The Reification of Theory Assemblage

W/b 11 August

More adventures in the art of trying to develop a theoretical framework for my research this week.  I keep getting the sneaky suspicion that it’s all going to come back to a form of Marxism and Foucault…but I want to be certain in my own mind that I:

a) understand why I’ve chosen the path I’m on.

b) understand the framework I’m going to apply.

c) don’t miss something really vital that would bring a greater clarity to my findings.

Fundamentally I know/understand that in the humanities a lot of your research view is shaped by your own views and instincts, but I’m not confident enough in mine as of yet to just go down a road that is likely to consume me for at least the next two years – let alone further should I work on a post-doc.

I have at least reached a point where I can say for (fairly) certain that I need to be sure of my intellectual framework and the appropriate theory/theories that I’m using within in it.  This in itself is a step forward in writing the discussion piece/chapter on theory that I’m working on at the moment.  More than once I wish I was back in the good old simple positivistic sciences where you test and refine theories empirically, more than build them inductively.  On the other hand the methods associated with the humanities are making more and more sense (even Critical Theory which I despaired of getting any kind of handle on a year ago…well I’m slightly more OK with it now…very slightly).

I do get the feeling if any civilian were to ask me what I was doing in any detail right now, that I’d be able to waffle out the beginnings of my framework and theories…but after they’d run away in terror/bemusement I’m not sure if I have the depth right.

Anyway in other news it looks like NTU never even forwarded my conference proposal to the local graduate conference, as the programme is out and I’m not on it…nor have I a rejection email.  Which means the Graduate Dean just ignored my proposal.  Arsebadgers.  I worked really hard on that, and it’s a cracking proposal (with a great title).  I just need another conference somewhere/sometime to present it at!

No news too on whether or not I get a teaching contract next year (now we’re into the new academic year I was wondering if I might hear something).  But no…not a sausage.  I’m guessing I’ll either hear the day before it starts, or when the module leader starts sending me seminar assignments.  I do hope I get to do some more teaching, time commitment aside it really helped ground me more than anything else last year.

Oh I should add – WordPress has changed their interface for writing blogposts this week.  The new one is just AWFUL, I lost half a post earlier today in the editing and it hardly makes any real use of the screen capital (over half the screen on my 27″ main monitor is just pale blue unusable space.).  It’s like they wrote it for people running monitors at 800×600 – I mean what the hell, is this 1997 still?

W/b 18th August

Funeral one day, LARPing two others…concluded other than station keeping and packing, I may as well take the other two days off.  So I did.

W/b 25th August

Return from LARP Monday, exhaustion (from weekend) Tuesday, and then back to hesitant work on Wednesday onwards.  Finishing off a book and reading a key paper on the demise of capitalism.  Think I’m almost ready to start writing this chapter in anger now.

Also found out that I’ve got a new teaching contract or rather my name appears on the new module timetable.  Will wait until it’s in black and white mind you before I celebrate.  I also appear to be teaching on two modules…eep!  A new challenge, but after a summer of theory going to be glad of it.

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