Dec 16 2010

We Meet Again, Mr. Melville

by at 5:14 pm under Uncategorized

Now that my Yiddish communism paper is finished, I’m starting to work on my paper for Priscilla’s class. One of the nice things about Duke is that intellectual freedom is very much encouraged. Priscilla’s class is on human beings after genocide but our papers can be on whatever we’d like. We can choose to rework something we’ve already written, submit her a conference paper, really whatever we want feedback on. So I’ve decided to revise a chapter of my thesis with the intention of preparing for an article type piece. So chapter three of my Master’s thesis (“Electric Publics and Electric Nations: The Creation of a National Identity in Herman Melville’s Pierre; or, the Ambiguities“), hello again.

I’m really excited to be going back to my thesis, especially this chapter, being that it was my last one. Re-reading my thesis in preparation for this project, I realized that my first and second chapters were actually not bad at all. They seemed coherent and well formulated. The third chapter could use some work, but it’s my favorite chapter concetually. Because of deadlines, that last chapter is just not as polished. So now’s the time for some cleaning.

What I’ve got to do to fix this up:

1. Reorginzation: As per usual, I get to my argument towards the end. The end needs to sort of be sent to the beginning.

2. Background information from my introduction needs to be filled in in some places. If this is going to be an article type thing it needs to be able to stand on its own.

3. Finally I’m going to need to do some more reading. I didn’t do enough critical reading of exisiting Pierre and Melville scholarship. I also need to do a little more theoretical reading on publics and seances, etc.

So Georgetown first and second years: if you decided to write a thesis and want to remain in academia and write and stuff, the thesis is not at all a waste of time.

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