It's Monday, September 12th, 2022, and I have just officially started writing my dissertation. I know it will be a long journey, with lots of ups and downs, maybe more downs than ups, and that it will not be easy or always fun. I want to look at it as an excuse for change and engage with it as a regular process of transformation. My eyes are on the prize: I want it to be published, and I want it to be a successful book. But, I also want it to be a challenge for me to help me practice discipline, perseverance, and consistency. That is, most of all, that matters. So here, I'm going to write about writing.
Honestly, I struggled to apply my professor's comments to my proposal outline. She pointed out the top four issues:
1. I need to specify the objects of my study- how they relate to each other and how that relationship will help me.
2. Which case studies and why this selection of case studies?
3. she asked me what this poetry really says. well, that's what the dissertation will be about
4. She points out that the chapters are irrelevant, and a golden thread is missing. It might be there, but that still is not visible to the reader.
Getting inspired by Rim (I was supposed to read her outline the other day), I noticed that simplicity is something to celebrate. Her chapter outline was very clear: one about the women themselves. One, those women in literature, and the other one, those women in archives. So the borders of each chapter are pretty straightforward, and she knows "what to study" in each chapter. Staring at such dissertation is easy- it looks welcoming. It doesn't look scary! You know?
On the other hand, mine is speaking off from an instinct, but it's still there. That instinct or vague idea motivates me and looks "cool" to me. I love thinking about it. But it needs to get shaped. That is the difference between two objects of study or research question...
What I did, was spell out the real big questions in the back of my mind to help me understand what I am curious about. Well, it turns out that I'm curious about what is happening to readership and, more importantly, authorship! I see fewer people holding a paper and reading. That's alright, but even more than reading a pdf on the phone, people are actually reading [on] social media. It is also true about theatre, shows, and film. Literary performative and cultural content is not on phones more than at any other time. Social media and other platforms accessible on smartphones seem to be the ruling realm and that one big "site" or platform of anything we "create" in literature, performance, music, or film.
The next big question is how anyone can have a platform, go big, become a producer/creator/author, and create her own channel. More than how that happens, I care about what they bring to the table: voices that can also go counter-narrative and politically demand.
First, I got to read of rooting back the french poetry. Why should it be there? I don't want to trace anything historically; I just want to compare the peepshow box with Instagram, and that's all. They can be historically irrelevant. That's not what I care about. I just care about how the phenomenon called X, which I call interactive pop poetry on a publicly accessible platform while closely dependent on visuals or performance, aka instapoetry (probably), gets to be created, distributed, and received. I MOSTLY and very much care about how that is performed by the performer's body, voice, visuals, or anything else. I care about how this "thing," X, is out of control and chain and even validated by the literary elite. It's so pop! Maybe that's why it gets to live.
For that, I defined two chapters: one talking about these boxes, specifically in Iran, because it's fascinating me to death. It makes my heart cry to see these boxes are being forgotten after their discretion.
The other is this thing, X, on Instagram- which is as fascinating as those boxes.
X can be political. It was. It has been. How X is situating itself and what sorts of names it will take is what this book will be about. I want to spend months thinking and researching the potential of this X on digital media and outside of it in the entertainment or literary industry.
Ok, that's it for today!