Monday, April 12, 2010

Thesis Update

It's awful. Got feedback from my professor:
- My writing is not scholarly enough. Basically, I'm writing so that anyone can read it, whereas I should be writing in a style that is more dense yet fits within the academic tone that references the scholarly materials that my arguments are based on.
- From what I could find, nobody in academia writes about food. When they do write about food, they write about things so specific (the development of the olive oil trade in Italy, flavors of soda in India) that I can't use them.
- I reference some major thinkers (Saussure, Bourdieu, Marx) but do not go into detail on their arguments. This is giving them "short shrift" and is not sufficient for a scholarly paper.
- I would need another 3 months to do a paper that takes a Marxist view of branding. It sounds awesome, actually. Brands hide the production value of commodity items and create an artificial trade value. But I'm traveling all this week, half of next week, and I can't get my head wrapped around Marx and neo-Marxists philosophy by May 2nd. It would be giving them 'short shrift.'
- She didn't read the last 17 pages of my thesis. Or my appendix, which is 12 pages.
- I'm getting feedback now but can't help feel like I've been given no help. I feel like I've written this paper on the fringe of academia, a place where I am not comfortable nor familiar. No wonder my sources have gone mainstream (Michael Pollan, Marion Nestle).
- Almost every book on branding is some asshole trying to sell his/her ideas. Its not scholarly.
- My paper is repetitive and the order needs to be rethought. There was a very good reason for this repetition: I needed to remember what the f*&k I was talking about in each section.

I have lost all heart for this paper and academia. I just don't care anymore. I will do whatever it takes to pass, and no more than that. It's sad, but I need to move on in my life. I am fearful that my next draft will not be passable and graduation will be delayed. God forbid, cause I will make such a stink at NYU they'll graduate me just to et rid of me. This is not a threat but a warning.

In the words of Trey Anastasio, from the song Carini, here is what I hope to say by mid-May: "The thesis that you're writing is a piece of shit, but I'm glad you finally finished it."

3 comments:

Jen Simon said...

ay yai yai

Boywonderesq said...

I told you not to try. They're all gonna laugh at you!

Mary Marotta said...

So, what happened to your thesis? Thesis writing can really be hard, but it doesn’t mean that you would give up on it easily. I think just having a good thesis ideas can really make a difference from writing a bad piece of work to a great work!