Yes, you are correct, it has been awhile. BUT, it has not been a wasted ‘while’. I have over the last couple of months written up a complete first draft of my exegesis, and I’m now working on the second draft, contributed to the wonderful Four Nations History Network Blog, created a work of art that will be part of an upcoming exhibition at the Belconnen Art Gallery, managed to have a paper published as part of the Conference Proceedings from the 2016 AAWP Conference http://www.aawp.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Walker_AAWP_2016_Fallen-Angels.pdf and had a short holiday in Tasmania.
Lovely, you say, but what has this to do with the PhD. Ahh…I say, well much indeed. I have found some of the issues that I discover along the way, may not be not relevant in any way shape or form to my project, but they are of interest to me. I can’t seem to let them go, so I don’t. It’s like having an itch, and the only way I can scratch it is to spend a couple of hours doing some research and then doing some writing. And, guess what, it actually is part of the reflexive process in that I have to make a decision about what should be included in either the novel or the scholarly paper. This process of reflexivity about the project is with me 24/7. But, I am now in the lovely position of reading a ‘piece of writing’ and thinking…’oh yes, I’ve read that journal article or book they refer to’, instead of thinking along the lines of ‘o.m.g. I need to read that’ and adding it to the large and growing pile of reading to do. Now, I am not for one moment suggesting that I know a lot…that’s never going to happen, but you can only guess how comforting it is to know I have at least done some learning on this particular journey.
Problem of the day
So, now the crunchy part…I love crunchy caramel filled chocolate and I’m trying to cut down, so forgive the references. Anyway, today I listened to another wonderful Vlog by Prof. Tara Brabazon from Flinders University https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MatVRBsLIyc&feature=youtu.be which she called “Vlog 58 From blog to book.” As my project is ‘creative practice’ I have recently been thinking about publishing something out of the exegesis. Being a ‘creative-practice’ Phder is an interesting space because I am writing a work of historical fiction and an exegesis. The exegesis is not a commentary on the novel. So, today I am trying to find the best way to explain that my underlying proposition/rationale for the project is explored by bringing together very particularised aspects of the work of three eminent scholars, Hayden White (2014), Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (2010) and Michel de Certeau (2004). So, I am not using their work per se, to make support my argument, mainly because their oeuvre is immense, and it is only their later work which is relevant to my project. But they espouse a particular concept which I love…for example, White’s support for historical fiction, Spivak’s argument that we don’t know how to read or understand ‘resistance’, and de Certeau’s argument about ‘tactics’ people can use in their everyday lives to circumvent power structures.
So, I could say “Although I may not be using the work of these three scholars in the same context as they have done, how their work is used in this project provides an appropriate model to explore the edges of practice, history, theory, and scholarship to write a story that is set in the past.” What do you think?