This week marks the start of term at University of British Columbia and the beginning of my PhD in their Art History, Visual Art & Theory department. Unlike most PhD programs I know from Scandinavia and Northern Europe, the first two semesters are filled with coursework. This has positive and negative aspects, but overall I’m just honoured that my proposal got me here in the first place…
The courses will allow me yet another year of exploring parts of academia that I wouldn’t otherwise have had time for. On the other hand, it seems odd to spend a year with courses on Fashion (through the lens of German media theory), Methodologies of Art History, Japanese Art and possibly a course on speculative realism, when I just spent the better part of a year witing PhD proposals, going to conferences and participating in reading groups so entrenched in the tradition of Sound Studies.
I read this piece by AE Robbert on his blog Knowledge Ecology a few days ago, and I seem to have been in a bit of the same head space myself. Relocating myself geographically and institutionally with all the paperwork, reorientation and cognitive reconfiguration that entails. What seems to my situation as a fitting quote from the entry:
The thing about blogging—both positive and negative—is that it puts on offer a continuous stream of output, an ongoing account of one’s thinking and development. This has the double effect of providing greater context for one’s writing but also makes it difficult, at least psychologically for me, to separate oneself from earlier work in the way that writing books or articles naturally provides. The Internet tends toward a pathological amount of continuity and interconnectivity that I think many of us writing in this medium would be wise to rail against. In any case, enjoy the PhD ruminations.
Although I won’t go into the particulars of my dissertation chapters just yet, I hope that I can use this space to write about my research and as a catalog of various notes throughout the process..
Now enough of this meta-posting.