Back to Blogging & the DissertationDistraction Podcast

Somewhere in Chicago


‘m back! Well, sort of.


As you probably noticed, I’ve been rather silent on this blog for the past couple of months. Sometime around mid-April, I realized that the deadlines for the submission of the final draft of my dissertation aligned with travel plans for both me and my committee members in such a way that I needed to either defend my dissertation in mid-June (with plenty of time to revise post-defense) or in mid-July (with barely a week to do all revisions). I went into Emergency Dissertation-Finishing Mode and spent all of the month of May at home, revising. Four weekends passed by without me going out once, and I spent many nights working until sunrise, taking a 4-6 hour nap, and then starting again the next morning. In the last week of March, I pulled two consecutive 40-plus-hour all-nighters to get the last revisions in to my advisor. Things are still up in the air, in that my advisor still hasn’t decided if I can defend in mid-June (which I prefer) or mid-July, but the heaviest work is over, I think.

And so, I’m back to blogging, mostly. Over the next few days, my plan is to post a summary of my dissertation, and then summaries of each of my chapters, partially as a future reading guide to non-academic readers who might want to engage with my dissertation, but also as a way of preparing myself for my thesis defense.

But for now, here’s a little something musical. The SoundCloud link above is what I’ve called my DissertationDistraction Mix, a set that I recorded during a dark moment of stress and exhaustion between two 40-plus-hour all-nighters of work. On a sudden impulse, I stopped what I was doing, fired up my turntables, and recorded a 1.5-hour set of whatever tracks came to my mind. It was all rather slapdash, there was little thought put into structuring the set, and my transitions were a bit rocky at times, but it felt really good to start and finish a project in about 2 hours, rather than 8 fucking years. One of the toughest aspects of intellectual/academic work for me is that you can spend hours and even days working on a project without anything tangible to show for it. And so, looking ahead to a life of writing articles and book-length manuscripts, I suspect that I’ll need my turntables and my kitchen and my knitting needles and other such things to help remind me that I’m capable of producing something real, in the middle of all this immaterial, intellectual labor.

OK folks, enjoy the music! I’ll be back soon with the dissertation summaries, then perhaps a bit of a review of DEMF, and then maybe some stuff in preparation for my move to Berlin…


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