Monday, 21 December 2009


... although I'm not sure who might read this post. How did you go about completing the Literature Review? What did you do when you read all the recommended books by your supervisors and still had a pathetic list of sources because your topic has not been written about since 1901? I know the most obvious thing is to bug my supervisors about this again, but I'd rather be more independent than that. Any recommendations? RILM, Grove Music Online, JAMS, JSTOR turn up nothing really useful. Bibliographic material in footnotes from the small amount of sources I have are merely tangential. Archives next? What about doing the literature review... how did you go about doing it and be most successful? What was your format?

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Oh the odds and ends...

... of a PhD dissertation/thesis (if I were in the UK, it would be thesis, but readers in the US will be more familiar with dissertation, very confusing and I often don't know what to call it). Right now, I'm overwhelmed by the UK PhD skills audit, which is a requirement for UK postgraduate students. We are supposed to graduate without merely just the knowledge of our PhD topic and subject area, but also with a recognized list of transferable skills that can make us attractive candidates within and without the academic job market. Much of it is very useful, but some of it is a bit redundant if you have a B.Mus., an M.St., and an M.A. already under your belt (which I have). This morning, in order to complete the requirement of "self-awareness," I took four online information literacy surveys that measured my familiarity with research databases, search engines, and how to best use keywords in order to get the best search and information possible. I was relieved to know that I had "excellent ability" in these three areas.

One thing that I am not very good at is this business of conducting a literature review without becoming overwhelmed with data or following side topics that are fascinating to me. I'm signing up for an online short course about this, so I am grateful at least in part for this PhD skills audit.

I've changed my blog name again... hopefully this makes the most sense and is the most appealing.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Preliminary research on Ruth Crawford

Disability Studies and the PhD dissertation

The conference paper I gave on scholars with invisible illnesses has been published in the journal Music Theory Online, issue 15/3, August 2009. If anyone would like further details about the study I did, or would like the details to be published in blog form, please let me know. The article will also be published in an Israeli disability activist newsletter. I am still interested in disability studies, and am particularly interested in analysis of Ruth Crawford's late works in light of her diagnosis of intestinal cancer. Listening to the Suite No. 2 now...

I struggling with maintaining a regular work schedule as a part-time PhD student, especially since I have no local community. Mostly just working on my PhD skills audit as an Open University student. Any suggestions welcome.

Currently Listening...

  • Pearl and the Beard
  • The Dodos
  • Andrew Bird: Armchair Apocrypha
  • Anna Ternheim
  • NOFX
  • Fairiborz Lachini
  • The Clash
  • Rufus Wainwright: Rufus Does Judy
  • Radiohead: In Rainbows

Currently Watching...

  • Curb Your Enthusiasm
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation
  • Big Bang Theory
  • Mad Men
  • South Park
  • Zach Galifinakis

Currently Reading...

  • Bill Bryson: A History of Nearly Everything
  • Gabriel Garcia-Marquez: One Hundred Years of Solitude
  • The House of Leaves
  • Robertson Davies: The Rebel Angels

Favourite Videos