Quarterly Update

March 28, 2008 at 12:02 am (About My Work, Progress) (, , , , )

I realised to day that the next instalment of my fifty two acts project (on target to be posted today) marks the quarter mark for the practical component of my doctorate. I am thrilled to bits with the way it is going, especially since I have found many of the creative projects growing and leading in new directions, giving the project the kind of momentum I was hoping for. Creative sustainability was definitely one of my biggest concerns with the format of the project, but when I look back over the work that I have done in the past three months I definitely feel that I have that three times over left in me. My biggest challenge now is to make sure the weekly creative works stay roughly on theme and all work towards the greater goal of answering the question “how can cyberfeminism practice and Web 2.0 applications be used to recode gendered representations of women on the Internet?” as initially asked in my research proposal. I am also concurrently working on the exegesis (a rationale type document accompanying the work), which is expected to be roughly 30,000 words, and will also seek to answer the research question.

One of the biggest things that has helped me stay on track with the writing side of things is the 500 word challenge. My friend Callistra, who is currently novel writing, and I have committed to writing 500 words per day, every day. My partner, A, who is also thesis writing, has joined us in the challenge, and every night after children’s bed time we all sit down and write 500 words (A and I in the same room, and Callistra several thousand kms away but right next to me on ICQ). The rules are that they must be 500 purposeful words—so writing a creative piece, novel section, thesis writing, academic paper etc. all count, but things like chatting to each other or general random life lj updates or emails do not—and the tally is non-accumulative, i.e. it is 500 per day, everyday, if you only get 200 done the day before it is still 500 the next day, if you do 2000 the day before you are still expected to do 500 more each day after that. This tactic has been really successful for us, and it is really very useful for me because it would be very easy for me to get swept away with the practice side of things and let the writing get forgotten. Having others do the challenge with me thereby both making it social and keeping me accountable is a key part of making it work, so a big thank you to both Callistra and A, I am sure it wouldn’t be happening so smoothly (if at all) without you.

So I am pretty happy with the way the artwork and the exegesis are churning along at the moment and I anticipate being able to continue working at this rate with a view to having both ready for submission at the beginning of next year. The plan is to have both finished by the first of January 2009, then allowing a bit of time for extra editing and presentation, and submitting in March 2009.

Areas I would like to improve in are my levels of scholarly reading input—this is definitely well below a level I would feel happy with—and also the frequency with which I update this journal. My plan for addressing the reading deficit is to set myself a challenge—similar to the 500 word challenge—of reading one article or chapter of relevant material per day. Only one article per day sounds like not nearly enough, but if I am honest with myself it is one more than I am doing most days at the moment, and it is more likely to be sustainable than relying on binge reading like I do now. The plan for addressing the update frequency is simply to include a weekly update as part of my 500 word challenge writing. I think this will be a worth while practice because it will allow me to keep a record of things going on academically around the project, as well as facilitating some reflection on the meta project, rather than just on individual works as I post them.

One extra goal I have is to become more involved in the academic community. I am toying with the idea of organising some kind of women/feminism and new media conference/unconference, partly for the networking, but mostly because I would really like to go to one.

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5 Comments

  1. lauredhel said,

    Marvellous! Congratulations.

  2. Pam Rosengren said,

    Can we see the artwork anywhere?

  3. sajbrfem said,

    yes you can, it is all on line at http://fiftytwoacts.wordpress.com.

  4. fallacious said,

    Fallacious says : I absolutely agree with this !

  5. Elementary said,

    Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Elementary!!!

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