I’m looking forward to spending the next nine months writing on this blog as I prepare for my second doctoral exam. I have been a frequent blogger throughout my adult life, but only recently have I begun trying to blog about my academic and professional interests.
My plan is to write posts about each of the pieces on my oral exam reading lists, a total of about 90 books, articles, and chapters. (The full lists are available here, for anyone interested.) I don’t have a particular format for these response posts yet, though I imagine I’ll try a few different methods over time. When the occasion strikes, I will also write about other non-orals scholarly projects that seem related.
I imagine much of what I write here won’t be of interest of a general audience. Those who study disability or composition or pedagogy might find individual posts useful, and if so, I’d love to hear about it in the comments. Because it’s a functional blog for me, I imagine my primary audience as myself, months and years from now, trying to write more formal pieces based on the initial ideas I preview here. More concretely, I imagine my audience as Mark McBeth, Joe Straus, and Jason Tougaw–the three professors who are advising me and examining me in this process. The tone may, as a result, veer toward the functional as well.
I have a few goals in this labor. On a basic level, I believe writing about the texts I read will help me better internalize their content, and that by rehearsing my responses in writing I will develop more sophisticated understandings of my lists as a whole. In other words, I hope writing here will help me perform better on the exam itself. More than that, I believe writing frequently and informally about my ideas will help me produce material that I can later revise for more formal purposes, including conference talks, articles, and my dissertation. I often have a great deal of difficulty producing formal pieces (and I have the incompletes to prove it). I hope this blog will help me learn to produce more writing and to feel better about sharing it with the world.
I welcome feedback on anything I write here, whether it’s encouragement, suggestions, or questions. If you’re not the type to leave public comments, feel free to message me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.