Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Looming Thesis Topic

I have two things left to finish my degree:
  1. Write a 20-30 page paper for an independent study.
  2. Write a 80-100 page thesis.
I've been working somewhat consistently since January, taking a few hours a week for reading, note-taking, and thinking. I'm not registered for classes right now, so I have some time. I was originally going to graduate at the end of the Fall 2012 semester, but the professor I wanted for my chair is on a research leave, so it's being pushed out to the Winter 2013 semester.

In meeting with B. last night, I am even more perplexed about what my actual thesis topic should be. I have all of this reading I've done on queer identity and heteronormativity, which are great places to start, but she emphasized the need to "ground" the theory - interviews with participants focusing on specific questions, reviewing a host of blogs or seasons of a television show, a statistical survey, you get the idea.

I hadn't even considered this a part of what I needed to do, but I see the value in it. And I have to have a list of ideas to her by Friday (two days!). This is good - I need a swift kick to the rear to really get moving and have direction, but eeks McGregor!

I am also very interested in the juxtaposition of feminism and attachment parenting. B. suggested an alternative project of looking at the intersection of queer parenting and these two topics.

So maybe I should start working on both papers, and see what they each develop into. Or maybe I just need to make a decision and stop putting off the inevitable.

It's like buying a wedding dress though - something might feel really right, but by committing to it, you are saying "no" to every other possibility, even if you see something later that is a better value, or more figure-flattering. I suppose the wonderful thing about research is that you can always work on whatever you want, one does want ones thesis to be outstanding and special.