Mascot for #DevilDiss

Mascot for #DevilDiss
Mascot for #DevilDiss

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Finish Line is in Sight #DevilDiss Progress 15 July

Today I finished the pamphlet chapter of my dissertation. It was the last chapter I had to write from scratch. I started the survey chapters last summer as I read for comps. I wrote the first chapter on the Anglo-Saxons in a seminar this past spring. I wrote the Milton chapter in a class with my director this past spring, and revised in June. The Shakespeare chapter is in conference presentation form as I presented it at ACMRS in February. This week I will take that conference presentation and based on feedback I received, and what I now know are the throughlines of my dissertation, will finish the final chapter of #DevilDiss.
Then I just need to add a short bit on Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes to my Milton chapter. And the majority of my dissertation will be finished.
Right now, without the expanded Shakespeare chapter I'm at 260 pages. So I'm feeling really good about what I've done in a year.
Don't get me wrong, there's still work to be done. 
I meet with my director next week, which is the next big hurdle. It's a check in meeting, but really it's the next big step because I'm counting on them being confident enough in my work and progress that they will sign off on me going on the job market in September.

By the end of this month I should have notes on CH 1-3 from my director, and will send off CH 4-6. My director and I will swap sections so to speak. I'll start revising CH 1-3 while they read and give notes on CH 4-6. I'm hoping I'll finish CH 1-3 revisions in September and send back to director, have CH 4-6 notes by October, and then work on those revisions and send back to director. Final notes on whole thing in November. Entire thing off to committee members in December.

In August I will use the Storify I've spent the last year building on #DevilDiss  to see the long view of the dissertation and revise my prospectus to be my introduction, and write my conclusion.
In August I'm also signed up to take a job market prep class. I took it last year, and I feel good about the template documents I have, so the work shouldn't be major, but I do need to update my materials to be ready for 15 September.

I know the academic job market is awful. I know that me getting a job this year is something like a 1 in 300 chance. I know I'm going up against PhDs from Ivy Leagues, with pedigrees. PhDs that have been on the market for years.
I know all that.
I don't care.
I'll be a unicorn. 
Or I'll apply to be a researcher for the government. Meh.

Either way, I've done everything I can to prepare. I feel good, I have seven publications, four articles in journals and three chapters in edited collections. I think that shows an off the charts work ethic. I think finishing my PhD in three years shows that too. I may not have the pedigree, but I'm a worker, I produce.

This fall I will teach two classes. I will revise my chapters based on my director's notes. I have nothing else on my plate. I have one conference I'm waiting to hear about that I'll go to in October if I get in, which I should hear about in August.

I want to be able to set a defense date at the end of January, the beginning of February because I want to have a solid date if I have interviews at MLA since I'm on the market ABD. I also want to have defended by the time there are campus visits. I want to be able to present myself as a sure thing.

In the spring I'll teach another two classes. I plan on lobbying for them to be two literature courses, and one a Shakespeare, but we'll see.
Other than MLA, I'm only planning on attending one other conference, PCA/ACA in Seattle in  March.

As odd as it seems, in July, that's my next year.
It's in sight...

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