Thursday, December 10, 2009

Five Theorists from the Last Five Years

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Yesterday I was granted the final extension for my thesis appointment. I have been a PhD candidate since June 2004 and by June 2010 I will be finished. My dissertation is in the process of being re-written for the final time, and it is actually on track. I am confident, if I continue working basically all the time, I will make it.

So, it is almost over. The PhD has been the most remarkable period in my professional adult life. Doing a PhD is like nothing else I have ever experienced. Intense, rewarding, stressful, bewildering and fascinating are some words that spring to mind regarding the hard slog and great privilege that has been the last five and a half years.

Now, looking back over the time as a PhD candidate the contact with the words of others has been perhaps the most rewarding aspect of it. I have been paid to spend time thinking, listening and writing (even speaking occasionally!). With this in mind I thought to post here some of the words of people who have been with me during my own research, People whose ideas have had a marked, and occasionally extreme, influence on my own thinking. I begin with five of the basic building blocks of the digital side of my thesis (a critical literary theory work with a digital corpus as its subject). So here are presentations given by danah boyd, Howard Rheingold, Henry Jenkins, N. Katherine Hayles, Lawrence Lessig and Lawrence Liang. To anyone working in the field it reads like a list of the usual suspects. To me these were the early points of reference from which I branched out into less well worn paths where I tried (and continue to try) to find my own way forward.

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