Saturday, April 2, 2011

Chi-town bound!

So I think I’ll follow Liana’s precedent: I’m going to blog once a week! Any more would A) take too much time and B) chase off the handful of friends and family who read!
Things are going well (I think!) I stopped at 14 pages into Chapter Two, trying not to make the same mistakes I did with Chapter One.  If you recall, I wrote a whopping 60 pages on Ireland.  And after a lovely brunch at my friend V’s home (who’s accomplished the task of completing her PhD) and her friend M (also a PhD, and fellow Victorianist), they broke it down for me: a solid chapter is 30-35 pages.  So instead of sending my patient dissertation adviser another chunk to help me whittle down, I want to do it correctly from the get-go.
The problem is for Chapter Two (which focuses on representations of India, Indians and the England’s relationship with its Indian Empire)… there’s so much I want to cover! 1) The theme of miscegenation of course; I’ve previously detailed Thackeray’s issues with his illegitimate, half-Indian-half-sister and his hostility toward interracial relationships in his fictions 2) how he satirizes the romanticization of the British military and contemporary literature of empire and finally 3) the notion of an idealized Anglo-English society that is somehow more pure and less corrupted than middle/upper class English society back in England. 
On another note, I’d like to send a big thank you out to Douglas M. Peers (and if he doesn’t get it, to the universe in general) for his incredible article on the British military presence in India in the early nineteenth century, the popularity of the biographies of British soldiers, and how British soldiers and surgeons were the ones who constructed England’s understanding of both Indian natives and her empire.  AND  I’m thrilled there is a Thackeray/Bronte conference taking place in Chicago/Loyola University later this month and I’ll be attending!! Whoo-hoo! I only learned of it recently and the names of those Thackeray scholars I so frequently cite make up the program!
Last bit of good news—my dear friend Noella, who moved to Philly from the UK in October—arrives tomorrow to spend a week with us! Blue and Grandma will be equally thrilled, and I can’t wait to show her the Art Museum, the Arch, downtown St. Louis, and introduce her to our traditions of happy hour  followed by a classic movie! Then my love arrives on the 8th—I’ve promised 20 pages by then.  


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  2. I'm glad to hear other people think a solid chapter is 30-35 pages. I at least hit 31 in my first one! :) I've read some that go beyond 35 pages, but my feeling is if I go past the average, then I'm golden. But I aim for 30, 35 too. (I've seen people bristle at the thought of 30 pages, minimum, like it's a bad thing.) Maybe you'll end up with material for 2 chapters from the first one? Your advisor is super perceptive; she won't let you chop it up and do nothing with it, hehe.

    Going to the conference will be so good for you. Meeting other Willy T scholars and being able to bounce ideas off of others will do your heart (and mind) good. Make sure to write up a (very short) pitch on your dissertation and keep that in the back of your mind, because you'll be reciting it all weekend! Maybe you can get some nice business cards before you head out? Oh, I'm excited and I'm not even a Willy T scholar, lol.