opinion in a interview.
If you have any questions or would like me to follow you or if you want to give your opinion on something, be sure to leave an ask or a comment! You can also read the about me page if you want more information.
11/100 days of productivity. Went out Christmas shopping this morning before the polar vortex really hit. Did some mind mapping tonight on this part of my research that has had me stuck for a while and plan to continue it in the morning. For now, I’ll say goodnight!
When the prof handed out #Glitch as a theme to explore through the lens of art and design, I was instantly reminded of Hungarian artist, David Szaudr’s series “Failed Memories.”
As Szaudr depicts in his glitched series “Failed Memories” eventually disintegrate and become ambiguous and vague. The disintegration of images is parallel to the disintegration of memories. Historically, the double exposure mishap happened when light sensitive mediums were exposed to two different compositions, but innovative photographers and artists saw this as a new method of image making.
I often think of the prevalence of the white burqa in my maternal ancestry and lament over the absence of visual records of these Purdah shrouded women. My sisters and I build their characters and narratives through conversations with our mother attempting to further translate these memories visually.
I channel this disintegration of memory and recreation of history, through a digital application of double exposure onto the photographs. This is done by making multiple copies of the same image, altering them in size, opacity and contrast and layering them one by one.
The photographs are taken in the garden I played in when I was 3 and continue to play in at 31. These collaborative moments with my sisters also turn into memories. Because I have lived outside of my homeland for over a decade, my own presence on that land is simultaneously absent and ghostly because my entity comes and goes. This adds another haunting dimension to the already glitched, erroneously and digitally exposed photographs.
Other things to consider: Nate Heywood listens to loud music at 3am, is always overly excitable about history, picked it bc Indiana Jones, doesnt mention having a PhD to counter Ray talking about his 4, and literally jumps tables when an interesting new theory is presented. I’m not saying Nate Heywood is a grad student who tripped over the Legends in the research for his thesis, but…
NATE HEYWOOD IS A GRAD STUDENT WHO TRIPPED OVER THE LEGENDS IN THE RESEARCH FOR HIS THESIS
Doing some work on my research with @scienceonsaturdaze this Sunday afternoon. The large metal machine is called an autoclave, and it uses steam sanitization to get rid of any bacteria. Today I’m using it to kill any bacteria that might be hiding in our media, because we’re hoping to use the plates and slants that I’m making for isolating our bacteria. The plates are from when we foot printed a friendly dog that was visiting the biology department.
Clean desk, fresh smoothie, sunny day and I went for a 4K run today, but still motivation’s hiding to research literature for my thesis. Currently I’m reading a lot about navigational strategies employed by animals and humans and which brain regions those functions can be mapped to. It’s quite exciting, actually, but I’d just rather be outside enjoying the first day of spring.
I need a ton of dog pictures for my research thesis and presentation. Let me know if I can use your pictures (with credit). I need a variety of breeds, personalities, types of pictures, etc. My research will include genetic influences on:
Dana stumbles and nearly faceplants in the wet grass, the weight of her bookbag throwing her even more off balance. Damn it. Recovering her footing, she squints at the lanky form pulling away in front of her and wonders how in the hell she got herself into this mess.
Two weeks ago, at the start of the semester, she had all her proverbial ducks in a row: thesis research well underway, med school applications submitted, just a few short months away from graduating with honors. Now she’s chasing the TA for her intro psych class through a graveyard in the rain.
It was supposed to be an easy elective, a soft science class to fill out her schedule and give her a breather from the rest of her rigorous course load. And the class itself is a bit of a snore, the bland Dr. Blevins not exactly an intimidating figure, nor a particularly motivating one. His TA, on the other hand…
“Come on, Scully!”
Mulder. He runs the recitation session for the course and insists on calling everyone by their last names. She should have known the first time she walked in the room and saw him not so much sitting as lounging at the front, should have known then that this class was going to be unconventional, to say the least.
He’d nearly plowed into her this evening, bolting by in front of the library as she was leaving it, and when he’d given a hurried, “Come on, I need your help!” she had… followed him? She doesn’t even know why. Across campus, off campus, over a lawn and into the cemetery they’re running through now.
“Where are we going?” she pants, finally coming to her senses enough to ask.
“Just a little further,” he shouts over his shoulder, vaulting over a small headstone and ducking off to the right. He skids to a stop in front of the church and points. “There she is! You see her?”
Still several steps behind him, it takes a couple of seconds for her to catch up, but even then she can’t see anything through the rain and the spots of water and mud on her glasses.
“I don’t know what you’re–”
“Through the window! Sister Mary Agnes. Or rather, the former Sister Mary Agnes.”
She pulls her glasses off but only succeeds in smearing them with her damp sweater. “I don’t understand. This isn’t a Catholic church. There shouldn’t be nuns here. And why did you drag me out here to look at a nun through a window, anyway?”
He turns to her, and even through her blurred lenses she can see the huge grin on his face. “Not a nun. A ghost.”
She narrows her eyes at him. “Is this a joke?”
“Of course not. I would never joke about spectral phenomena.” When she only manages to gape dumbly at him, he adds, “What, you don’t believe in ghosts?”
“Of course I don’t believe in ghosts! Because they don’t exist!”
“Oh, I think Mary Agnes in there would beg to differ.” He nods toward the church window again, where Dana still can’t actually see anything. “Though technically she only exists here as a corporeal apparition for a few hours on the 28th of January. I’ve never managed to ask her what she gets up to the rest of the year.”
Either this is some sort of prank (to which he’s currently committing 110%), or he’s completely insane. She’s honestly not sure which scenario she’s hoping for.
She stares at him for what feels like forever before finally relocating her voice. “Look, Mulder. I am standing out here, in the rain and the mud, because you said you needed my help. So unless you need someone to give you directions to the campus counselor’s office, I really have to get home.”
He shakes his head, chuckling. “You think I’m crazy. All right, I’m sorry I wasted your time. Have a good night, Scully. I’ll see you in class next week.”
He turns and starts to walk away from her, across the grass toward the church. No explanation, no justification for any of this, and while the rational part of her understands, in the interest of self preservation, that she really ought to leave right now, there’s another part of her that wants answers. Needs them, even.
“Wait.” He stops and turns around, and she takes a step closer. “Why did you bring me out here, really?”
He shrugs. “You’re a senior in a freshman-level psychology class, which means you’re probably not a liberal arts or humanities major. Something in the hard sciences instead, or maybe engineering. I figure you’re probably the sort of person who, when confronted with a ghost, wouldn’t run screaming, but rather would want to examine it, put it in quantifiable terms. Plus there’s the saint’s medal on your backpack, and I was hoping Sister Mary Agnes might be willing to interact with a fellow Catholic, but I’ll admit that’s probably a long shot.”
She crosses her arms over her chest, unable to decide whether she’s impressed or unnerved.
“I wasn’t looking for you specifically or anything, if that’s what you’re thinking,” he continues. “I was already on my way here when I ran into you, and I thought you’d be intrigued. Obviously I thought wrong, but that’s okay. Anyway, I’m gonna go. She doesn’t usually stick around much later than about seven o’clock.”
Without waiting for a response, he turns again and continues walking toward the church’s side door. This time she doesn’t stop to think about it before following him. If nothing else, it will be warmer in the building than out here, and she can at least dry off a little before heading home. There are lights on and undoubtedly other people in there; it’s not as though she’ll be stuck alone with Mulder if he really is off his rocker.
“So you’re telling me that the ghost of a nun haunts a Methodist church once a year, for several hours in the middle of the evening, when there are likely people here for meetings or study groups, and yet no one finds this odd or surprising?” she says as she catches up with him.
He pulls the door open and holds it for her, grinning. “They don’t know she’s a ghost.”
“I hope you’ll forgive the obvious question, but… are you sure she is one?”
“Well, unless you know of any living nuns who’ve figured out how to vanish into thin air, yeah, I’m pretty sure.”
The door closes behind them, shutting out the sounds of the rain and wrapping them in the hushed stillness Dana has long associated with church. She tries to quietly wipe her shoes on the mat and is looking down when Mulder taps her on the shoulder. She looks up at him, and he’s pointing with his other hand down the hall to their left. In the distance, Dana can just make out a swish of black fabric before her view is blocked by Mulder, taking off in pursuit. She hurries to catch up without breaking into a run, her strides no match for his, and she’s half a step behind him when she sees a woman, wearing what certainly seems to be a nun’s habit, open a door off the hallway and walk through it.
Seconds later, Mulder’s pushing open the same door, and Dana follows, so caught up in the moment that she’s abandoned caution and the usual concerns about knocking before entering a room. And then she immediately runs right into Mulder’s back, because they’ve not entered a room so much as a storage closet.
A very empty storage closet.
She backs into the hallway, trying to peer around him. Mulder flicks on the light switch and steps back to stand beside her, gesturing with one arm toward the tiny room where there is most definitely not a soul, living or otherwise, standing inside.
“But… but she was just…” she stammers.
“Here one second, gone the next. Guess we just missed her.”
She walks back into the closet, pulling the door aside to peer behind it, crouching to look futilely under the bottom row of shelves, turning several fruitless circles before coming to a stop and staring out at Mulder once more. She can’t believe it, doesn’t believe it. And yet…
His grin is kind, rather than smug. “C’mon, Scully. Let’s see if we can’t borrow some umbrellas, and I’ll walk you home.”